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Prescription glasses

Discussion in 'General Competition' started by CaptainXL, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. CaptainXL


    Nov 20, 2009
    I have been wearing tri-focal glasses for a number of years and am will be going for an eye exam and new glasses soon. I am not oppsed to getting a second pair of prescription glasses to use just for shooting (not every day use).

    How should potential prescription shooting glasses be different than normal everyday wear glasses?

    Should prescription be different so that "focus" distance is optimal on the front sight? Should I go to a bi-focal instead of a tri-foacal? Tint or no tint?

    Probably best answered by someone of the forum that is an Optomitrist or someone who already has and wears prescription "shooting glasses" ----
  2. waktasz

    waktasz Gamer Scumbag

    Aug 10, 2002
    Philly Area
    Front sight focus is the most important thing.

    I've also heard some people who have their dominant eye lens set for looking at the sight, and the other lens set for distance.

  3. HK Dan

    HK Dan

    Mar 27, 2008
    The focal polint should be higher than with normal vision
  4. PEC-Memphis

    PEC-Memphis Scottish Member

    Oct 19, 2006
    Doh ?
    Have your dominant eye corrective lens optimized for the distance to the front sight with a single diopter lens. For action pistol games, your head position changes all of the time - you don't want to be bobbing your head up/down/all around to find the correct diopter to see your sight.

    You don't want to "just be able" to focus on the sight - you want your eye to be in focus as soon as the sight gets to the correct position. With some lenses, I could focus on the sight, but not a "relaxed" focus (where the ciliary muscles in the eye are relaxed for distant vision). I had to wait for the sight to come into focus. Also, if I was tired and/or there were poor lighting conditions, I had greater problems achieving an acceptable focus on the front sight.

    Take your gun to the doc's office if they will let you. That's the best option, but you could measure the eye to sight distance, and have the doc use a "near vision" card chart at that distance.

    For the non-dominant eye you can go with a bi-focal distant/near lens (progressive probably being the better option).

    If you shoot indoors, I'd avoid a tint. You want as much light entering the eye as possible. For outdoor shooting, if you have a tint that has worked well in the past, give that a shot. I avoided the whole tint issue by using contact lenses and ESS shooting glasses with interchangeable lenses of different/no tints.


    At about 50 years old, I noticed gradually declining scores. It was frustrating until I figured out that I wasn't seeing the sights as fast as I had in the past. Then it was a difficult process to figure out what corrective lenses worked best (along with getting an optometrist to understand why I needed the combination of lenses). At 54, my last SSP classifier was my best so far - less than 3s from master (101.??).

    I solved the problems with contact lenses - a mono vision in my dominant eye and a bi-diopter in my non-dominant eye. In my case a -4.00(R) -4.75+2.00(L). Although this was optimized for shooting, I found out that the computer screen at work is about the same distance as the front sight - my shooting "set-up" turned out to be my best option for every-day/all-day use.


    Just my thoughts. Not a Doc, don't play one on TV, do have degree in clinical (similar to biomedical) engineering though.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2012
  5. CaptainXL


    Nov 20, 2009
    Thank you for the replies.

    After posting my question yesterday I did some online research and found a company that custom makes prescription glasses for a number of specific sports including the shooting sports.

    They have custom made glasses (prescription or non-prescription) for shooting sports broken down into different shooting types.
    Pistol -
    Rifles -
    Shotgun -
    And they have glasses made for archery too.

    I am going to get a copy of my particular prescription from my optomitrist and then contact this company.

    Again, thanks to all that replied to my question.
  6. SCmasterblaster

    SCmasterblaster Millennium Member

    Sep 24, 1999
    Hartford, Vermont
    I get my glasses from the local VA hospital. I am somewhat near-sighted (from my Japanese heritage) and the VA glasses dept knows that I am a shooter. SO I got an extra pair of impact-resistant glasses.
  7. frankt


    May 9, 2005
    I have been wearing glasses most of my life and for the last ten years or so I have been wearing progressive lens.
    When I got to where I could not see my front sight clearly I bought a pair of the ESS ICE glasses. They came with three sets of lens. I then added the RX carrier. I took them to my Eye Doctor who is a shooter and he made a set of lens for the RX insert.
    Non dominant eye is standard progressive, dominant eye is standard progressive but a bifocal is inserted in the upper portion that I look through when shooting. I can see the sights clearly and still see the targets pretty good too.
    Prices have gone up since I bought mine but my total with glasses,insert and eye exam was $180.
    I can switch between clear,yellow or green in just seconds.

    They can also do non dominant eye normal and dominant eye for close up but there is such a difference in my left/right eye power that didn't work for me.
  8. emb111


    Sep 5, 2012
    Same issue here, but so far I've been ok with high viz sights and contacts. I don't shoot bullseye, just IDPA at our local club. If I want a clear focus on the front sight, I bought a cheap set of cheaters at WalMart. If you insist on prescription lenses, your doctors should be able to help you out. It is not that unusual of a request.
  9. bulm540


    Jun 18, 2004
    I'm getting mine from decot next week.
  10. CaptainXL


    Nov 20, 2009
    I took your advice and went to Walgreens and bought a cheap pair of +3.00 diopler cheaters. They are working just fine. I use them only when I am on the firing line and replace them with my regular glasses as I leave the firing line. Surprisingly, my accuracy did improve slightly wearing the off-the-rack cheap cheater.