This page is an archive version and is no longer updated! An (even more) condensed version is coming soon.
This is a condensed timeline of my eyesight improvement. The ‘Seeing Beauty’ page gives an overview of how I am improving my vision and the ‘Vision Diary’ tag is a detailed journal of this process. I started with 5/200 eyesight without glasses, my prpescription was -8.00 with 0.5 astigmatism glasses in each eye. My contacts prescription was -7.00.
NOTE: I describe my word choice and methods for testing my vision at the bottom. What follows is a very summarized look at my progress with naked eye Snellen test chart readings in bold. Please let me know if it is unclear.
15 June 2011
Major focus was on PhD in the last year. Uncorrected vision varying between 20/50 to 20/200 depending on how much I practice. Observing the universal swing helps a lot and I can do it anytime, anywhere.
Was traveling the last two weeks for a conference. I used my -6.25 glasses for the conference. This is a definite improvement over previous years where I would have felt the need for -7, or even -8 glasses. I can definitely say now that for any situation, the -6.25 pair are strong enough, probably even a bit too strong. For normal work/life, -5 or no glasses is what I wear.
8 October 2010
I have been palming and reading more from my chart the last month. Tonight I could read a sign on a building across from my gym for the first time. I’ve seen it every week for the last two years hoping to be able to read it someday!
28 July 2010
I palmed for 4 hours. It was amazing, with far-reaching benefits. See my blog post on 16 August 2010. My eyesight onb everyday objects is improving a lot. That is despite spending most of my time writing up my thesis (using -3 glasses).
20 May 2010
I managed to stop wearing the -5 glasses so much and use instead the -3 glasses since about March. I have made yoga and exercize a regular part of my day again and am wearing my glasses a lot less as well. I can still see 20/50 on the chart (unaided). I’ve recently discovered that palming for at least 20 minutes really helps me. I have yet to make it a regular habit but I strive to do it at least once per day and the goal is to do 3 x 20 minute palming sessions per day.
29 January 2010
I’ve been wearing my -5 glasses a lot at work since the last update. With practice I can still see just as clearly on the chart, but I know it won’t be long before that starts slipping… Glases are not an easy addiction to overcome! (especially while writing a phd thesis)
7 January 2010
Without glasses I’m definitely at the best eyesight I’ve ever been at. Mornings _and_ evenings I see 20/50 (the 5 is faint, the C is clear, the G looks like a C and the O is clear). Also, I am able to see the 200 and 100 line letters dark and clear (before I could often see half of 20/50 but the 200 and 100 letters were blurry). The 70 line letters are usually clear (at least the T and P, the F in the middle is still aa guess). I put in more detail than normal because otherwise it can be ambiguous what I mean by being able to see 20/50. For example, I know last year when I reported 20/50 it wasn’t as distinct as it is now, and I wish I had made more careful notes for my own motivation.
I had my -3 glasses handy that I occasionally use. I was surprised that with them it only improved the quality of the 20/50 line. I could read all 50 line letters clearly but not yet the 40 line letters. One thing I noticed for sure was that colors with these glasses look faded compared to when I don’t wear glasses at all.
21 December 2009
I’ve spent the last month largely without glasses. In the last 9 days I haven’t touched them! I’ve improved my vision of the 200, 100, and 70 lines at all distances (5 to 20 feet). This is because although I can read half of 20/50, I often found that the larger letters above were very blurry and often unrecognizable. By practicing on these larger letters (and smaller ones as well) I’ve improved the overall quality of my vision a lot in the last weeks. After the holidays I will continue with the 70 and 50 lines.
8 November 2009
5 of the last 8 days I didn’t wear glasses. I can in general use my computer comfortably without glasses if I keep moving (toes wiggling now and then, moving legs, leaning back instead of forward, breathing, blinking, etc). This is much better than before when I would sometimes be able to read my computer screen without glasses, but my sight would get blurry as soon as I tried to work. The secret to the Bates method is 1. learning his methods. 2. learning how to recognize how my body reacts to them. 3. Practicing the methods that help me all day long.
Although I do most of my computer work without glasses, sometimes I do use the -3 or -4 pair. My -5.00 glasses are definitely too strong now for computer work. This morning I checked and could see 20/20 through them right away. The 15 and 10 lines were really dark and I’m sure with some swaying I could have cleared at least the 15 line but I don’t want to practice with glasses!
31 October 2009
Taking 15 minutes to palm every day gives me the chance to improve my memory of black. I find that when I have something clear in my memory with my eyes open, then my eyes automatically see through the central field. It’s very relaxing, I finally understand now why Dr. Bates said that you are cured when you can remember something as well with eyes closed as open. I’m getting closer. This morning I saw 10/20 with amazing clarity! Each letter in turn was just as dark, clear and crisp as when I look at it from only 6 inches. I believe this is the best I have ever seen on the chart to date in terms of accuity and quality of my visual accuity!
28 October 2009
I’m back on track practicing, and almost back to where I was: 10/30 (sometimes 10/20), and 20/100 (sometimes as well as 20/50).
28 September – 13 October 2009
Started wearing glasses again. Noticed that my visual accuity has slipped to 10/50 as a result of not practicing cenral fixation on the chart and having a lot of stress at work. On the other hand, my outdoors vision without glasses when I’m relaxed still seems pretty good (can read licence plate numbers still). Time to start practicing with the chart again twice per day!
24 September 2009
It’s now been 3 weeks since I stopped wearing my glasses. I leave them around and wore them maybe 5 minutes or less per day total the first two weeks. And on two occasions I wore them for an hour to play cards with friends. This week, however, I haven’t even touched them. I don’t feel like I’m doing anything special anymore. I don’t feel the anxiety anymore of needing them before I go off to talk to my supervisor, it’s the last thing on my mind. What I do notice is more and more clear vision. Occasionally it will be extremely blurry. I lean back in my chair, stretch, practice central fixation for a bit, and continue working. Within 5 minutes it clears up! This is giving me a much more positive outlook on my work, and my supervisor commented that I’ve been super-productive lately 🙂
16 September 2009
I had some serious set backs 4 weeks ago with tension attacks, but I am now 2 weeks without glasses and without headaches!
15 August 2009
Someday I will fill in this gap between April and August. The summary is basically little to no practice in April/May, extensive practice in June (including a week and a half without glasses), and July-present has been some amount of central fixation practice most days, but very little done on the Snellen chart. I can still see 10/20 in the mornings. This week I started practicing with my chart again. I’m swamped with work, but have had some success in keeping my stress level down. I can read the licence plates on the cars while riding my bike in the morning AND in the evening! This is despite wearing glasses or contacts all day (currently -4.00 glasses, -3.5 contacts). I can see 20/20 to 20/40 through my contacts. In fact, I’ve reached the point where my worst vision through my contacts is approximately my best vision unaided.
1 April 2009
I’ve been reading on average 10/20 in the morning. In the evenings I see around 10/40 to 10/30. Time is short, so I’m mainly looking at the chart for short times only and the rest of the day staying aware of my breathing, keeping my head and neck mobile, and shifting my gaze constantly.
9 – 15 March 2009
At the beginning of the week I was really good about swinging morning and night, palming frequently and taking frequent breaks from my computer. However, the end of the week I got busy with work and wedding stuff. I noticed that I was less interested in reading the chart towards the end of the week. I think for next week I will change up how I read the chart to keep it interesting.
High: 10/20, a fraction of 0.50
Low: 20/100, or 0.20.
morning average: 0.39
evening average: 0.29
2 March – 8 March 2009
Although my averages aren’t showing an improvement this week, I’m finding that I am calming down more without my glasses. I take time to see, and don’t feel like I have to ‘try’ to see clearly without glasses (definitely helps to improve the vision) My evening Snellen chart readings aren’t really changing, but I am noticing that my eyesight is good enough in the evenings to read from my computer at a normal distance. The fact that my visual accuity with the chart isn’t changing much but my ‘usable’ vision is getting better, says to me that I’m getting better at applying what I learn with Snellen chart practice throughout the day in more practical situations..
High: 19/40, a fraction of 0.48
Low: 17/100, or 0.17.
morning average: 0.40
evening average: 0.23
23 February – 1 March 2009
Wedding planning took over my life this week! I didn’t do much other than read the chart twice per day, and try to remember to breathe 🙂
High: 12/20, a fraction of 0.60
Low: 8/50, or 0.16.
morning average: 0.41
evening average: 0.24
16 February – 22 February 2009
Happier at work, finding that I naturally wear my glasses less at work, seeing way more detail on my bike ride to work: reading almost every license plate. Seeing really is learned, and I feel like the morning and evening Snellen chart reading is more of a practice than a ‘what can I see now?’. I feel like I’m learning a lot from reading it, such as how to relax, how not to relax, how to let my imagination take over, and how to notice when I’m staring. If I had to pinpoint why I’m happier at work, I’d say it’s because I’m gaining the ability to better decide what’s important at that moment. So instead of stressing about many factors of my PhD at once, I just get on with the most important thing. It’s more efficient and less stressful.
High: 14/20, a fraction of 0.70
Low: 17/100, or 0.17.
morning average: 0.37
evening average: 0.26
9 February – 15 February 2009
Since I’ve been looking at the chart more often, it doesn’t bother me so much when I have stressful days and my visual accuity is lower. Rather, it’s allowed me to realize the main point of the Bates method: using the Snellen chart as a tool rather than a test: if I have a good reading, I remember what I did that must have improved my eyesight, if I have a poor reading, then I can also pinpoint what worsened my vision. As you can see this week, it must have helped as my average accuity is better than last week!
Best: 10/20, a fraction of 0.50
Worst: 10/100, or 0.10.
morning average: 0.37
evening average: 0.27
2 February – 8 February 2009
This week I’ve started to have dreams where flashes of some Snellen chart letters will randomly appear very sharply. I always have vivid dreams, but I’m starting to have an awareness of clarity during my dreams (although in flashes). As a note, since I’ve found no correlation between my glasses strength and improvement to my eyesight, I’ve switched back from -4.00 to my -5.00 glasses, since I think the -4’s are a strain when I wear them. The time spent without any glasses is infinitely more important than what reduced prescription I wear!
Best:6/10, a fraction of 0.60
Worst: 8/70, or 0.11.
morning average: 0.34
evening average: 0.22
26 January – 1 February 2009
This week I started reading and recording my visual accuity from the Snellen chart twice a day as described below (as opposed to reading it about once a day and recording the best each week). My best was 5/10, a fraction of 0.50. My worst was 18/200, or 0.09. The average accuity in the morning is 0.35 and the average in the evening is 0.21 (so I’ve converted all fractions to decimals and averaged them)
26 January 2009
Important change! From this point I’m reading from the Snellen chart twice per day, and changing the distance daily. I’m also recording the visual accuity each time. I will scan in the sheets I use to record it after a few months. in the mean time, I will post the best, worst, and average morning and evening visual accuity for each week. Up to this point, I have always made note of my best visual accuity only. It has risen steadily, however, I’m now interested to record how the fluctuation of my visual accuity changes over time. I think it also provides a more realistic record so that people reading this blog realize that steady and permanent improvement comes with a lot of fluctuation in accuity.
15 January 2009
Left eye: 5/20, right eye: 5/15, both eyes: 5/15 and flashes of 5/10 letters. Compare to when I started, I could barely see 5/200!
My vision without glasses is still fluctuating a lot between 20/50 to 20/70. The clearer times are lasting longer and longer. From 4 feet I can now clearly see the 10 foot line, 4/10.
9 January 2009
Here I will list my visual accuity through my glasses:
-6.25, 0.5 astigmatism, passed vision test at DMV in my home state to renew my drivers licence. I checked at home, I can see 20/20 through these. (much improved, see my notes further below from a year ago, January 2008)
-5.00 I can see 20/40 through these
-4.00 I can see 20/40 through these, and notice that I can see better out of them than before I left for the holidays.
December 31, 2008
I was too shy at the DMV to ask which line I passed, but anyway, I passed the smallest line they had in the machine at the DMV and can legally drive with -6.25, 0.5 D astigmatism glasses. The requirement is 20/40 in my state so I read that or better. My optometrist in England said I needed -7.00 with 0.5 astigmatism glasses to see 20/40. Next time I will be more confident to ask questions about which line I’m reading and by then I’ll definitely try to pass it without glasses.
December 17 2008
I used my sister’s focometer indoors, with indirect sunlight on an unfamiliar chart and could read 20/20 with a power of -5.5 in each eye. It will be another year and a half until I use the focometer again, it will be interesting to see what has changed by 2010!
27 November 2008
Without glasses: 20/50, glimpses of 20/30 letters! With my -5.0 glasses I can clearly see 20/30 letters, with some swaying I could clear the 20/20 line letters.
20 November 2008
Celebrating 1 year of learning the Bates method of eyesight improvement by rest and relaxation, I’m happy to report that I can now do the majority of my work without glasses! When I read my visual accuity from the Snellen chart every morning (electric + natural light) I can consistently see 20/50, and oftentimes I can read lower lines 20/40 and 20/30. In the evening I occasionally read the Snellen chart, (electric light) and I can consistently read 20/70 and occasionally as much as 20/50. I’ve been dancing a victory dance every morning for the past month or so and it feels great, the patience of learning this method over the last year has definitely paid off and it keeps getting clearer and better!
17 October 2008
For the first time, I can read my computer screen from a normal distance WHILE working! Huge breakthrough – posts and comments within a week of this date on my blog and irelandeyes blog are very insightful and information packed. My visual accuity fluctuates a lot between 20/30 and 20/70 the whole day. I have noticed a marked improvement in my nightime visual accuity.
29 September 2008
I went to the optometrist, she prescribed:
R: -7.50, -0.5X15 astigmatism
L: -7.25, -0.5X10 astigmatism
which is an improvement of 0.25D in the right eye and 0.50D in the left eye since last November!
17 September 2008
Can see 20/20 through my -4.5 contacts! It seems with correct vision habits, anything is possible. I had flashes of 20/15, which was surreal.
15 September 2008
My visual accuity is still about the same. I can see 20/50 in the morning (it may occasionally clear to 20/30) and 20/70 to 20/100 by the evening. From 10 feet I can usually read the 30 foot line. The last two weeks I have experienced clear eyesight everyday a couple of times for at least 10 minutes. I’m also experiencing moments of clearer eyesight in the evenings.
For working hours: The last two weeks I wore -5.0 contacts, I could see 20/30 through these in bright electric lighting and 20/20 if natural sunlight came into the room. So starting today I’m wearing -4.5 contacts. I haven’t checked on the Snellen chart yet but I’m guessing that I see somewhere between 20/30 and 20/40 through these. By remembering to breathe and blink I see much better!
25 August 2008
Before this, I reported my best visual accuity, which I measured first thing in the morning. Now, I am recording how my accuity fluctuates throughout the day. I can now see 20/50 most of the day, at worst 20/70 in the evening or after a stressful time. (previously my post-morning accuity dropped to 20/100) This jump in improvement has come from a greater awareness of the underlying causes of my stress. I have also been palming for 5 minutes more than 5 times every day. I have been wearing my -5.5 glasses only when I need them the last two weeks, through which I am now able to see 20/30.
31 July 2008
For the last week I’ve had 20/40 eyesight consistently in the morning! As the day goes on it gets a bit worse. By evening I see about 20/100. I’m now wearing -5.5 glasses or -5.5 contacts. (No more -6.25 glasses!) I need to get a lower diopter for my contacts.
21 July 2008
I read the 50 foot line from 20 feet this weekend on both days! That is now 20/50 eyesight that I have in the mornings with my bright kitchen lights. In the evenings these days I’m seeing about 20/100. I’ve been doing yoga every day, and wearing no glasses in mornings/evenings, -6.25 glasses for work and some cleaning, or -5.5 glasses for computer work. But I’m wearing my -5.5 contacts more than glasses. I can see 20/20 out of my -5.5 contacts.
25 June 2008
Since three days I can read the 70 foot line clearly from 20 feet and the 30 foot line from 10 feet! This is 20/70 eyesight, and 10/30 eyesight respectively.
20 June 2008
Much hectic moving/traveling is over! I can still read the 40 foot line from 10 feet (10/40 eyesight). For this first time I am getting really clear moments at 10/20 without glasses! I can also now read from 20 feet, I can see the 100 foot line from 20 feet (20/100 eyesight). After some swinging it even cleared to 20/70!
2 April 2008
I can read the 40 foot line from 10 feet (10/40 eyesight) without lenses. I am wearing -6.25 glasses or -5.5 contacts, which I can now see 10/15 out of, occasionally 10/10.
21 February 2008
Have been wearing -5.5 D contacts for the last two weeks for work, and still spend a few hours a day without glasses. I am still reading the 50 foot line from 10 feet (10/50 eyesight without glasses). However, there are many things outside that are much clearer on sunny AND cloudy days than ever before! I enjoy rowing and running without glasses so much now 🙂
27 January 2008
For the last week, I can consistently read the fourth line of the Snellen chart (50 foot line) from 10 feet. I am not converting my Snellen to a 20 foot fraction anymore. Instead of converting it, I’m listing it more correctly as the distance where I stood (10 feet) over the lowest line I read (50 foot). So this is 10/50 eyesight. This is the same as the 20/100 that I quoted in the last entry of the timeline, I’m just reporting it as a fraction of 10 now since I’m reading the 50 foot line from 10 feet, not the 100 foot line from 20 feet. The fourth line is still pretty grey. The first and second lines are getting darker. Finally, some of the lines below the fifth line are starting to form recognizable lines and characters. I can’t read them, but there is a big difference between the white fuzz I saw there before and the distinct line of letters I see now.
14 January 2008
I could read the 50 foot line of the Snellen chart from 10 feet in bright light (sun shining in). This is 20/100 eyesight, though I can’t see this well with only the dim lightbulb in my room.
7 January 2008
I am now wearing only -6.00 contacts at work when I have to, otherwise I wear the -6.25 glasses. I see 20/40 through my contacts consistently, 20/30 when I shift my eyesight more freely. I see 20/60 through my glasses consistently, 20/40 when I shift. Weekdays I have about 40 minutes where I walk to and from work in the daylight without corrective lenses, at lunchtime I don’t wear any correction, and in the evening I only wear corrective lenses to read and answer emails. I am still continuing with yoga and autogenics training. I keep from staring by shifting between near and far objects. I am now also practicing central fixation by trying to notice more detail further away. With my Snellen chart I do this by making sure the letter I look at is clearer and darker than the surroundings ones in my peripheral vision.
2 January 2008
Amazing progress over the Christmas holidays. I came back last night, and this morning read the 70 ft line (3rd line!) clearly on the Snellen chart from 10 ft. This is 20/140 eyesight! I’m speechless at my improvement so far. See my post on this date for more details.
21 December 2007
I read the 100 ft line on the Snellen chart from 205 cm today! This is approximately 20/290 eyesight and reflects what I have noticed the last couple of weeks: that everything is just a touch clearer every morning before I put on my glasses.
14 December 2007
I have learned how to blink more correctly, see my post ‘blinking’ on this date. After removing my glasses, I can now induce an improved visual accuity by blinking in a more relaxed way (that remains or continues to improve until I put my glasses back on or strain to blink).
7 December 2007
By test method #1 (see methods tag) with no corrective lenses, I could read the 100 ft line from 140 cm in the morning (20/440). After morning work and my autogenics training, I read the 100 ft line from 155 cm (20/390).
1 December 2007
From now I am wearing (in both eyes) -7.00, -0.5 astigmatism “reduced prescription glasses”. I can read the 10 ft Snellen chart line from 10 ft, so these are 20/20 glasses for me.
I am also alternating between -6.5 contacts (I see 20/20) and -6.0 contact lenses (I see 20/40)
By test method #1 (see methods tag) with no corrective lenses, I could read the 100 ft line from 113 cm in the morning (20/540). After morning work and a yoga break, I read the 100 ft line from 121 cm (20/500). I will now only report weekly or monthly progress in this timeline.
29 November 2007
By test method #1 (see methods tag) with no corrective lenses, I could read the 100 ft line from 100 cm in the morning (20/610). After not wearing my glasses all morning and doing a short yoga break, I read the 100 ft line from 130 cm (20/470).
28 November 2007
Optometrist measures my eyesight with “reduced prescription” -6.5 contact lenses to be between 20/20 and 20/40.
27 November 2007
Read the 200 ft Snellen test line from 199 cm, approximately 20/610 vision.
26 November 2007
Naked eye test on a Snellen chart in the morning shows that I can read the 200 ft line from 160 cm, approximately 20/800 vision. After consciously focusing on breathing and blinking at work and on the way home, I measured again after yoga and I could read the 200 ft line from 193 cm, 20/630 eyesight.
25 November 2007
From now I am making the commitment to do autogenics training (see link at right) every day 1-3 times about 15 minutes each time. Also, I will do yoga three days a week.
24 November 2007
Started reading Bates’s magazines.
23 November 2007
From now I am wearing my full prescription glasses in the evenings and my -6.5 “reduced prescription” contacts during the day.
19 November 2007
I went to the optometrist and her prescription for glasses is for each eye -7.75 and a -0.5 astigmatism, or more technically written:
R: -7.75, -0.5X180 astigmatism
L: -7.75, -0.5X10 astigmatism
I also had my first clear vision flash in the shower!
18 November 2007
I went to a pilates class and didn’t wear my glasses for the duration of the course. I am much more confident now about what I CAN see, so I will complete many tasks during the day (some exercise, morning shower/breakfast, etc) without glasses.
16 November 2007
Started this blog and already appreciate my eyesight for what it is.
14 November 2007
I first heard about natural vision improvement. Huge web search begins.
My current prescription for glasses that I wear is -8.00 in each eye with a -0.5 astigmatism correction in each eye. I often wear -7.00 contacts at work.
I will use “prescription” to denote what my optometrist would normally correct my eyes to. I will use “reduced prescription lenses” to describe the power of glasses and contacts that are below what she recommends. I will also remark what I test my vision to be on my own Snellen test chart with these lenses. I will report as much as possible, as I realize that both the diopter and Snellen methods for testing vision can be subjective. I think the Snellen method is more objective.
For my Snellen readings I am searching for the most objective method to read the chart and describe these in my posts under the “method” tag.. The furthest I can stand back from my chart is 10 ft because of the length of my room. I use this distance to test my eyesight when wearing glasses and contacts. I report the lowest line that I can read completely correct.
However, without glasses or contacts, I can only read the 200 ft line and the 100 ft line. I stand as far back as I can reliably read the line (so for these naked eye cases it’s still a bit blurry, for the 10 ft readings with glasses and contacts it’s not blurry when I read the lowest possible line correctly). I report my distance from the chart in centimetres.
Visual acuity is normally reported as a fraction such as 20/40. This means that at 20 ft, the eye sees what a “normal” person can see at 40 ft. If I can read the 10 ft line on the Snellen chart from 10 ft. I convert this to 20/20 vision. If I can read the 200 ft line from 5 ft, this is 5/200, or 20/800 vision. In summary: I report my distance from the chart in centimetres, and convert that to the equivalent reading at 20 ft.