It is often believed that in order to practice archery, one must have very keen eyesight, and eyes that are in top condition...however, this is a complete myth!
Truth is, you don’t actually need the best eyesight ever in order to become an archer, and there are plenty of incredible archers out there that are actually visually impaired! So you can still shoot some arrows, even if your eyes don’t see the best!
But, if you do practice archery regularly, could it improve your eyesight? Or would it damage your eyesight from using and forcing it so much? Archery Edge is here to answer these questions for you!
The answer is that archery can most definitely help improve your eyesight. Over time, with regular archery practice, your eyesight can become slightly better, and it can also help prolong your eyesight so that it stays better for longer, slowing down the natural process of losing your eyesight as you grow older.
But, how does archery help improve your eyesight? Well, the way archery improves your eyesight is one of the safest and most natural approaches to eyesight improvement, making it an excellent course of action. It essentially mimics a great number of different eyesight exercises.
These exercises would often be prescribed by an optician doctor, in order for a patient to improve their own vision, but archery incorporates the equivalent of these exercises within the normal process of aiming and tracking an arrow’s flight!
So basically, when you practice archery you are unknowingly also practicing various exercises that help improve your eyesight, and you might notice the benefits of this over long periods of time.
So, what are some of the archery exercises that help improve your eyesight, and how do they work? Let’s take a look!
Point fixation through aiming
In archery, when you take your aim you are focusing your eyes on a single point, and this is an exercise known as fixation. This can significantly improve your eyesight, as you are training your eyes to fully focus on a single point without tiring, plus it can also help improve your mental focus too!
And as in archery, you will be aiming at different targets, set at different distances, the exercise will have variety and keep challenging your eyes!
Successive focusing on two points of different distances:
This is one of the most beneficial of all archery exercises when it comes to improving your eyesight, and it is also one of the most naturally used when shooting.
It basically consists of switching your eye focus from one point to another, with both of these points being at different distances. Usually, this happens when you switch between looking at the target and looking at the sight.
This forces your eyes to quickly readjust their focus, from one point to another, and it trains the eye muscles to do so quickly and to the best of their ability.
It is by far the best exercise to improve your eyesight, as it works all of your eye muscles, and it is something that all opticians recommend doing, if not with archery then by focusing on your finger and then on another point, switching quickly between them.
The reason why this exercise is so beneficial is that it is the complete opposite of a lot of modern activities such as watching TV or working on a computer. With these, your eyes are focused on a single screen, for long periods of time, without having to readjust at any point. Meanwhile, with archery, your eyes are going through a full workout!
Pursuit tracking is the ability to be able to follow an object with your eyesight as it moves, such as following the flight path of an arrow after it has been shot. This can massively improve the speed and flexibility of your eyesight, improving it over time.
And one of the best things about this exercise is that you don’t have to be the one shooting the arrow. In fact, this exercise works best when you are simply watching an archer shoot an arrow, and you try to track them as they fly towards their target.
So if you want to improve your eyesight, but you’re not quite up to practicing archery, just sit down and watch others do it, and you’ll still reap some of the benefits!
Can you wear glasses in archery?
If you wear glasses, you might be used to many things becoming a bit of a hassle, or a bit of a problem. Activities such as swimming, for example, can seem almost impossible if you wear glasses daily, and you will often need an extra pair of specialized glasses for the activity, or some other adjustment to make it possible.
But what about archery? Eyes are super important in this sport, as it is all about taking aim, so will glasses get in the way? It’s not like you can simply take them off, you can’t see properly without them!
But don’t worry, thankfully, it’s perfectly possible to wear your glasses while practicing archery!
However, wearing glasses while practicing archery can sometimes lead to you having a few disadvantages, as they can indeed get slightly in the way of your performance. To avoid these problems, there are plenty of easy adjustments that can be made, so that you can continue shooting your arrows without a single struggle.
Here are the different options for archers that wear glasses:
Wear your regular glasses
(However, this might give you some problems, so make sure you find the best way to wear them so that they are comfortable during archery practice!)
Get some optimized shooting glasses for archery
(You can get these from your optician)
Use progressive lenses when shooting
(However, this isn’t always compatible with certain shooting styles)
Adjust your bow scope to your glasses
(An additional bow scope that suits your glasses is the best way to overcome any disadvantages, and will put you back in the game!)
Make sure your glasses don’t fog up
(this tends to be one of the biggest issues)