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Old 09-12-2005, 04:58 AM
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Location: Ohio
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Shooting Glasses for the Farsighted?

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I'm 56 years old and my eyesight isn't what it used to be up close, particularly in dim light. I've been using reading glasses for awhile now, and I have to keep going to a little stronger perscription. I still see fine at a distance; it's just within 10 to 15 feet where everything is blurry.

This has been a problem for me shooting handguns in particular because the sights are just a fuzzy blur. It's really taken a lot of the fun out of shooting open sighted handguns. It's also somewhat of a problem with open sighted rifles in dim light, such as in the deep woods or shadows close to dusk. This is why I've been using scopes on several handguns for hunting, and a Scout Scope on a Marlin 1895G for a couple of years now.

I recently got a new pair of glasses which are bifocals with a slight magnification (1.25-1.5x) in the top half and something like 2.0-2.25x in the bottom half. I don't like the glasses real well, but I went shooting at my local range yesterday with three different open sighted handguns. Looking through the top half of the glasses, I found that I could see the steel plates at 20 yards fairly well, and the sights well enough to pretty consistently knock the plates down again.

The glasses are a little too strong on the bottom half to work real well for me, and I can't walk around with them on because I can't see what I'm stepping on or kicking into. Also, the glasses kind of make me feel dizzy if I wear them very long. For these reasons, I don't think I would want to try them for hunting. They do, however, seem to be a improvement for target shooting.

Does anyone else out there who is farsighted have prescription shooting glasses that work for them. If so, do you know what the prescriptions are?

Last edited by Raoul; 09-12-2005 at 05:01 AM.
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Old 09-12-2005, 07:18 AM
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Raoul -- At 49, I'm having the same problem you are. I'm normally nearsighted, but my contacts are to the point where I'm farsighted with them on, and and can see nothing at a distance without them. Plus, I have an astigmatism in my dominant eye, which leaves me seeing three rear sights when using a rifle. The only thing I've found so far for rifle shooting is to use a scope. For pistols, the one thing that works with target shooting is a pair of weak reading glasses; +100 or so, where the sights are clear and the target is a bit of a blur but still distinguishable. I think from this point, if glasses don't work, it's going to be a red-dot or low-power scope for some of my handguns. At self-defense distances, it's not so crucial. But for target or hunting, I may have to opt for a change of sighting options.

Good luck; if someone else has other suggestions, I'm open to it as well.
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Old 09-12-2005, 07:24 AM
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I'm not sure, but I think that there are contact lenses that do the very thing you are looking for. I know there are contacts that can correct astigmatism and there may be lenses that are built for farsightedness as well.

I myself am EXTREMELY near sighted, I can't read without correction unless it is about 6 inches from my face. I had bifocals until I started wearing contacts and now I can see better than I ever could with glasses. Plus now when I'm out hunting and hiking thru the dark timber my glasses don't fog up! I missed the bull of a lifetime due to fogged glasses and that's the biggest reason why I switched to contacts.

I would check with your eye doc but I'm sure there has to be something out there that can help you. You might even consider Lasik surgery , I'm seriously considering it.
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Old 09-12-2005, 09:06 AM
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If the glasses don't make you feel good or dizzy, don't wear them. You'll only end up stressing your eyes more and get headaches, etc.
One thing you could try is to get the stick on sunglasses to stick onto your shooting glasses once you figure out what is good for you.
If you want something a bit more elegant, you can get progressive bi/trifocals, where there isn't a sharp line between powers, but a more gradual adjustment - much more comfortable and I would expect much easier to use for shooting. But - some people really have trouble adjusting to this type of lens and don't use them.

If you haven't gone for an eye exam recently, go. You want to make sure any problems get caught early. Walmart and Costco should be the cheapest. You don't need a membership to get an exam at Costco (you do to buy glasses though). Sears and JC Penney also might have exams for cheap. America's Best always has specials, 2 pairs and an exam for $65 or something - but they will charge you a ton for upgrades (like bifocals cost extra, an anti reflective coating will probably cost $65, etc, etc)

Oh, and don't buy the insanely expensive glasses at the store. Try this place - it takes a bit longer but the glasses are a lot cheaper - basic ones cost $19, but you'll probably spend about $50-60.
You'll need a prescription (make sure to get your pupillary distance <-Very important for who need bifocals or a strong prescription, so don't measure it yourself - the machine they use is that one that looks like a pair of binoculars they hold up to your eye), but the prices are excellent compared to what you will see at some of the eye doctors places. Eye docs will give you the prescription if you ask, after all, you paid for it.
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Other stuff.
Antireflective / anti scratch coatings may "crack" if left in the sun or if you wear them into a sauna (yeah, yeah, but I can't see anything without them, I'm -8 in both eyes). Seems to be kind of random when it does happen - only affected 1 lens of mine, which Costco replaced, then I went to Italy and it happened to both shortly after I was at the Monte Casino memorial (it was extremely hot) It isn't noticeable immediately, but they eventually start to flake.
Apparently a very gentle etching cream can be used to take off the reflective coating without damaging the plastic (because once it starts to flake it doesn't look all that great). Try it if you want, but do it at your own risk. I've heard that armoretch worked for someone.

Costco - and most other places - will adjust your glasses for you free of charge. Try not to do it yourself.
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Old 09-12-2005, 12:16 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Wisconsin
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Where to begin. First, I am an Optometrist and field these types of questions from patients frequently. Your glasses are likely making you dizzy for optical reasons. You have always been "far-sighted," a term I hate. You are a hyperope. Your eye lacks convergent "power." The bifocal lenses you are wearing are correcting the hyperopia through the top part of the lens for precise distant viewing. The bottom is set for optimal focus at 16 inches. The dizziness is because you are wearing hyperopic correction full time for the first time in your life and it requires you to get used to it. The dizziness, strange depth perception issues, magnification changes etc. will resolve if you wear them continuously. Either that, or your Rx is wrong and you need to return to your doctor for a recheck. The best and easiest fix for presbyopia (the loss of focusing ability with age), and shooting is to attach a stick on apeture to your glasses. You can get these from Cabelas. You mount them on the dominant eye lens of your glasses creating an adjustable artificial apeture. At a setting as close to 2.4 mm as possible this artificial apeture will increase your depth of focus enough to clearly see front and rear sights of hanguns. You best option of all will always be a telescopic sight, because the light rays leaving an optical sight are parallel just as if they were arriving from optical infinity. Therefore, you should always use you optimal distance vision correction when using a scope. This equates to the top part of the lens for bifocal wearers. The diopter adjustment on a scope is for those not corrected by eyewear, so they can focus the scope for their Rx. This is an in depth subject that I can't cover fully in a post response, but if you have specific questions please feel free to message me directly. And as an aside, if your AR coat cracks in heat, it is because it is crap! Quality AR coats will not "craze" in any climactic conditions and the very best carry 2 year warranties against scratching and scuffing. Oh yes, LASIK for hyperopes is also crap, only consider it if you are myopic (near-sighted). I hope I have shed some light on the situation.
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Old 09-12-2005, 07:20 PM
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Try something simple for your shooting. Make a pinhole in a small piece of electrical tape and place it on the outside lens of your glasses for the dominate eye and where you can see the sights.

This will cause the eye to focus more sharply and your sights should become more clear.
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Old 09-12-2005, 08:23 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 511
Wanted to add that Walmart is $45 for a eye checkup for glasses, $65+ for contacts (bifocal, etc, contact appointment costs extra)

I was checking on gun prices and stopped by the optometrist's office.

BTW iDoc - the lenses that had the AR problem were fairly expensve B&L ones. Guess brand names don't mean all that much anymore.
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Old 09-13-2005, 11:27 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Ohio
Posts: 151
I want to say THANK YOU to everyone for your responses!

kdub, I did try the stick on electrical tape with a small hole punched in it a few years back - kind of like a poor man's Merit optical device. It did work O.K. for punching paper.

shootinIdoc, I'm going to send you a PM. I really appreciate your input.

Thanks all!
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Old 09-15-2005, 07:15 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 68

Your right, brand names today are usually more for marketing products than conveying quality. The B&L AR was not produced by B&L, but was a licensing agreement for marketing, just like Kodak ophthalmic lenses. Made by Signet armorlite but branded with the Kodak name for sales purpose. You will see the same thing at Lenscrafter's with their "new and exclusive" Scotchguard AR coat. It is produced by AO Sola, sold by them as Teflon brand and licensed to sell at Lenscrafters as Scotchguard. The only difference is that it is the best American made AR coat. The top three AR reflective coatings currently produced for spectacles are:

1) Crizal Alize - France
2) Zeiss Carat - Germany
3) Teflon/Scotchguard - the greatest country the world has ever known the USA

There is however variation in the coatings for rifle scopes and binoculars, but that is a subject for another thread.

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Old 09-21-2005, 01:33 AM
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I sent you another PM yesterday.
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Old 06-14-2011, 01:46 AM
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At 68 I have the same problem and love my ELVEX RX-300 READING SAFETY GLASSES IN POLYCARBONATE CLEAR LENS +2.5 DIOPTER. You can get whatever Diopter you need, currently I need 2.5.
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Old 06-20-2011, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by questor View Post
At 68 I have the same problem and love my ELVEX RX-300 READING SAFETY GLASSES IN POLYCARBONATE CLEAR LENS +2.5 DIOPTER. You can get whatever Diopter you need, currently I need 2.5.
I've got either those same ones or something very similar, I find that the magnifying part is just not positioned well for me at all. But I shoot just fine without my glasses, for some reason I need reading glasses for anything else, but shooting.

Go figure.
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Old 07-05-2011, 01:11 PM
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Stick on lenses. Using a drop of water, they adhere to your safety glasses for focusing on the front sight. Reusable. I've been using a pair (only one lens at a time) for years.
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Old 07-20-2011, 09:51 PM
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Ask your eye doctor about getting the right lense corrected so you can see the front rifle sight or handgun sights clearly in you outstretched hands. Have the left lense corrected for distance vision. If you wear the glasses for about a week your brain will adjust to where it uses the left eye for distance and the right eye for shooting. I had something similar when I had Lasik done for my right eye only. My left eye would allow me to read and my right eye allowed me to see at distance. Unfortunately, I wasn't thinking about shooting when I had the Lasik procedure. It left me unable to see the sights on my handgun or rifle sights with my right eye. I should have had the left eye corrected for distance. Now 10 years later I need reading glasses for both eyes anyway. My point is you don't have to have the same prescription in each eye. Get the glasses that allow you to see your sights with the right eye and distance with the left. Maybe shootinIdoc can comment on this way of correcting your sight.
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Old 07-21-2011, 08:00 AM
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I use over the counter reading glasses in the lowest or next to lowest diopter to shoot, they work well.
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Old 12-10-2014, 08:26 AM
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My brother needed some shooting glasses for his job and he came across He spoke to a knowledgeable optician who recommended several brands including Randolph Engineering, Wiley X, 7-eye, Oakley, and Smith.
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Old 12-17-2014, 02:44 PM
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Take you gun to the ophthalmologist with you, tell him you want your sights to be sharp in your arms length shooting stance. Then get yourself a pair of glasses made tor shooting only.
I was able to get a set of magnifiers that work great at arms length to bring my front and rear sight in focus. Works for me.
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