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Accessories Cataracts


by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

cataract surgery
My answer
After surgery
Something special

cataract surgery

Today’s topic is one I’ve been sitting on for several months. It was sent in by reader Ed, who says, Tom,

   I have a topic I’d like you to cover. 

I had cataract surgery a few weeks back, I had distance lenses inserted. So I’m pretty much healed up now and back to 20/20 with glasses. 

Here’s the hard part. How do I shoot with glasses? Should I use my all-around glasses or close up ones? Should I adjust scope focus with or without glasses, and then deal with the AO dials? 

I know you’ve had eye issues so I’m hoping you have some good insight here. 



My answer

Well, Ed, I had cataracts removed from both eyes several years ago and my experience was that my distance vision improved after the operation. Like you I had distance lenses inserted. My eye doctor told me that sometimes the lenses that do both distance and closeup don’t work as well as people expect and she recommended I didn’t spend the money for them. So I just keep wearing bifocal glasses as before but with improved distance vision. In my most recent eye examination my eyes tested 20/20 with my glasses. My right or sighting eye tests 20/20 without glasses and my left eye tests 20/25 without them, so my prescription isn’t a strong one.

But I had eye problems years before cataract surgery. A three and one-half month period of being fed through an intravenous tube following several operations in 2010 left me dehydrated in early 2011. That affected my eyes severely. I couldn’t see the sights on handguns. I had to wear reading glasses with 2.50 diopter correction just to see the front sight. But with those glasses I was able to shoot again.

People say the target seems blurry to them when they focus on the front sight. Try doing it with reading glasses on sometime! It’s really blurry! But as long as you can see the front sight in relation to the rear notch, you can shoot.

So that’s my answer to Ed — shoot with your regular glasses on. When I shoot pistols I still use reading glasses with 1.25 diopters correction, but the rest of the time I use my regular glasses for everything.

That goes for scopes, as well. Just leave your regular glasses on and do everything through them.

After surgery

After cataract surgery it takes a little time for your eyes to “normalize” again. At first they are sensitive to the greater amount of light coming through. But after a week you should be back to seeing things as before, only they will be clearer. Many things will much better, such as driving at night. Oncoming headlights won’t dazzle your vision anymore, and during the day you will see things more clearly. That will include your intended targets. Premium replacement lenses can correct other vision problems such as astigmatism, too, so you could get a real vision boost from the surgery.

Something special

Now I have something special for you. For years people have asked me where I got my long shooting sandbag. I got it from a guy at a gun show and he didn’t have a business I could refer people to, so no help there. Then I noticed that Pyramyd AIR sells Caldwell shooting bags. They don’t have this one that’s called the Tack Driver so I found it online from other dealers.

It sells for just over $30. Fill it with crushed walnut shells and you have a sandbag with half the weight and all the support of the real thing. 

Tack Driver
Caldwell’s Tack Driver is a large sandbag that will steady your long guns at the range.

I was going to do a whole report about this bag, but I thought it might sound a little thin. So I’m just telling you what to look for and you’re on your own! My other bag is now more than 10 years old and is showing signs of wear from use. This one should be the last shooting bag I need to own.

Stock Up on Shooting Gear


That’s it for today. Sometimes I just need to get these things off my chest.

author avatar
B.B. Pelletier
Tom Gaylord is known as The Godfather of Airguns™ and has been an airgunner for over a half-century, but it was the Beeman company in the 1970s that awoke a serious interest in airguns. Until then, all he knew were the inexpensive American airguns. Through the pages of the Beeman catalog, he learned about adult airguns for the first time. In 1994, Tom started The Airgun Letter with his wife, Edith. This monthly newsletter was designed to bring serious reports about airguns to the American public. The newsletter and Airgun Revue, a sister magazine about collectible airguns, was published from 1994 until 2002, when Tom started Airgun Illustrated -- the first American newsstand magazine about airguns. Tom worked for three years as technical director at AirForce Airguns, the makers of the Talon, Condor, and Escape precharged air rifles. Today, he writes about airguns and firearms for various publications and websites. He also makes videos, and you'll find short clips embedded in some of his artices on Pyramyd AIR's website. Tom is a consultant to Pyramyd AIR and writes under the name of B.B. Pelletier.

63 thoughts on “Cataracts”

  1. BB,

    I’m good on serious sight issues,.. so far. Tri focals for reading with very little distance correction. Until a few years ago, bi focals worked fine with the same for distance. I began to notice arms length vision was getting off, hence the tri focals. The optometrist said that after awhile, that arms length vision will suffer after years of wearing only close up/reading correction glasses. Right now, I shoot with no glasses which works just fine. Making notes or loading pellets can be a bit tricky though and often will use the glasses.

    As for shooting bags,.. I picked up a set of filled Caldwell’s at a local farm store. They work good, but I can see where the bag you have might work better. One thing that was crazy was that they were stuffed so full of walnut shells (crushed, like sand) that they were hard as rocks. Luckily, you can take some out, which I did. Much better now as they have a bit of squish/grip. I recommend trying a set .. or try out someone’s they have to see what will work best for you, your style and rifle. I can see where several types might be required.

    I have this MTM rest, which I recommend.



    • Hi Chris,

      Unless I’m wrong, Tom already has the Predator rest, which is why I bought one too. Not only that, but a photo of him using it made me realize I’d been using mine backwards!


      • Joe,

        Yea, I know he featured one in the past. The recommendation was for everyone else.

        Backwards???? How would that even be possible?

        I did a few things to mine,… 1) Replaced the front turret/rest lock screw with a longer one (more handle) 2) Glued in a metal strip for the lock screw to tighten against 3) Added a Velcro over strap to go over the rifle when walking away 4) Inserted captive Riv-nuts into the rear feet holes then used 3/8″ cap screws with added knob heads,… adds rear elevation adjustment 5) Took the 2 screws that hold the front rest/pad on and added 2 post with protective coating. They come up just perfect on either side of the Red Wolf bottle and adds some extra stability.


  2. BB,

    Those are some really nice bags. My bags are made from denim pants legs and filled with plastic pellets I picked up at work. Not as heavy or as fine as sand, but work great. Sometimes I will take two and strap them together with a nylon belt like your Caldwell bag. It is indeed a great support. I have wanted to get one of those Caldwell bags, but these have done so well for so long that I ended up making another set and gave the old ones to my son-in-law.

    After surgery – fourth sentence

    Many things will (be) much better, such as driving at night.

  3. Heres the bag I use. Got it at PA.


    It works great. Can’t remember exactly how old it is. Probably around 7 or so years old or more even. But now the center brown part is more of a darker brown where the guns set and whatever is inside is very smooth. It works nice now because it actually conforms to each gun I shoot. It keeps the gun from canting as well as keeping it from moving forward or backwards. The guns never rest on top of the bag. They set down in the bag about halfway into the top portion of the bag.

    Maybe I’ll take some pictures of what the bag looks like after I set each gun on it later when i get home from work.

  4. BB,

    Been doing a lot of shooting at longer ranges from the bench using a bipod or my MTM Predator rest and I’m looking for something more stable.

    The bags would do but I would need to shim them with bricks or wood blocks to a comfortable hight. What do you think about the Cadwell “Rock” rest?


    • Hank,

      I like the Caldwell Rock rest. It adjusts quickly for elevation and since I shoot uphill, downhill and straight away during the same shooting session it’s appreciated. There are sharp points on the feet to grip your shooting bench. I didn’t want my bench gouged by these feet so I clamped a small piece of plywood on my bench with pre-drilled holes to accommodate the sharp points on the feet.

      Caldwell sells this rest WITH a rear bag. It’s a package deal that’s hard to beat. Do a search for CALDWELL ROCK DELUXE SHOOTING REST AND REAR BAG COMBO

    • Hank,

      I have the Rock rest also. I replaced the pad with a wood rest that precisely fits my RAW at my desired location on the stock. That really locks things in.

      Most of the time I use one that cost 30 dollars us at big 5. It is simple light and handy. Of course it has been modified. It now can be adjusted for a wider range of widths and for cant.


  5. After trying and being frustrated with stacking smaller sand bags I broke down and bought a Caldwell Tack Driver. To me, it has been a game changer. Instead of trying to carry half a dozen smaller bags I just grab the one bag and I am out of the door. Also, when I was stacking bags, they were always sliding around. That doesn’t happen with the Tack Driver. The Tack Driver is also stable enough to leave you gun sitting pinched in the top of the ears of the bag unsupported.

    I have several Caldwell products including the Caldwell Moving Shooting Gallery, a Stable Table, the Tack Driver, and a few other products and have been happy with all of them..

    David Enoch

    • David,

      My caldwell shooting gallery is my favorite airgun target for fun. I wired mine with a remote kit purchased at an auto parts store so I don’t have to go downrange to turn it on and off. Also replaced the heavy target paddles it came with with those that Ben at Steel Plinkers made in the shape of chickens and ducks.

      • I talked with Ben about making those lightweight paddles and Ben sent me several different ones as prototypes before deciding which ones to put into production.
        I miss being able to buy from him. I have 4 of his quads, 4 head resets, and at least 4 or the regular resest silhouettes, a quad spinner, a bell target and several other things he made for me.

        My favorite’s have to be the head resets. It is just fun to knock the head off the animal silhouettes and and reset them.

        I wish I could give him a couple grand and have him build me a whole carnival style shooting gallery with whatever he could dream up.


  6. I highly recommend Goggles4U for glasses. Vastly cheaper than the local optometrist. They always have a deal, too, of say 40% off, 2 for 1, etc. Get multiple pairs for computer, shooting, or any special need — the cost is minimal. PD is the only thing not on your prescription but is easy to measure.

    • Joe,

      I looked the site over for awhile. Unless I understand wrong, you must have a prescription from an optometrist? So,.. this just saves you from buying them through the office?

      Some of my family has used Zenni with satisfactory results.

      The other thing to consider is,.. by going into the office, they do very extensive testing which can catch other issues. Sorry for the questions,… I am a bit new to this concept.


      • For $45 you get an eye exam and refraction. Instead of $200 to $600 more for glasses, you enter your prescription just as at Zenni and save hugely — $12 to perhaps $60 for bifocal, tint, auto-darken, etc.

        For iron sights glasses, add .75 to 1.0D to distance and subtract that from reading.

    • Yogi
      Plus it opens your pupils when you shoot.

      I can definitely shoot better with sunglasses on a bright sunny day. Even when the sun is behind my back. For me it sharpens up and actually brightens my vision and the target. Well as long as the target isn’t in the shade.

  7. PA does sell the Caldwell Tack Driver bag BUT it’s prefilled (over-filled):


    I like these bags because they’re well made and have a thick outer skin. The “grippy” inside does not work well with springers but throwing a silk pillowcase (buy it used at a thrift store) laid over this grippy material allows a springer to move during the shot cycle.

    Crushed walnut shells are a good fill material but I prefer LIZARD LITTER that can be purchased at pet stores.

  8. Here are some pictures of my shooting bag after I rest different guns on them.

    This first picture is with no gun rested and the bag fluffed up before I put a different gun on the bag rest.

  9. And here is the modded Maximus after I rested it on the bag. Most here on the blog know I don’t have the factory stock on it. I’ll post a picture of the Maximus after this picture. But it tests good also on the bag. You can see that half round impression on the bag. That’s the air gauge. It helps lock the gun in good too.

    • Heres the Maximus so you can see what the gun looks like compared to the bag.

      And the bag works well with my TX 200 and FWB 300. No artillary hold for me. It has worked well with other springers that ain’t as tame as the TX or FWB also.

      If anybody gets one of the Monkey bags. Remember it needs some breaking in first before you get the results I get.

  10. Mr. Gaylord:
    I too have had cataract surgery in both eyes. And I thought it would be the end of my competitive shooting. But I was wrong. I went to Dr. Randy Watsky in Brighton Michigan.
    What a wonderful optometrist he is. With his permission, I’ve come into his office with an air rifle, set up a 10 meter range and he was able to see exactly what’s involved in 10 meter shooting. After surgery, he knew exactly what I needed to best correct my right eye vision (I’m right eye dominant) and wrote a script for my glasses.
    My eyes, my rifle and I were ready for the 2020 shooing season. But Covid-19 came along and matches went away. Never the less, I highly recommend that if you’re a shooter and your eye professional permits it, ask to bring a rifle to an eye exam so they can tailor your glasses to your shooting.
    With Dr.Watsky’s permission I’m able to say that shooters can contact Dr. Watsky at 810-220-4499 for more shooting sports eye care related advice.
    William Schooleey

  11. B.B.,
    This report “hit home” with me. Although I have yet to have eye surgery, I had vision problems abut 15 years ago; I was having trouble seeing the front sight on pistols, so I went to the doctor and was told that I had “presbyopia” (farsightedness caused by loss of elasticity of the lens of the eye, occurring typically in middle and old age).
    While that is usually corrected with bifocals, my doctor said he had good success putting a contact lens in just one eye, generally the left, for close distance reading, and allowing the right eye to do the distance work.
    I told him I was a pistol shooter, and would prefer to have the corrective lens in my right eye, since I was right-handed. I had brought a bag of handguns (firearms and airguns) with me to show him my issues. My doc was not a shooter, but he’s a pretty cool guy When I told him what was in the bag, he locked the door, then had me take out the guns and explain the rudiments of pistol shooting to him.
    I talked about the importance of being able to focus on the front sight, and how two of my pistols that should have been the easiest to shoot, because I had painted their front sights a greenish yellow, were actually the most difficult to shoot.
    Doc: “Why did you paint the sights that color?”
    me: “I read that’s a great color for the human eye to detect.”
    Doc: “Yes, the human eye can DETECT that color well, which is why it’s used on school signs and such, but it cannot FOCUS on that color…oh, this is really interesting; we’re both learning something.”
    Like I said, he’s a really cool doctor. He worked up a contact lens for my right eye that allows me to shoot pistols or rifles, yet also allows me to read. Having one near-sighted eye and one far-sighted eye seemed really odd for the first few days; but after two weeks, my brain got used to integrating the images (just like the doc said); and I’ve been shooting fine (with periodic lens updates) for the past 15 years.
    I hope this may be of use to anyone else that suffers from presbyopia; and thank you for touching on the subject of vision, especially as related to our ability to continue to enjoy the shooting sports. =>
    Take care & God bless,

    • Dave, great story. Did your optometrist friend happen to mention on what color our eyes focus best? If it’s something other than black, I may have to invest in different color printer ink. And you may have to repaint your sights. 🙂

      Does anyone out there with bifocals or trifocals have any issues focusing on their sights or a lining up a scope reticle when holding a rifle in various shooting positions?

      I have read that dedicated prescription shooting glasses are ground differently because depending on if you are shooting rifle or shotgun you may be looking out the top half of the lens rather than the middle or bottom half. Does anyone else have that experience?

      Being super-nearsighted and now presbyopic, I feel like I’ll need dedicated glasses for reading, computer work, and shooting. I can only wear contacts on vacation because staring at a computer all day makes my eyes dry out and very uncomfortable.

      • ” I can only wear contacts on vacation because staring at a computer all day makes my eyes dry out and very uncomfortable.”

        When riding my motorcycle, that dries them out the most, so I use glasses that seal around the eyes to prevent the drying effects of the wind. However, in addition to that, I use re-wetting drops every morning and every night.

        On color, my optometrist mentioned that the orange front sights would be easier to focus on than the yellow-green, and also that jet black would work well; and I have noticed that when I use a match or lighter to put carbon on the back of the front sights, I can focus on them easily. =>

  12. B.B., Yogi & Gunfun talked about wearing sunglasses to help see and slow down future problems. What about the Yellow Shooting Glasses? I have some and on a sunny day, they are very bright. So I don’t wear them on sunny days. Can they do harm on days like that?


    • Doc,

      Not related, but they do seem to help at night while driving to see better and cut glare. I used them about 95% of the time while driving in the dark in the early AM on 2 lane and 4 lane split roads.


      • BB,

        My blue eyes as well. One day at work, a fellow told me that is common knowledge. Brown eyes can tolerate bright light much better. At near 59,…it was (new) news to me! 🙁


        • B.B. & Chris,

          My eyes are blue too. Bright sunlight really bothers me when I’m swimming or on the water. The Dr. told me years ago, it’s because my eyes were blue. I will squint when no one else is. I wonder if that is why I used to see so good in the dark (when I was younger, that is no longer the case lol)


          • Doc,

            I am not a baseball cap wearing person,.. or any hat for that matter,… but I do find a cap does help when mowing and such. Although I probably should,.. I am not much of a sun glass person either. Gotta’ keep that full head of golden? (ok,… grey) locks on display along with the 2 foot pony tail,.. right? Never know when that 20 year old bombshell might happen along,.. eh? 😉

            I was lucky,… I guess,… as in my family,… 3 sisters and 1 brother all wore glasses in grade school. I did not need them until 50 or so. I have always been told that I must be “special”. That is good,… right? Right???………. 😉 LOL! 🙂


          • Doc
            Same here. My eyes are blue and have to squint. I have flown RC airplanes for a long time. Definitely need good sun glasses for that too.

            I found that those fishing sun glasses work good.

  13. If reader Ed is reading this, I’d like to know how poor your distance vision is without glasses, since your surgery.

    I had LASIK surgery to correct my distance vision to about 20/25 and now require cheaters/readers for close in work. That makes for a very ugly sight picture, as you know. What I do to make the front sight more focused is use a full sized lens style of reading glasses ( not the little half glasses that you look over the top of when you’re not reading ) but they are only about half the strength of my normal readers. It blurs the target some, but makes the sights much more clear, especially the front post. If your distance vision still requires a strong prescription this may not work.

    Shooting in bright light helps as well since it causes your iris to “stop” down your pupil, which improves depth of field, just like in photography. Improved depth of field results in things lined up away from you being in focus at the same time. The rear notch, front post and target, which are all strung out away from your eye, will all be in better focus, though dimmer. There are also attachments for your glasses that allow you to position a perforated disc in front of your sighting eye. It acts as a “stop” to get an even better depth of field than the constricted iris alone could provide.


    • Half
      I can’t do what your talking about. I would have a migraine for a week with one day of shooting.

      I know people talk about different lenses to focus different ways at a fixed distance target.

      Tell me what you do if your out woods walking with especially a air gun and encounter different distances and trying to spot your next target.

      Your eyes have to work at different distances. No time to go back and forth with different glasses.

      • GF1,

        I see that it would be a problem if someone was unwilling to slide the reading glasses up on their head while they seek out the next target. I don’t have a choice in the matter though. My vision causes the gunsights to just look like a big glob if I don’t wear readers, even though the target is clear and focused at all distances. If I look through my regular readers they make the sights clear enough but the target is a big blurry mess and I can’t even tell what I’m shooting at. The half power readers are a compromise that makes the rear notch a little blurry, the front blade sharp, and the target a bit blurry but still recognizable. I don’t use different glasses for different distances, so maybe that’s why I don’t get headaches. What kind of glasses do you wear?


        • Half
          I have astigmatism. So focusing at different distances can be problem. But for the most part my distance vision is pretty good. Maybe a slight correction with the lenses for that. But now that I’m getting older my up close vision has gotten worse. So I have worn bifocals for probably about 6 years I guess.

          But i do wear my glasses when I shoot and fly the RC planes. Matter of fact the RC planes is what made me start wearing prescription glasses.

          • GF1,

            Look for that arms length vision to start to go. I noticed it when cutting food and such since I cook quite a bit. Last set of glasses, I could see better with my old set (bi-focal). The new set was bi-focal too. After about 2 weeks of some frustration,.. I went back in. The Dr. knew right away. They made a new set of tri-line for free. It fixed the issue.

            The new set (bi) had the close up correction fixed a bit more,.. and that was enough to make the arms length to go “over the edge”. The lined tri-focals fixed the issue.

            At any rate,.. that is how it happened for me.


            • Chris
              I tried the trifocals about I guess 2 years ago. Absolutely couldn’t stand them. Went back to bifocals when I had my eye exam and my eyes have I guess stabilized or something because my eye doctor said there was no need for a new prescription. I just got a new pair of glasses with my old prescription and with bifocals.

              Me and my younger daughter go every year. I am pretty adamant about that. I like to see. 🙂

              • GF1,

                I tried (no line) tri a few years before that. I could not get used to them. Not even sure I needed them at the time. Went back to bi-focal. My Dad is the same way in that he has to use the lined tri. There has been a few years,… over the years,.. where I did not need a new prescription either.

                I just mentioned it as the optometrist said that losing that arms length is quite common the more the near is corrected. My distance is very good without glasses. If I have any correction in the glasses for distance, it ain’t much. I can see as far as the eye can see,.. as they say.


                • Chris
                  That’s pretty much how my eyes are too. But I have the astigmatism thrown into the equation. I really don’t notice the astigmatism much any more other than like looking at the moon or stars on a clear night. I have to kind of squint to get things to focus. Daytime I don’t notice it at all anymore. It being the astigmatism.

            • Chris,
              I’ve worn glasses since about the age of two. I had a crossed eye and had to wear patches and such to help correct it. I never had surgery, but the patching at the early age did help a lot. I wore bifocals when I was young and then progressed out of them at some point. Then when I was in my early 50s, the need for bifocals came back and I had a lot more trouble adjusting to them then. As I have shared, I worked in QC on coordinate measuring machines for many years. So I had lots of very closeup work, but then a lot of work at arms length as well.
              As the years passed, my prescriptions became stronger and stronger. I tried trifocals and that was a bust. Because of the strength of my prescription and having to wear safety glasses, the lens were extremely heavy. When I was young I could see distance fairly well but not close. Now I couldn’t see distance or close well without correction. Oh, and I tried the progressive lens too. Those were terrible because everything was out of focus except what was in directly in front of me. Everything in my peripheral vision was blurred. I couldn’t even read without moving my head side to side! So then I went back to lined bifocals again.
              As the years passed, the bifocal for close up was strengthened and at some point I had to return to the ophthalmologist and request he dial back the close up part of the bifocal. I needed that arm’s length plus in order to work on the machines. Now am so used to that strength that I cannot stand my close up bifocal to be too strong. I’ve had to go back and request less strength on them for my last few prescriptions. The doctor told me that most people want their bifocal focus distance to be 14″. I asked him to double that on mine. I have to use another pair of glasses to view my computer screen now and when doing very close up work, I use a jewler’s eye piece on my glasses in order to see the detail.
              I have not been to my ophthalmologist in over two years and now with the COVID-19, it may be even longer. I am feeling that I am ready for a new prescription too.
              Have a great Labor Day!
              P.S. How’s that laptop running with the SSD?

              • Geo,

                The laptop is running fine. I am not sure if the constant soft “clicking” noise was the mechanical drive or the fan,… but is super quiet now and seems faster (“faster” being a relative term as my internet speed is not the best). Well worth the upgrade. Having a fan fail is one thing, but having the drive fail is something else,.. very bad.

                Doing it myself,.. the internals and vents and such did need a cleaning (dust, crud, etc.). Nothing horrid,.. but needed it for sure. I have some keys sticking off and on,…. but a quick internet search had videos on how to pop out the pads and do a quick clean. At least on my HP, you can pop them off without taking the case apart.

                Thanks again for all the assistance, video and tech. links. The SSD and fan replacement is something that anybody can look up. Be careful people,.. very delicate stuff. Look for model specific info./airgun-videos if you can find them. I split the case (snap type, along with some very specifically located screws) and had it back together and running in under an hour.

                Geo is Da’ Man! 😉


                • Gee, thanks Chris. I am very happy that your laptop repair was successful. Yes, if the clicking sound was constant, it was probably the fan. If the clicking was intermittent, like when there was hard drive activity, then most likely the drive was failing. In that case, you were lucky to catch it in time so as not to loose all of your data and pictures. I’ve seen it happen frequently because most people do not back up their data. I have timed the before and after boot times to the desktop after upgrading to an SSD. Boot times are 3 to 5 times faster. Sadly, nothing can help slow Internet speeds very much.
                  I replaced the keyboard on an older Dell laptop due to wear. It was a simple repair and a new keyboard on ebay cost only like $14.
                  This summer I repaired a couple of HP Stream laptops. One needed a new screen because the cable fatigued. Two others needed Windows upgrades. Those laptops are similar to a Chromebook but they run Windows 10.
                  It you ever have and questions regarding computer software, or hardware, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Remember, we can always connect remotely, even with those slow Internet speeds. You were a good student and I am sure the project has given you confidence that you can do these things yourself, and save some money. 😉

    • Half,

      Depth of field makes a big difference to me. I do much better shooting when the target is in bright sunlight. I shoot from a shaded porch most of the time. If the target is in the sun I can focus much better.


  14. I had cataract surgery a few years ago – it seems like a near miracle. I have been very nearsighted since I was about 12 years old… nearsighted enough that I had to keep my distance correction glasses on to read. Without them I would need to hold a book less than six inches from my face in order to read it! I had the cataract surgery at age 48 (the doctor figures it was caused by my having a lot of UV exposure with outdoor sports and flying, being blue eyed, not wearing sunglasses and mistakenly thinking that my glasses had UV blocking lenses when they actually didn’t). I was also advised to not go for the implants that are supposed to give corrected near and far vision but I did have some more elaborate pre-surgery testing and upgraded lenses. I ended up with distance vision good enough to meet Transport Canada’s requirements for pilots and fortunately do not have to use reading glasses either, at least so far. The surgery itself wasn’t too bad either, weird feeling but not painful at all. The first clear post-operation look at the world was amazing in how vibrant the colours seemed.

  15. I had cats and surgery in ’18. I had the distance lens (pseudophakia!) implanted as I noted the most of the responders to this blog also had. What I didn’t note was any responses from folks who have progressive lens eyeglasses (both before cat surgery and after).

    I have shot with progressive lenses for decades. They present some challenges in finding that “sweet spot” in the vision “channel” and remaining in that exact location while shooting. That usually means fine head angle adjustments while trying to maintain the cheek weld on a rifle. Pistol shooting seems a bit more difficult with the progressive lenses for whatever reason. It is hard to get a sharp front post/sight picture – probably due to the nystagmus of the eyes themselves but also that same neurological “wiggle” in the hold on the pistol. Those combine to making relaxation into the shot more critical on my 10 meter indoor range because motion moves the post away from the sweet spot in the vision tunnel of the eye wear. I have, in point of fact put on pistol scopes and a red dot on three of my hand guns since it “flattens” the POA onto the target reducing three aiming points to one.

    My rifles have scopes or peep sights. These do the same thing as the pistol scopes and dot sights.

    I am interested if any other post-cat surgery shooter who have continued to utilize progressive lenses have had similar or different experiences in their shooting.

  16. B.B.,

    Thank you for a timely post. I have been in discussions with my Opthalmologist for the past year about my cataracts and he said he was ready when I decided to pull the trigger. He said to not wait until the glare at night makes landings dangerous.
    He is at Walter Reed so he does lots of shooters and is qualified expert marksman; that makes it much easier to know he understands. His recommendation is to go for the best distance vision and then use glasses for the other vision needs. His comment is that if you lose your glasses it is distance vision that is most important to survival. The near vision with my specific correction according to him will be good enough to function and even see a front sight clearly enough.


    • Shootski,

      I concur with that, although my near vision is wrecked pretty badly after LASIKs. I don’t anticipate accurate target acquisition to be my biggest concern if I lose my readers but I will expect to have to read small print on documents, menus, maps, my wrist watch, etc. I’ve found that I can look through a pinhole or a small hole formed by my fingertips to see close things clearly, in a pinch, and a small pocket magnifying lens (or a Fresnel in your wallet) is even better and a magnifier app on a smartphone is better still, but if you can’t see street and road markers in a city setting without glasses, much less in the wilderness, you are truly screwed!


      • Half,

        This might be of interest: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinhole_occluder#:~:text=A%20pinhole%20occluder%20is%20an,refractive%20errors%20such%20as%20myopia.

        My Opthalmologist used a paddle with lots of holes in it to determine just how good a correction was possible using a lense or an actual lens implant. He told me it would rule out any other issues and help him match a lens as close as was possible. He said i would need to get a series of eyeglasses to cover the front post accomodations if I wanted to stay in the X Ring all day! He also said to get a shooters frame with a variable iris and get a few spares for insurance; the variable takes account of the ambient lighting level. He also said you can always just punch clean holes in some opaque sheeting and get a minimum of good sighting.

        We are survivors!


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