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  1. #1
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    Nov 2008
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    Default Red dots and cataracts

    Thought I'd put this here, it seems the most appropriate place...

    Cataracts were diagnosed in both eyes about six years ago. Had the left eye done (it was the worst) in March 2018...it stabilized at about 1.25 diopters farsighted, they had to do a piggyback lens in November 2018 to fix that. Right eye was done Monday.

    The eye doc steered me toward a monofocal lens, for best acuity. The good news is that it works...the bad news is that it works for one distance. Normally set for infinity (or > 20 ft), as it buys you the largest range of clear vision. I see fine up to about 4 feet away. The closer, the worse. Reading glasses are a must for close-up work. And while cheap readers will work, I plan on getting a proper set of reading glasses made up. Probably computer glasses as well. Eyeglasses are like any other optics, you get what you pay for.

    FWIW, the other two options for a replacement lens are multifocal and accomodative. The multifocal lens basically has two prescriptions in it, one for distance and the other close up. Put both into the retina and let the brain sort it out. Optically, it's trash...and for a precision shooter like me, completely unacceptable. I checked with various bullseye shooting fora, that was the general conclusion. An accomodative lens is the right solution, but the only one on the market today I was steered away from (though it was initially my first choice) due to problems getting it to stabilize. "The gift that keeps on giving", the doc called it. There is a second generation of accomodative lenses under development that should fix the problem, I'm thinking that my 65th birthday present to myself will be a pair of those.

    FWIW, if they use laser surgery, it costs more, but they can fix astigmatism while they are in there. Which is dreadfully convenient. Worth paying for, in my opinion.

    Now, what does this have to do with shooting? Without glasses, I can barely make out iron sights on a pistol (and I've got one on the arm of my chair as I write this). In the precision disciplines, the gouge number is 0.75 diopters nearsighted, to bring the resting focus point right on the front sight. Which is fine for shooting on the range, but not much help on the street. But a red dot? Eureka! Fortunately, I've got them mounted on the G17, 19, and 43. Really ought to dig out the S&W ASP and give the Guttersnipe a try.

    Short form: If you're diagnosed with cataracts, get RDSs mounted on your carry guns. If you're shooting some sort of formal competition, you can get glasses set up to let you shoot irons for that...but on the street, I think your best bet is a red dot, backed up with good point shooting. And big iron sights with a wide rear sight notch would probably be a good idea. American sights are garbage in that regard. The Soviets put a lot of effort researching this, and figured that the optimal ratio of light-to-front-sight-to-light was 1:2:1. Most sights on American guns are made for young eyes.

  2. #2
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    I am in the cataract boat so to say. But at 75 that is not unusual. I have some astigmatism & use to be near sighted and I greatly appreciate the information that you posted. In a year or so I need to get it done. I seem to be in good health, BP is normal, I heal well, and look a few years younger than my actual age. Over the years my far vision has improved as my near vision get worst due to focusing changes. I do not use reading glass and in fact normally take off my glasses to read.
    One who hammers his gun into a plow plows for those who do not....Unknown
    ...at the end of the day its not about anything else but YOU AND YOURS..... Gabe Suarez
    ....WANT not NEED is what America is all about. ..... Gabe Suarez
    Its not about how fast you can load, but about how well you can shoot ..... Someone being saved by a speed load is not something that has happened with any regularity. Gabe Suarez

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    507
    I'm in my mid-50s. Which is painfully young for cataracts. I suspect this is the price tag for six years in the Mojave Desert doing flight testing.

    The last year, I'd gotten by without glasses at all. Left eye was good for distance work like driving, right eye OK for reading. But after a catastrophic performance at the MLAIC Can-Am shoot in late July, it was obvious that the time for fixing the right eye had arrived. My surgeon took one look and said, "Yep, it's time."

    I'm torn as to what advice to give. On the one hand, if you need to get cataract surgery in the next year or so, don't hesitate. You will be shocked at how much deterioration you were putting up with. On the other hand, if you can hold out five years, there's a new generation of accomodative lenses in the pipeline that should blow everything currently on the market out of the water.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike OTDP View Post
    I'm in my mid-50s. Which is painfully young for cataracts. I suspect this is the price tag for six years in the Mojave Desert doing flight testing.

    The last year, I'd gotten by without glasses at all. Left eye was good for distance work like driving, right eye OK for reading. But after a catastrophic performance at the MLAIC Can-Am shoot in late July, it was obvious that the time for fixing the right eye had arrived. My surgeon took one look and said, "Yep, it's time."

    I'm torn as to what advice to give. On the one hand, if you need to get cataract surgery in the next year or so, don't hesitate. You will be shocked at how much deterioration you were putting up with. On the other hand, if you can hold out five years, there's a new generation of accomodative lenses in the pipeline that should blow everything currently on the market out of the water.
    I am over due for an eye exam. I will find out if i can put surgery off for a little while in part to find out more and also about the future of improved accommodative lens
    One who hammers his gun into a plow plows for those who do not....Unknown
    ...at the end of the day its not about anything else but YOU AND YOURS..... Gabe Suarez
    ....WANT not NEED is what America is all about. ..... Gabe Suarez
    Its not about how fast you can load, but about how well you can shoot ..... Someone being saved by a speed load is not something that has happened with any regularity. Gabe Suarez

  5. #5
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    Am I the only one who sang the title of this thread to the tune of "Guitars and Cadillacs"?
    ===========================
    Quantum materiae materietur marmota monax si marmota monax materiam possit materiari?

  6. #6
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    Apr 2011
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    If you need it, get it. Don't wait, get it done. If new lenses come out in a few years that blow away the current generation, well, you can always consider a replacement. Time is precious, as is the quality of your life.

    Why people put these things off is a mystery to me. Then again, my situation was a little different: In 2004 I had surgery to repair a detached retina -- I was slowly going blind until they figured out the cause. That was followed by a cataract implant to install a corrective lens. I didn't know this, but some detached retina surgeries require installation of a silicone band around the eyeball, which changes the focal length of the eye. I had a eyeglass lens the size of the bottom of a Coke bottle and I still couldn't focus on anything further than my nose. The doc said "You have a cataract in that eye" -- *wink-wink* -- "So we'll put in a corrective lens while we're at it." The wink (and use of the word "cataract") was to get the insurance company to pay for the corrective lens. In about about an hour I went from seeing fuzzy blobs in front of me to clearly focused people. Amazing.

    It's fifteen years later and the lens is still awesome -- any distortion I have is related to the damaged retina, which unfolded across the macular (center) portion of my eye. My retinalogist gave me a steroid injection (in the eyeball at her office ... fun stuff ...) which helped the retina heal and smooth out. It ain't perfect, but it's a miracle compared to where I was headed.

    Funny thing, though ... since I have one artificial lens and one original/organic lens, the world looks pure and white in my left eye and yellowish in my right. Weird.

    Of course, your doctor should be your ultimate adviser. If you don't like or trust him/her, ditch'em and find somebody else. My doc is a miracle worker as far as I'm concerned.
    Last edited by Redneck Zen; 10-23-2019 at 07:41 PM.
    Redneck Zen
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Anthony View Post
    Am I the only one who sang the title of this thread to the tune of "Guitars and Cadillacs"?
    Its all your fault now...
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Anthony View Post
    Am I the only one who sang the title of this thread to the tune of "Guitars and Cadillacs"?
    You are not alone, song was stuck in my head all day yesterday.
    “Every day the same thing...variety”

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck Zen View Post
    If you need it, get it. Don't wait, get it done. If new lenses come out in a few years that blow away the current generation, well, you can always consider a replacement. Time is precious, as is the quality of your life.

    Why people put these things off is a mystery to me. Then again, my situation was a little different: In 2004 I had surgery to repair a detached retina -- I was slowly going blind until they figured out the cause. That was followed by a cataract implant to install a corrective lens. I didn't know this, but some detached retina surgeries require installation of a silicone band around the eyeball, which changes the focal length of the eye. I had a eyeglass lens the size of the bottom of a Coke bottle and I still couldn't focus on anything further than my nose. The doc said "You have a cataract in that eye" -- *wink-wink* -- "So we'll put in a corrective lens while we're at it." The wink (and use of the word "cataract") was to get the insurance company to pay for the corrective lens. In about about an hour I went from seeing fuzzy blobs in front of me to clearly focused people. Amazing.

    It's fifteen years later and the lens is still awesome -- any distortion I have is related to the damaged retina, which unfolded across the macular (center) portion of my eye. My retinalogist gave me a steroid injection (in the eyeball at her office ... fun stuff ...) which helped the retina heal and smooth out. It ain't perfect, but it's a miracle compared to where I was headed.

    Funny thing, though ... since I have one artificial lens and one original/organic lens, the world looks pure and white in my left eye and yellowish in my right. Weird.

    Of course, your doctor should be your ultimate adviser. If you don't like or trust him/her, ditch'em and find somebody else. My doc is a miracle worker as far as I'm concerned.
    All surgery comes with risk. If it an emergency jump in and get it done. Otherwise proceed with caution. Doctors make their living in many cases from doing operations. They pay big bucks for insurance to take care of their financial liability for their mistakes. Usually cataracts reduce and distort the transmission of light into the eye. Really depends on the severity as to when you need to get the operations done.
    One who hammers his gun into a plow plows for those who do not....Unknown
    ...at the end of the day its not about anything else but YOU AND YOURS..... Gabe Suarez
    ....WANT not NEED is what America is all about. ..... Gabe Suarez
    Its not about how fast you can load, but about how well you can shoot ..... Someone being saved by a speed load is not something that has happened with any regularity. Gabe Suarez

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