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Tradslinger

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Reply with quote  #1 
A few years ago I was attempting to relearn shooting a recurve again but seemed to be having some difficulty at depth perception. I thought that I had cataracts that were getting worse so I went to the VA for an eye exam. They told me that yes, I had cataracts but that they were the least of my problems. Turned out that I had wet macular degeneration in my left eye which required shots. I immediately began taking extra vitamins and other suppliments including coconut oil. This has helped enough to keep me from further shots so far but time will tell. My left eye is about like 20/50 I believe (very lousy at best). My right eye is 20/20 with glasses with no shots needed. My left eye perceives enough to be helpful in seeing large objects etc to my left but no clarity. This influences my depth perception especially in walking on uneven ground. My question is whether or no I should just wear an eye patch while shooting and even hunting? I shoot instinctive off the shelf. I firmly believe that focus is critical for hitting the smaller target. I have seen pictures of older guys with one eye that seemed to have done alright hunting. 
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Orion

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Reply with quote  #2 
Hmmmm.  Why would you take your left eye out of play?  It may not help with depth perception much, but without it you will have even less depth perception.  If you get blurred vision while aiming, you could try closing your left eye to complete your aim and shoot  Some folks do close one eye to complete their aim, but really no need to put a patch over it, IMO.  Disclaimer.  I'm not an optometrist.[biggrin]
fdp

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Reply with quote  #3 
  Agree with Orion
chuckc

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Reply with quote  #4 
I sometimes have dominance issues. When it is a problem, i close the correct eye as i am drawing, so i have some preconcieved depth perception, but no dominance issues.
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ChuckC

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I did too !

Madison, Wisconsin.   Public land hunter
Old3Toe

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Reply with quote  #5 
Why take an eye out of play? Well.... Speaking as one blessed with really good vision, I’m not a huge believer that depth perception is all that necessary or always preferable. Even with two very good eyes I find myself closing (even heavily squinting) one eye quite frequently when shooting. Why? Mainly because of adverse lighting to cut down glare or offset funky backlighting.

Food for thought as you seek a solution. Good luck

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Fallhunt

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Reply with quote  #6 

My vision impediments might not be at all relevant to yours, but here I go anyway.

I am very right side dominant with poor ambidextrous ability.  I am also very right eye dominant.  I can point my finger at an object with both eyes open.  When I close my left eye, my finger does not move and remains pointed at the object.  When I close my right eye, my finger is no longer pointing at the object.  My finger (depending on the distance of the object) appears to jump about 2.5 feet to the right.

When I was age 40, retinal damage caused me to lose greater than one quadrant of vision in my dominant right eye.  Initially this caused a great deal of problems.  It took me tremendously longer to read.  A semi-truck traveling down the highway would appear to magically momentarily vanish by driving into oblivion while reappearing again as it drove back out of the alternate universe about a semi-truck length further down the road.  Yes, this could be a source of amusement.  But it was also possible to take a quick glance down the road at exactly the right moment without seeing an oncoming semi-truck.  Similarly stationary objects like a lamp shade or the front & rear sights of a rifle seem to have big bites missing from them.

I eventually learned that these visual illusions occurred anytime I could only see an object with my damaged right eye.  As an example, if the A-pillar of a car window blocks the vision from my left eye, then I could dangerously pull out at the wrong time.

Depth perception?  It seems possible that my visual infirmities could adversely affect my depth perception.  However, I have not observed anything yet that I have recognized as confirmation of depth perception problems.

My solution is to always ensure that both eyes clearly see an object.  For archery this means to directly face my target at all times without any sideways turning of my head towards the target.  I cannot maintain “correct” shooting form while preventing any sideways turning of my head towards the target.  I have found that it is much more important for me to equally view the target with both eyes rather than to maintain correct shooting form.

My only advice would be to experiment in order to learn how to compensate while relaxing, enjoying, and not worrying about doing things differently than everyone else.


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Deno

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Reply with quote  #7 
Tradslinger

I went through exactly the same thing. Wet maculer degeneration.  The VA doesn't give the shots, only ARED vitamin pills.  I went to an eye specialist/ eye surgeon outside the VA for the bi monthly shots which cleared the problem.  Still have the Cataracts.  My last VA visit for glasses required a stronger lens for the left eye.  That worked out the blurred left eye especially driving at night.   I've always shot both eyes open.  My advice would lean toward the shots.  They helped it from getting worse.  Left eye is still a tad blurry but without the shots it would have been disaster.

Deno

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Tradslinger

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Reply with quote  #8 
Actually I have been getting the shots from the VA in Little Rock for over 2 1/2 years. My vision has improved a tiny bit but no where near enough to see very good. The brain is amazing and seems to balance out what I see but my clarity seems to suffer when trying to see smaller things. makes stairs a nightmare so I use a walking stick a lot. I have always had great periphial vision and even though it is lousy on my left side, it is still better than a sitck in the eye LOL. And yes I take the AREDS too. I guess that it has to do with how far the problem has advanced before getting it addressed. I was getting the shots every 5-6 weeks. There is nothing like realizing how valuable something like sight or walking is until they are reduced. Thanks for all of the input 
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aromakr

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Reply with quote  #9 
I too am a VA patient, I would request seeing a  Doctor outside the VA to get a second opinion.

Bob

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Tom M

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Reply with quote  #10 
I would do as Bob says. VA may give you some flak but stick to your guns. You may have to get hold of an advocate but the hassle far out weights the consequence. My father in law had the “dry” version so I am somewhat familiar with your issues. 
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eddie c

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Reply with quote  #11 
I have a deteriorating cornea erosion condition in both eyes, one treated successful, other so-so.
I'm with the group that suggests Find A Good Doctor.

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fdp

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Reply with quote  #12 
 Maybe Larry Hatfield will come along.

 He has experience shooting this way.
Comanche1

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Reply with quote  #13 
I have had basically one eye vision all of my life. Vision in my left eye is actually worse than yours. I keep them both open and get what use I can from the left eye.
silverarrow

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Reply with quote  #14 
I had a severe left eye injury back in 2008. They saved my eye, but it’s not much use in seeing distance. When I wore an eye patch, it was a chore not to stumble over obstacles due to depth perception. Once partial vision returned I still had issues with depth perception, but I was much more in balance, if that makes any sense.
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Bob Barnes

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Reply with quote  #15 
I know where you are coming from... in 2013 I was unstringing a recurve using the push-pull method and the tip got my left eye.  It about destroyed the retina and I might have half vision in it.  At first I wore my eye patch and had a terrible time shooting.  I have always shot bows and firearms with both eyes open, and now I just shut my left eye when I shoot.  It has taken awhile, but I shoot as well as I use to shoot and keep venison in the freezer.  I tried shooting with both eyes ope as suggested and it's really hard to pick a spot when you are seeing "1.5", as in almost "double", of everything.  I suggest just shutting the left eye when you shoot and you'll be fine.  The other problem I have/had is shooting with glasses on, but I have found a pair of wire rim glasses that don't get in my way when I anchor and I'm getting better at shooting with them on.  I can and do practice without my glasses, just in case I loose or forget them, but it's harder to pick a tiny spot when you can't see one.  😉  You can do it...
Clydebow

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Reply with quote  #16 
I did what happened to Bob yesterday to my right side. It missed my eye. I'll post a pic on a thread today.
Bob Barnes

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Reply with quote  #17 
Glad you missed your eye...it was a $35,000 learning experience for me.  The surgeon said he had only seen it happen one other time and that man actually died from his injury.  I use a stringer for recurves now.  The OP is asking the same questions I asked myself, but it gets better with time.
Tradslinger

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Reply with quote  #18 
Yes, Bob, very similar in many ways. glad that you were able to adapt and overcome. When I cock my head slightly to anchor and shoot, I realized how much my left eye played in seeing my spot. And yes, a half inch target tends to grow some in size from the distortion from my left eye. It was even worse before I began taking all of the suppliments with the AREDS 2. I have had to stop in the middle of a shot to reposition my glasses because it is now more critical. What I can still see with my left eye is still giving me valuable information, no doubt. I guess that it means a lot of reprograming of my brain again.  Having had a ruptured brain aneurysm and numerous strokes back 24 years ago, I have done this with just about everything including talking. I have to go back and proof read every thing that I write for spelling or leaving words out. But, I am a super blessed man with an awesome wife. As you already know, it can be a little frustrating to know how good you once were and now have to work hard again to just get decent LOL. I appreciate your input as I do the others. Jerry  
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"But a man drew his bow without taking special aim and struck the king of Israel through the joints of his armor." 1 Kings 22:34
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