Eye Fatigue

EddieE

Sergeant
Mar 20, 2017
270
8
18
#1
How do you battle eye fatigue?

Was shooting today at paper, trying to figure out which ammo my gun likes best. My strong eye got so tired that the image would be clear one minute and blurry the other. While aiming, I would see the target clearly, then completely blurred out. I was shoot at 100 yards, 20x magnification with a Mueller 8-32x-44. Barrel was pretty warm as I was switching from shooting paper to steel and running the bolt pretty fast. I kept having to look away from the target to "clear" the cobwebs.

Is this a function of crappy scope? Mirage? My eyes? I just had an eye exam and everything is fine.

 

demolitionman

Sergeant of the Hide
Feb 26, 2013
1,118
349
83
Ohio
#2
After looking through a friends Gen 2 Razor comparative to my inexpensive yet nice fixed 12 power, I believe eye strain is definently reduced using higher end optics. The crispness and ease of focus for my eye with the Gen2 Razor was instantly easier for me get focused and stay focused without that "in and out" blur I get that you described so well. The best way to fight your issue in the meantime would be to have a perfect cheek-weld height, a properly adjusted reticle for your eye, adjust paralax out, and back down from max magnification whenever possible. Good luck man. I think some people are more sensitive to eye strain when using scopes than others.
 
Apr 4, 2013
363
89
28
#4
I used to have that problem until Greg at Primal Rights (Orkan on here) pointed out my problem. I was trying to force my breathing to slow down. When you do this, the first thing to go is your vision and it's exactly as you described it goes blurry. I had the wrong idea that my breathing had to be slow before sending the shot...it doesn't.

So check your breathing. Don't force your breathing to slow down, let it be natural and if you are breaking your shot at the bottom of your natural respiratory pause, then break the shot there. Start training yourself to not think about breathing, just let it be. It's tough to do at first but keep working on it and if that is what you were doing your blurry vision will go away.

One thing to add, turn your magnification down and it might help in conjunction with natural breathing. When you're turned up high you see more movement in your reticle, and your brain starts to have issues. One of those issues is your brain thinks you're breathing too hard and that's when you start overcompensating by forcing slow breaths and other things that cause inconsistencies like over loading the bipod for example. You need to slow your brain down and relax and you can help by turning down your magnification. Good luck!
 
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Sheldon N

Blind Squirrel Finds a Nut
Sep 24, 2014
2,542
383
83
Pacific Northwest
#5
How do you battle eye fatigue?

Was shooting today at paper, trying to figure out which ammo my gun likes best. My strong eye got so tired that the image would be clear one minute and blurry the other. While aiming, I would see the target clearly, then completely blurred out. I was shoot at 100 yards, 20x magnification with a Mueller 8-32x-44. Barrel was pretty warm as I was switching from shooting paper to steel and running the bolt pretty fast. I kept having to look away from the target to "clear" the cobwebs.

Is this a function of crappy scope? Mirage? My eyes? I just had an eye exam and everything is fine.
You mention running the bolt pretty fast and that the barrel was warm. You can get mirage off your barrel which will distort the view through the scope because of disturbing the air right in front of the optic. Happens even more when the weather gets cold due to temperature differential between barrel and ambient temp.

That's why F-Class shooters use those funky looking mirage shields.
 

Greg Langelius *

Resident Elder Fart
Aug 10, 2001
5,252
574
113
Arizona, good place for me...
#8
At 71, with the onset of cataracts, eye fatigue is a big issue. Add to that COPD and a 4500ft ASL elevation, and breathing can become a touchy subject as well.

First thing, don't panic, and don't give up. If you don't have regular eye checkups, or have a relationship with an Optometrist; an appointment might be in order, because if your vision isn't especially good, or well corrected, the first evidence is eyestrain and blurry vision when concentrating on a sight picture.

I also think that Barrel Mirage could be a candidate for remediation.

Breathing needs to be addressed. My biggest problem is that when I'm concentrating, sometimes I just forget to breathe. Stay oxygenated; sometimes a bit of hyperventilation can set your system up so that when you go into respiratory pause for the shot, that pause can stretch out a bit.

I use that scope as well, have three of them, and the price can be misleading. IMHO, it's a pretty good scope. Because it's not so pricey, I can have three (and soon, maybe more) of them. I like to standardize on my systems, and the scope lends itself to that. No, it's not a Vortex (or better), but my previous goto scope was a Tasco, and this scope brings me to such a better level that I think I'll stick with it for awhile. At my age, that could be for the duration.

Greg
 
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308pirate

Gunny Sergeant
Apr 25, 2017
2,902
437
83
#9
Many good inputs here

In no particular order
1. Parallax not set correctly
2. Reticle not focused correctly
3. Mirage
4. Holding your breath for too long
5. Shooting with only one eye open
6. Lower quality optics
7. Overstaring the shot. Make it good and send it in 1 - 2 seconds, don't spend 10 - 15 seconds dressing it up.
 

sandwarrior

Gunny Sergeant
Apr 21, 2007
4,401
266
83
in yooperland
#10
Many good inputs here

In no particular order
1. Parallax not set correctly
2. Reticle not focused correctly
3. Mirage
4. Holding your breath for too long
5. Shooting with only one eye open
6. Lower quality optics
7. Overstaring the shot. Make it good and send it in 1 - 2 seconds, don't spend 10 - 15 seconds dressing it up.
Something to add, body position and eye position in relation to the scope. Thinking the old term "shoot through the center of your eye". Shooting prone is a lot more strenuous than shooting from a bench in most cases as your eyes are rotated upwards in prone vs. looking level sitting on a bench. A higher bipod/rear bag arrangement will allow you to hold your head more vertical and therefore your eyes more naturally level.
 
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FatBoy

Chris Hayes, Nashville TN
Jul 29, 2001
771
209
43
44
Nashville, Tennessee
#11
a big part eye strain has to do with neck position. if your neck isn't a natural position and you have to crane it up or down to get a good sight picture, it impedes blood flow and can cause eye strain. Also, using a natural color blinder for bench shooting can help. Shoot with both eyes open so your shooting eye doesn't open the pupil wider as a response to closing the non-dominant eye. Make sure you're not fighting eye dominance too. I know several people, my daughter included, who are right handed and left eye dominant. If they close the dominant eye things go to shit most ricky tick. She has to wear a blinder when she competes.
 
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Greg Langelius *

Resident Elder Fart
Aug 10, 2001
5,252
574
113
Arizona, good place for me...
#12
When we close the non-aiming eye, the brain instinctively opens the pupil of the other eye to compensate for the reduced light being processed by the combined retinas.It's part of the evolutionary adaptation to permit better night vision.This increased pupil diameter reduces resolution sharpness in the open eye.

This is why shooting with both eyes open tends to improve scores.

I find that keeping the two eyes open is difficult; I think because my brain had difficulty dismissing the information coming from the non-aiming eye. When we trained alongside the Marine Corps Teams at Quantico, they gave us a trick to use. We applied Scotch Magic Tape to the center of the eyeglass lens for the non-aiming eye. This ghosted the image coming from that eye without reducing the light intake to that eye. The difference in improved image sharpness was noticeable.

Eye fatigue is caused in large part by the eye muscle that compress the lens as part of the focusing process. When the eye ages, it become progressively longer front to rear, requiring these muscles to work harder, and they tire sooner, aggravating eye fatigue. In essence, we all become more and more farsighted as we age. This is the condition that corrective lenses address. Also, as the lens itself ages, it hardens, making the focusing process more tiring and less effective.

I have both conditions in spades. My distance glasses are + diopters, and my readers are + but stronger yet. The lens has also hardened to the point where it is effectively rigid; so much so that I cannot adapt to bifocals and must carry two pairs of glasses with me. I started as a teenager with some nearsightedness, but as the eyes aged and become elongated, that actually reversed.

Now they say I'm also developing cataracts. It never ends...

This is why I emphasize that us older shooters should be keeping in touch with a good Optometrist.

The last time I was at the VA for my eye exam, they informed me about the cataracts and said I could get the corrective eye surgery from them when the time comes. I think it's getting pretty near.

Greg
 
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Greg Langelius *

Resident Elder Fart
Aug 10, 2001
5,252
574
113
Arizona, good place for me...
#13
Just had my annual eye exam at the VA yesterday. and the results were (and weren't...) surprising.

My prescription had changed a lot from the previous one; enough so that I had (additional) doubts about the previous one. I asked the Doc to see if he could find earlier prescription than that, and he said he couldn't without taking a lot of time, because they were done in NY and we are now in AZ. The last one was done by an Intern, and I think she screwed the pooch on it, because my vision went significantly downhill beginning with when I put the last set of glasses (still the current set) on.

I will be getting completely new glasses (distance and near) sometime in the next 6 weeks. I think they will probably be a radical improvement. BTW, my cataracts continue to advance, but the Doc isn't making any recommendations yet.

Greg
 
Mar 31, 2017
9
5
3
#14
Let me write a note of encouragement to those who are suffering from cataracts; the surgery is quick & easy, and aside from some irritation afterwards, relatively painless. In fact, the pre-op eyedrops hurt more. Now, the really good news- it's absolutely AMAZING! They did one eye at a time, with a couple of weeks in between.

After having one eye done, I was astonished at how much clearer, sharper the vision in that eye was, but especially compared to the other eye. The blur & discoloration in the other eye was terrible, now that I had a good eye to compare it to. It was kind of yellowish/greenish, and of course, fuzzy. With both done, I happened to look up one evening, and was blown away by the number of stars I could see; I never realized just how much acuity I had lost.

Now, I did have some issues with detached retinas later, but even still, I'm amazed. They were corrected to better than 20/20, color rendition is perfect, and I can actually see those targets at 500M (and hit 'em).
 

Greg Langelius *

Resident Elder Fart
Aug 10, 2001
5,252
574
113
Arizona, good place for me...
#15
Thank you for the encouragement. My Wife went through the Surgery a couple of years back, and her experience mirrors yours. I'm looking forward to being able to shoot better after the surgery, but that's not a current option.

The prescription I've been working with over the last year was so bad, the best I could manage this week on the eye chart was a 20/80. The new prescription looks to be giving me 20/20 back again. Because I am also Diabetic, the Doc gave me a super retinal exam and pronounced my retina a about perfect. That's a big Whew!

I expect my new glasses to arrive around early February.

All of the scopes I've bought in the past couple of years have 30mm tubes and side focus knobs. They are Bushnells and Muellers, and the rifles they are on do seem to be especially accurate.

Greg
 
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Jun 27, 2014
29
3
3
Arley, Alabama
#16
When we close the non-aiming eye, the brain instinctively opens the pupil of the other eye to compensate for the reduced light being processed by the combined retinas.It's part of the evolutionary adaptation to permit better night vision.This increased pupil diameter reduces resolution sharpness in the open eye.

This is why shooting with both eyes open tends to improve scores.

I find that keeping the two eyes open is difficult; I think because my brain had difficulty dismissing the information coming from the non-aiming eye. When we trained alongside the Marine Corps Teams at Quantico, they gave us a trick to use. We applied Scotch Magic Tape to the center of the eyeglass lens for the non-aiming eye. This ghosted the image coming from that eye without reducing the light intake to that eye. The difference in improved image sharpness was noticeable.

Eye fatigue is caused in large part by the eye muscle that compress the lens as part of the focusing process. When the eye ages, it become progressively longer front to rear, requiring these muscles to work harder, and they tire sooner, aggravating eye fatigue. In essence, we all become more and more farsighted as we age. This is the condition that corrective lenses address. Also, as the lens itself ages, it hardens, making the focusing process more tiring and less effective.

I have both conditions in spades. My distance glasses are + diopters, and my readers are + but stronger yet. The lens has also hardened to the point where it is effectively rigid; so much so that I cannot adapt to bifocals and must carry two pairs of glasses with me. I started as a teenager with some nearsightedness, but as the eyes aged and become elongated, that actually reversed.

Now they say I'm also developing cataracts. It never ends...

This is why I emphasize that us older shooters should be keeping in touch with a good Optometrist.

The last time I was at the VA for my eye exam, they informed me about the cataracts and said I could get the corrective eye surgery from them when the time comes. I think it's getting pretty near.

Greg
I'm right there in age with you. My take is,,,getting old is not for sissies.
 
Feb 15, 2005
109
28
28
Mission, KS
www.donttouchme.com
#17
One I am not sure anyone mentioned explicitly is getting proper occular focus. If you haven't heard that trick, when adjusting to your eye, you only focus to get the reticle sharp for a few seconds. Look away for a few seconds, then go back to it. It will take 10-12 cycles of this to be sure you are focused.

Why? Because your eye will try to compensate. And, it'll do okay at this. And then... it will get tired of it. Similar mechanism for being just out of objective focus (parallax knob), being at the edge of the eyebox, etc. Your eye will work fine for a while, then gets tired, then stops working so well.

Also, mark the occular setting. Many (most?) scopes make it too easy to change this setting, so easy you can just bump it out of alignment. But your eyes don't change much, so it should be locked, and always witness marked to be verifiable.
 

Monk Medic

Rifleman. Deo Soli Gloria.
Feb 4, 2018
116
52
28
Maine
#18
One more - Hydration.
Excellent points mentioned, I picked up some myself. Allow me to add another.

In my experience one of the first things to be effected by dehydration is fine vision. All of us could us could use more water intake, on and off the range. And here’s the thing, the water you drank yesterday/last night is what’s hydrating you this morning and today.

It’s neigh impossible to catch up the same day with vision if you allow yourself to become dehydrated on the line. I’m like the next guy, hate to take those woods visits to drain the proverbial vein, but I know if I’m not hydrating the day before and morning of, my vision gets blurry in the early afternoon.
 
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