One of the most commonly asked questions that I get throughout a season is, “How in the world do you shoot with glasses?” As common as the question is, it is not uncommon to NOT have a perfect answer to this!
I have been visually impaired since I was 13 years old. This is when I first started wearing glasses. My archery career didn’t start until I was in my early twenties so adapting to glasses was something that I never had to go through. I didn’t have to learn “how” to shoot with them, I didn’t have a choice!
As the years have gone by, I have asked more and more questions to my Optometrists about my options to see better. Having help with selecting a frame with the narrowest bridge, choosing the right coatings for my lenses, are a couple of ways that I see to the best of my ability. The biggest struggle is not about being able to see (even my contacts can get me 20/10 vision), it is about dealing with the weather changes when shooting outside.
Rain & humidity are the WORST, for someone that is trying to compete in an archery tournament. You can deal with the rain. A hat will take care of that unless you are experiencing a monsoon. Finding something that will cure your glasses from steaming up while you are shooting is next to impossible but here are some of the things I have done to help with that:
- Rain X – the window coating that is designed for your automobile – will help but can’t confirm it’s the best.
- Dish soap – Using something like, Dawn dish soap – smear a drop of soap on each lens and buff it in with a microfiber towel. This is supposed to create a barrier of protection against “steaming up” – again, will help but can’t confirm it’s the best.
- Anti-Dim Cloth – Someone, years ago, gave me a military issue cloth that came in a small canister (that looked like a 35mm film canister). It contained a small treated cloth inside that the soldiers used on the inside of their gas masks. I carry this to every tournament with me because it helps but still isn’t the best solution.
- Battery powered fan – If you have tried everything under the sun (which I feel like I have) the best thing that I have found, is the $12 fan that Lancaster Archery sells. It is a small fan that has a lanyard, so it will go around your neck like a necklace. The fan is ported on the end so the air blows directly up at your face. On the steamiest of days, the will do the trick, even if you have to have someone hold it directly near your glasses while you make your shot (I have literally had to have competitors help me get through a round like this).
I still don’t really know if there are any tricks or tips to shooting in glasses. Being prepared for all of the different weather conditions is the best advice I can give. As you get older, you vision will definitely NOT get better, it only gets worse. If you were blessed with good vision, you are one of the lucky ones!