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Eye sight question

1821 Views 17 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  derek244
I haven't been to the shooting range in months now for medical reasons. :bawling: Well, first I had a shingles infection in my right eye back in late May. Don't ask me how. The docs said it was just one of those things. Why do some people get cancer and some don't? Just bad luck. Since then, I've had 4 surguries for retina separation. Still up in the air if I'll be able to see out of my right eye. Thing is, I'm right handed and right eye dominate. If my right eye problems should be permanent, should I lean to shoot left handed and shoot with my left eye or is it possible to shoot right handed and aim with just my left eye? :confused:
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Both are very real options. I've seen people shoot with their right eye while shooting left handed and vice versa. I also know a shooter that changed over completly. Where there is a will there is a way. Good luck.
 

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I'm right handed, left eye dominant. Before I knew any better I used to close my left eye and shoot with my right. Then I started closing my right eye and shooting with my left. Now I shoot with both eyes open holding the gun in my right hand in front of my left eye.

It might be easier to learn to shoot right handed left eye then to teaching yourself to shoot left handed. Put a little piece of tape on the right side of your shooting glasses that blocks the sights from view with your left eye closed. Keep you head up in a normal position and get in a good solid shooting position. Now move the gun in front of your left eye. I do this by turning my shoulders slightly to the left independent of my head and rest of my body. It will take some getting used to, but it might be easier then learning how to shoot with your left hand.
 

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It's not a major problem but you might just have to do what cross-dominent shooters do. There are three options:
1) Tilt your head so that the dominant eye is lined up with sights. Problem is that it skews perception somewhat because instead of your eyes being level, they are at an angle.
2) Close weaker eye which forces the other one to be dominant. This obviously reduces your field of vision somewhat and requires coordinating eye closure with sight alingment and it also reduces your depth of field.
3) Just move the gun over horizontally so that it's in front of the dominant eye. This is my preferred fix but the others work as well so just see what suits you best.

Any of the above will be substantially easier than learning to shoot wrong-handed (but it's still a skill that is well worth having)
 

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Yakko77 said:
I haven't been to the shooting range in months now for medical reasons. :bawling: Well, first I had a shingles infection in my right eye back in late May. Don't ask me how. The docs said it was just one of those things. Why do some people get cancer and some don't? Just bad luck. Since then, I've had 4 surguries for retina separation. Still up in the air if I'll be able to see out of my right eye. Thing is, I'm right handed and right eye dominate. If my right eye problems should be permanent, should I lean to shoot left handed and shoot with my left eye or is it possible to shoot right handed and aim with just my left eye? :confused:
First off, I am sorry to hear about your problem. If you are able to go to the range without further medical concerns, pick up an eye patch for your right eye, and practice with your normal grip and stance and train your left eye to become dominant.

Depending on how long you have been shooting, it may take some effort to change your eye dominance, but after you acclimate to it, you should be just as good as you were prior to your problem.

I have several students who are Right Hand Master with Left Eye Dominant. It really isn't a big problem, and you will acclimate faster with this method than if you try and change your master side (i.e. Right hand to Left).

Good luck.

Bryan S .Williams
Williams Associates Protective Services, LLC
www.wa-protective.com
 

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Years ago the three things, rear sight, front sight and bullseye started to blur. I have a friend that is an optometrist that served as an ordnance officer. He made me a pair of target shooting glasses that made things clear out to 50'. Then the cataracts came, right eye the worse. I shoot left eye and right hand until the Doc says it's time to harvest the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you everyone for the advise. When I am medically cleared and my eye heals enough from my most recent surgery, I will give everything you suggested a try. Till then...
 

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IIRC Matt Burkett has a blurb on this in either his tapes or his website. Just shift the gun 3" or so left in your grip and use your left eye. No need to crank your head over or anything like that.

I imagine laying your head over would be the solution if you use a weaver stance. For an isoceles type stance shifting the gun will be easy.
 

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Not to take this OT, but you said
I had a shingles infection in my right eye back in late May. Don't ask me how. The docs said it was just one of those things.
That's not quite true. Shingles is a form of the chickenpox virus. You obviously had chickenpox previously (most likely as a child; its' very serious if one contracts it as an adult). You recovered from it, but the virus remains in your system (dormant) permanently. You had contact with someone who had a "live" illness of chickenpox (I don't remember how long [3 days?? a week??] but within a short timespan), that contact 'revived' the dormant virus in your system. It takes the form of shingles, and you got the most serious 'version'. There are 3 locales where this can strike (and so far as we know, it is random)--the orbital nerve (as I recall it named), the ribcage (chest and back just below the nipple line), and the hip. As I recall, the locale is specific to one side of the body (that is to say, it will only develope on one side of the body per incident). Shingles can reoccur, unlike mumps, where the affliction is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

When the 'orbital nerve' is the location, it can obviously be very serious, and eyesight is threatened. I hope your recovery is complete.
 

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Since this has nothing to do with 1911's this thread will probably be closed soon, so this may be of interest to all of you.

If you have had Chicken Pox, you ARE eligible for a case of Shingles, the virus settles in your nerves

Usually Starting at or after age 50.

There is currently no single reason for this to occur, "SOMETHING" just happens and you have a case of the Shingles.

4 days after my 50th birthday I had a case, and it is one of the most painful illnesses you will ever have.

Most of you have seen the movie Lethal Weapon, the scene where Mel Gibson is being tortured with the sponge and electricity, Well the only way to describe shingles is to refer to this scene, if you can imagine what it is like to have thousands of little electrical shocks on the surface of you skin 24 hours a day then you might come close to what it really feels like.

I can not imagine what a case in an eye would be like, but I really hope and pray you get better and with minimal damage to your eye.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Re: moredes & patrickj

The docs knew it was something herpies related. The only way to know for certain was to take a sample from the back of my eye. Well, I was having eye problems enough without doing something invasive like that. Blood tests confirmed it was some type of virus and the treatment was the same regardless, some serious doseage of anti-virus meds at first directly into my blood and then orally with Valtrex, all VERY expensive. :eek:

Also, I did have a VERY minor case of chicken pox when I was 10 but you could literally count the number of spots with just your hands and they went away after a week. I'm not sure if that had something to do with me being vulnerable to shingles at age 26. Also, I thought shingles was supposed to hurt or at least be uncomfortable. I was in absolutely no pain. However, I would've traded pain for a return of my vision in heartbeat. :(

I realize this thread is unrelated to 1911's but this situation was effecting my shooting so I thought it appropriate. I see the eye doc in a couple hours as I post this. Hopefully it'll be good news. Till next time... :)
 

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I'm right handed, left eyed and started off shooting right/right, then switched to left handed for long guns and shot right handed moving the gun infront of my left eye. When I switched over with the shotgun/rifle my shooting improved immediately (doesn't really apply to you, but might help someone else). I recently went to left handed pistol as well and after a few semi-odd sessions I quickly got the hand of it and haven't looked back since. If I were in your shoes, I'd try to switch hands and see how that goes, it's just a lot more straight forward and natural to line the left hand up with the left eye.

If you do a search in one of the other areas I went much more in-depth on the subject, I'll try to find it for you.

good luck with your recovery, hopefully you won't need any of our advice.

Found it:

http://www.1911forum.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=53541
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well, still blind in the right eye but the left eye works well enough to shoot and the doc has pretty much cleared me for everything. Been to the range once already and I hope to go again today or tomorrow. I still shoot right handed with the left eye but rifle shooting required left handed shooting. Thanks for all the advise and well wishes! :)
 

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Yakko77 said:
Well, still blind in the right eye but the left eye works well enough to shoot and the doc has pretty much cleared me for everything. Been to the range once already and I hope to go again today or tomorrow. I still shoot right handed with the left eye but rifle shooting required left handed shooting. Thanks for all the advise and well wishes! :)
Glad to hear you can go shooting again!! I am in the same boat with only one good eye to shoot with----and to see with.... My best advice while at the range is to wear GOOD thick safety glasses with side panels.... Lots of things are flying around at a gun range and you sure don't want to be taking any chances of hurting the good eye..... Safety first!!

Just my 2¢
 

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Thanks

Yakko77,
Thanks for raising this issue. Like others, my shooting eye is less than 20/20 even with corrections and I have difficulty seeing just one sharp image of the front sight. (Can be challenging deciding which of the multiple images to use for aiming.) After reading the posts above, I went to the range today and tried shooting with right hand/left eye. Results were encouraging. Although the eye/muscle coordination was not as good as right/right, at least I was seeing only one sharp image of front sight. Now I know that if my right eye deteriorates below a usable threshold I can continue shooting with left eye and right hand.
Good shooting and be safe.
LB
 

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sounds familier....

I am no expert on shingles, but here's my story...

I had chicken pox when I was about 10 years old. I suffered like all the other kids that spring!

10 years later, I got them again. They were extremely painful, and I did not sleep for 5 days straight. With no health insurance, I never went to the doctor. I will assume it was shingles. It looked just like the pox, but about 5 times worse! I don't think you need to be that old to get them.

As for the eye situation, I REALLY feel your frustration. I considered myself a decent shot until last August, that's when the crap hit the fan. My eyesight went from 20/15 to 20/80....overnight it seemed. 20 different tests, including an MRI, and no one can explain it. My right eye shooting is a thing of the past.

I am a reserve police officer, so I have spent the last 6 months learning to shoot left eye dominant. It is not as easy as it sounds. I am almost ready to qualify again after about 3,000 rounds fired.

Good luck man, and keep shootin'. :)
 
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