Many people who use binoculars frequently ask this question: Are binoculars bad for your eyes? The answer to this question depends on whether you’re using binoculars correctly or incorrectly.
Binoculars do not cause damage to your eyes if you use them properly. However, wearing binoculars for extended periods can cause long-term damage to your eyesight.
This is much like the effects of wearing glasses. Wearing glasses for long periods may cause fatigue and headaches, which ultimately affect your eyesight. You can observe a similar pattern while using binoculars.
To avoid eyestrain and headaches, it is important to follow a set of rules. Before doing that, however, it is important to understand how damaging the wrong use of binoculars could be to your eyesight.
How Are Binoculars Bad For Your Eyes?
The damage you incur through the misuse of binoculars can take shape in many forms. Most commonly, this happens when the pair of binoculars you’re using is out of alignment.
When this happens, you may incur severe eye strains and headaches. The misalignment of binoculars hurts your eyes because the receptors of the binoculars point in different directions. This forces the user to strain their eyes more than usual to see a clear and aligned picture. Doing this puts a fair amount of stress on our eyes and can lead to headaches.
It is important to understand that it isn’t binoculars that are bad for your eyes, but it is their improper use that is. Faulty binoculars are commonly available in markets and can be quite damaging to your eyes. When you put an excessive strain on your eyes while using faulty binoculars, you are unknowingly causing an eye muscle imbalance.
While eyestrain doesn’t have long-term consequences, it can be a very unpleasant experience. It can also cause more fatigue than normal and significantly reduce your ability to concentrate on various activities.
Some people assume they can stare at the sun with a pair of binoculars. This is absolutely wrong. The reason why you shouldn’t ever commit such a blunder is that when you stare at an object through binoculars, the resulting image is larger.
This ultimately means that a bigger part of your retina is then exposed to the object. This can instantly damage the light receptors in the cornea and render us unable to use our eyes in the future.
Now that we have established how faulty binoculars and their misuse can cause eye damage, we need to know how to take certain preventive measures so this doesn’t happen to us.
How To Avoid Hurting Your Eyesight?
To prevent your eyes from getting hurt, the first thing that you should do is choose the correct pair of binoculars. Frequently, we unknowingly buy the wrong pair of binoculars. While we may not immediately find out the difference, our eyes definitely do.
You can identify a pair of misaligned binoculars simply by observing any object placed at a moderate distance away from you. If you get a feeling of being cross-eyed, it means that the binocular is misaligned. In that case, it is advisable to return the binoculars.
The two barrels of your binoculars must be parallel to each other to avoid a distorted and misaligned resulting image. If you have already bought a pair of binoculars, you can either manually adjust the diopter settings or send them to a specialized shop. You can also adjust the diopter settings at home.
How To Adjust Binoculars
If your binoculars have two diopters and focus adjustment, you can easily adjust your binoculars by an eye-to-eye test.
Here are some steps that you can follow:
- Place an object at a certain distance that is neither too distant nor too close to you. Observe the object through your binoculars.
- First, close your left eye and adjust the dioptric adjustment ring on your binoculars until the focus is perfect and crystal clear.
- Next, close your right eye and use the focus ring to attain the perfect level of focus on the object.
- When the focus of both your left and right eye are equal to one another, you have achieved the perfect diopter level settings according to your eyesight. Do not touch the diopter level again unless you’re giving the binoculars to someone else. Instead, you should only use the focus ring from now on.
- Repeat the process if the diopter settings get changed accidentally.
Other Ways To Avoid Harm
You should also prevent your binoculars from falling down, especially if they are not shockproof. This can cause the binoculars to become misaligned. The objective lens, which is integrated into the binoculars will become distorted in the event of a fall.
Misalignment of the barrels often results in eye strain and headaches. In such cases, you should not use binoculars. The major problem of misaligned binoculars is that DIY methods cannot fix them. Therefore, it always have to be sent back to the manufacturer for repairs.
For your objective lens, you can buy special filters available in the market to prevent straining your eyes. These filters are also commonly known as solar filters.
Another way to prevent causing harm to your eyes is by buying binoculars of decent quality. The cheaper the binoculars, the more susceptible they are to become misaligned in the event of a fall. High-quality materials will also allow your binoculars to sustain shocks better.
In case you have astigmatism, you should buy a binocular that comes with an eye relief of more than 15mm. Eye relief is the distance between your eye and the eyepiece of a binocular. Hence, by using this will prove to be quite beneficial to you if your vision is distorted.
Atmospheric conditions can also be a major factor that determines how much strain there is on your eyes. Sometimes, vapor builds up on the inside surface of your eyepiece. This causes your eyes to strain because of the lack of focus. To prevent this from happening, your binoculars should comprise glare-reduction or fog-proofing elements.
Another important step in ensuring the correct use of binoculars is by holding them steady. This will allow you to enjoy a clear and stable view without it later resulting in headaches.
You can do this by maintaining a firm hold over your binoculars. Shaky hands often disrupt the view and force your eyes to continuously readjust. You can gain more stability by leaning against a wall or any order solid object.
Following these measures will prove to be highly beneficial to you while using your binoculars.
The eyes are one of the most precious parts of our body. Taking appropriate care of them is as important as anything else in the world. Unfortunately, many people are too careless and undermine the importance of taking precautionary measures when subjecting their eyes to an instrument such as binoculars.
Headaches that follow people after using binoculars often make them ask, “Are binoculars bad for your eyes?” The answer is complicated, but we hope we have thoroughly explained the reasons behind the causes of eye strains. Knowing these reasons will help you follow preventive measures better.