10/40!

Tuesday night: I practiced open focus and concentrated on  relaxation for about 20 minutes.  At first, I could read 10/200 and almost 10/100, but near the end I was able to read 10/40! 😀 I correctly read four out of five letters on the 40 line, so I’m positive I passed that line. 8) I am hoping that in future practice sessions I will continue to read the 40 line and, equally important to me, be able to read lines lower than the 200 line at the beginning.

Another thought, in the past my outdoor visual acuity has been twice as good as my indoor visual acuity.  I haven’t done an outdoor measurement in a while, but if my past experiences are still true, I would be able to see 20/40 outside!  That would be amazing since there are only three more lines on my chart (30, 25, 20) from the 40 line to the 20 line.

Also, I have a new idea about my starting number for the Snellen chart practices (10/200).  When I practice open focus and am able to see the 50 line or the 40 line, I attribute the clearer vision to the deeply relaxed state of my mind and body.  However, this near complete relaxation is not the normal state of my body during daily life. I do try to stay relaxed throughout the day, but I guess my normal level of relaxation is only good enough for 10/200 visual acuity.  While I believe that I could be even more calm in my mind and body during normal tasks, I think that another (bigger?) influence on the starting measurement is the fact that I still wear glasses during part of the day.  While I cannot drive (legally or safely) my car without glasses, I’m not required to wear them for anything else.  With the exception of reading the projector screen/board in my classes at school, I realistically think that I would be able to fuction fine without them otherwise.  Therefore, especially since I am on my winter break, I am going to try to only wear my glasses for driving.  This will benefit me in two ways: I will be forced to maintain an even more relaxed state of my mind and body throughout the day, and my eyes will not need to adjust to the prescription of my glasses nearly as much.  I hope this goes well. 😐

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10 thoughts on “10/40!

  1. helenacampbell says:

    I approve of this! I’ve recently been reading about how Bates did not like the idea of wearing reduced power glasses or keeping glasses around for an emergency. He advocated the “run before you can walk” method, taking them away completely.
    I’m trying it too, as best I can.
    I can’t see the computer screen too well, but it comes and goes, and I hope that that will get better. How about you? How well are you able to read/use a computer at a comfortable distance? Obviously if you hunch forward to see the screen, then it defeats the purpose. So you may want to take this into account. If not being able to see a certain thing causes poor posture/habits, then it is more worthwhile to wear your glasses (preferably reduced prescription ones of course)

  2. mark825 says:

    -helenacampbell- I only wear reduced prescription lenses (about 20/40 for driving, about 20/80 for the computer), but I feel that I wear them too often. For the computer I can only read the screen (normal sized font) from a little under a foot (12 in./30 cm.) without my glasses.

    However, I think one obstacle I need to overcome is being able to use good vision habits for things other than the Snellen chart. For example, I was able to relax and read 10/40 yesterday on the chart, which is approximately 20/80. The glasses that I usually wear for computer use allow me to see about this same strength. Therefore, if I practice relaxing while using the computer, I should be able to read the screen from a normal, comfortable reading distance.

  3. fuoco says:

    I also tend to think my biggest problem is applying correct visual habits to every daily activity.
    The more I’m aware of my natural tendency to strain, I see how it happens with so many activities in my life.
    It is a huge challenge for me though. For example I cannot see well the computer screen without using bad posture. But when I force myself to sit back and breath well, and not strain I can see it OK – it’s not best, not most convenient and a bit slower to read stuff that way – but on the other hand it’s relaxing and feels correct and good.
    The thing is my work requires me to read a lot in a distance which makes me strain – and this is way more challenging for me to monitor and try to avoid (compared to work at computer). This I find these days my biggest weakness.
    Another thing I noticed is that in any situation when I am with people the tendency to strain, use very bad posture standing/sitting, and hold breath, is much much stronger, and extremely hard for me to monitor and adjust, as if it’s a real mental fight for me.
    For now I don’t get big clearing of snellen card when working in front of it, but I still try to pay as much attention as I can to correct visual habits throughout the day.

  4. mark825 says:

    -fuoco- I agree that it is harder to use good vision habits in daily tasks as compared to during practice with a Snellen chart. Like you, I also find it more difficult to use good vision habits when I am in public/with other people. I think that the most important point for this problem is consistency; with practice the vision habits will become easier to remember and be more effective.

  5. helenacampbell says:

    Fuoco, for reading, are you able to read using a sun lamp or natural light? This will make the text clearer for you. I’ve been reading without glasses outside. I’m not sure what your job entails so I don’t know if this will work. This doesn’t work with a computer screen though.
    Sometimes if I get too anxious or notice my eyes are having trouble, I take a break to palm. Even closing your eyes and just remembering the last time you were relaxed, will help you feel relaxed. You can do this while in a group, as well (you can excuse yourself to the bathroom if nothing else). The memory of being relaxed should, if you can do it well, help you to more easily correct your breathing and posture.
    –Helena

  6. fuoco says:

    I guess when I’m with people it’s just more mental stress for me, and harder to concentrate or pay attention to myself – so indeed excusing oneself for a moment will be rather effective.
    Well, I’m a musician, specifically pianist and conductor. That requires me to read a lot of scores during the day for many hours. It is either studying them at the table (which is not really like reading a book, because I believe it involves different mental processing), or at the piano (which means one has many more things to pay attention to). Aside from it being a rather demanding mental activity, in my opinion, it also is a rather large distance. I feel if I were less myopic and it would be easier for me to read from these distances, then I wouldn’t have as many problems paying attention to my posture etc… (I’m about -4D myopic).
    It is very possible that getting stronger lighting can help me read more easily – especially here in winter natural lighting is rather bad. I was just thinking always that bates does advocate reading in dim light – but maybe if it worsens posture it’s not as good a tradeoff.

  7. helenacampbell says:

    Exactly–if dim light is making you strain/have bad posture, then stronger light is best. If you can relax in these conditions, then it is better.
    Plus natural light has a healing effect on our eyes (humans are made to live in the sunlight–that’s why things like sunning, etc, are recommended).
    You may find also that even dim sunlight (for example, it’s quite cloudy all the time where I live, but it’s still light out) is better than brighter artificial lighting. This is why I recommend a sunlamp or natural light, and didn’t mean stronger incandescent/fluorescent lighting.
    “If I were less myopic, then my posture would be better”– how about turning this around? “If my posture was better, then I would be less myopic”
    Enjoy,
    Helena

  8. fuoco says:

    Yeah, here too is extrememly cloudy, and even though there’s light, it’s not that much inside the apartment and I’m bound to use electrical light – which I really don’t like… Also it gets dark really early these days, so that a major part of the day I have no choice but use electrical light.
    I agree in fact every time I use better posture and breath (!) I see a litlle better. I was just saying I keep having the feeling that if I had just a bit better vision everything would be easier for me – but maybe that’s a rather negative thought…
    I actually go without glasses at all for very long periods. Especially on vacation times like now, I could be going without glasses at all for 2-3 weeks in a row. Every other day I get comments from friends telling me I’m cray and it’s unhealthy for me to go without glasses with such a high number (-4D)…

  9. helenacampbell says:

    I have very similar situations to you, Fuoco. Actually I am about -8, so I am worse off than you (although it has not been checked recently, and I really do feel that things are somewhat clearer now constantly).
    I had a similar situation today where I went over to someone’s house for lunch, and they asked where my glasses were. I said I’d lost them (Not untrue, they do disappear quite a lot since I’m always removing them). I said I didn’t wear them much, anyway, and admitted that things were blurry. They asked, “aren’t you doing harm to your eyes?” I said no, it was actually better. One of the women talking to me had a 10-year-old daughter wearing glasses. My heart breaks to see children in glasses (especially since she wouldn’t need them for eating lunch and playing outside, etc).

    I’m feeling guilty over taking over Mark’s blog, Fuoco (unless he likes being popular). I say this because he hasn’t said anything in a while. I want to advertise a bit and say that I too have my own blog, so feel free to come over and visit me there.
    I will tell it here, but Mark, if you find this inappropriate, please feel free to delete the comment and I will understand.
    “helenathejuggler.wordpress.com”

  10. mark825 says:

    -helenacampbell- Don’t feel guilty. I’m glad that my blog has been a medium for others to discuss and help each other with their vision. Additionally, the reason why I haven’t commented on these replies is because I have been busy lately and also did not have any additional information to share on the topics.

    I was actually trying to find your blog a few days ago because you had said in a comment on Sassisailor’s blog that you had started one; however, I couldn’t find it. Now your blog is in my Blogroll, and I’m sure I will be commenting on your posts sometime soon. So, thank you for sharing your blog adress. 🙂

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