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Old 05-02-2005, 03:15 PM
Beartooth Regular
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Post Eye dominance: Overcorrecting the "weak" eye?

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I'm right handed and left eye dominant. Usual problems shooting shotguns and rifles. The possible different problem is that my right eye is noticeably weaker. Its astigmatism is worse and the acuity is nowhere near my left eye. This is strange, because--from an eye exam standpoint--it is only marginally worse (-.75 diopter in right and -.50 diopter in the left). A couple questions:

1. When you get your eye prescription, are they assuming they're correcting each eye assuming both eyes are open? i.e., Is your "worse" eye somehow being benefitted by your strong eye? (I know nothing about optometry, so I'm taking a stab.)

2. Since I can't seem to learn how to shoot long guns left handed (trust me, I've tried....with instruction....everything), could an optometrist make me a pair of shooting glasses that might not have any correction on the left (good) side but "overcorrects" on my right side? I just want my right eye (with my left eye shut) to have the same acuity that my left eye has when my right eye is shut.

Any help here is appreciated. I'm getting into 3-gun competition, and this problem is killing me.
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Old 05-02-2005, 04:24 PM
The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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If you scroll down a bit on this page to the "Similar Threads", you'll find a discussion on this same topic in the archives.
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Old 05-02-2005, 08:25 PM
Beartooth Regular
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That thread is helpful, but I'm still curious if others with cross dominance have the same acuity issue that I do (dominant eye=strong, other eye=weak). Also curious if corrective lenses can help my weak eye.
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Old 05-03-2005, 04:57 AM
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA
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Have you had this conversation with your optometrist? I am sure they can give you excellent guidance
The Lord Bless You

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Old 05-05-2005, 01:12 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: FL
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I have exactly the same problem and have detailed in some other threads what I have done to correct it.

To answer your first point, when they examine your eyes they test each one individually to get the best correction for each eye. The strong eye naturally helps the weak one when you have both eyes open, and no correction is in place. I doubt that any optometrist is going to overcorrect your nondominant but weaker eye so it will perform better when the other is blocked. This will only lead to headaches, literally. Besides, as long as both eyes are correctable to 20/20 you're seeing the same anyway.

I have outlined here before a product that I use called Magic Dot that forces your non dominant eye to see down the barrel when shooting strong side, but allows you to keep both eyes open while shooting. It works well for me in both sporting clays and hi power competition. You could do this on the cheap by using scotch disappearing tape in the same location on the lens of the glasses of the dominant eye. You will have to play with it to get the location correct if you opt for the tape method. The Magic Dot kit has some moveable circles that correctly locate the dot, and the dots come in different colors to match shades of shooting glasses lenses.

One thing that I have noticed is that whenever a red dot sight or a scope is mounted in the scout position, i.e. on the barrel of a bolt action or forward of the carry handle on my Bushmaster shorty, I can use my left, or dominant eye, and it doesn't seem to affect POI.

i hope all of this helps, and welcome to the Society of Cross Dominance.
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Old 05-05-2005, 06:48 PM
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I know a guy at my gun club who is right handed and blind in his right eye, he has his stocks carved out on the left side to allow his left eye to line up on the scope/sights
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Old 05-05-2005, 08:49 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Houston, AL /North Slope, AK
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I have been right handed and left eye dominate all my life and it is a blessing. Now my dad did say to my mom "There is something wrong with that boy" when he saw me shoulder my first toy long gun on my left side.
I have been in the "Have gun will travel" business my whole life and being able to see the ejection port of the 'right handed' long guns (pumps, levers, and autos) has saved my ars several times. I can detect and asseess the problem much faster than a right handed shooter. And when I do the transisition from long gun to hand gun it is faster and more natural than the all right or all left handed shooters.
Now hunting with a bolt action was alittle more difficult, but I used a RH Mod 70 (and others) until about 1990 when I sold a LH bolt to a customer and helped him sight it in. After those few shots I kept trying to reach the bolt with my left hand, IT WAS THE NATURAL WAY TO DO IT. Well I sold or gave my RH bolts away and bought or had built several LH bolts and have never looked back.
As for your questions about corrections. I have a weak right eye. I sounds very simular to what you described above and the correction made by glasses will not bring it even close to the left eye so the use of the left eye is required. I guess I can't understand why you can't learn to shoot the long gun with your left shoulder. I still shot my hand guns with my right hand and just use my left eye to sight with.
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Old 05-17-2005, 05:07 PM
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fremont - With regard to correction...my right eye is alot weaker, and even with an appropriate corrective lense, my vision with that eye is not so hot. What I mean is, while my left eye is easily corrected to 20/20, my right eye cannot be improved nearly to that degree. I shoot lefty, with good results, and always have. Good luck.
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Old 05-17-2005, 05:25 PM
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Location: Washington State
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My eye Doc. also shoots and understood the problem. His solution was to give me contacts with the close up focus in the left eye and the distance focus in the right. I know it sounds goofy but it does work. Your mind simply uses the eye that you need for the job that you are doing. There is no depth of field loss. It took me about a week for my brain to do the job. . . I guess it is a slow learner.
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Old 05-17-2005, 08:59 PM
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Thanks, everybody. I have an appointment the end of next week. My O.D. is a good guy who listens. I'll whine to him and report back.

And, if I have to shoot left-handed, you are going to hear some world-class whining....!!
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Old 05-18-2005, 06:37 AM
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It took me about a week for my brain to do the job. . . I guess it is a slow learner.
Ummm, mine never did...wonder where that leaves me!
The Lord Bless You

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Old 05-18-2005, 07:20 AM
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Richmond, VA
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Originally Posted by fremont
And, if I have to shoot left-handed, you are going to hear some world-class whining....!!
Hey!! We lefties have to stick together! I shoot lefty and am left eye dominant. That's the way I always was. Even way back in USCG bootcamp when qualifying on the M-16, I shot it lefty. I couldn't hit the broadside of a barn shooting righty - even with an eye patch on my left eye! The USCG allowed lefties to shoot lefty (with a little shroud thing that they clipped to the ejection port, so you wouldn't get biffed).

Then again, maybe I'm a little weird.... I am left eye dominant and shoot lefty. But:

Handwrite: left.
Baseball bat: right.
Throw baseball: left.
Throw football: right.
Golf: right.
Tennis: right.
Kick soccer ball: left foot
Get mad and punch someone: left fist (not that I would do it)
Play guitar/bass/music instruments: right
Play drums: left (drum set is switch other way around)

....what can I say - I'm a freak!

Butch A.
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