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'Scope headaches?

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Old Wednesday 10th December 2003, 09:38   #1
SimonC
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'Scope headaches?

Hello all,

Not sure if this the right section to post this in but here goes:

Does anybody else get headaches from prolonged 'scope use? I do. I believe it is as a result of keeping my right eye closed for such a long time (makes my cheek hurt too ) yes I did mean right eye! long story involving an inflammation of the optic nerve as a teenager! Result: my left eye is now dominant so I look through my 'scope with it!
anyway, I've considered buying an eye patch, regardless of any funny looks I might get! but can't seem to find any?
Any other suggestions? I've tried "training" myself not to actually see anything through my right eye whilst using the 'scope but that's nigh on impossible with a straight through (probably should've bought an angled in hindsight!)

Tell me I'm not alone in this?!?!

Simon
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Old Wednesday 10th December 2003, 09:44   #2
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I don't suffer from this myself, however I do know that it can be a problem.

One solution I have seen to this was someone who used glasses who had a pair of clip on dark glasses from which he had cut away the right (in his case) dark lens. I guess you could do the same with a pair of sunglasses - the darker the better or maybe you could put some dark covering over the remaining lens.

Hope you find a solution that suits you.
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Old Wednesday 10th December 2003, 09:54   #3
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I've used an eye patch at times - yes it looks silly and gets comments, but if it helps you see birds, so what!?! It certainly removes a lot of eye strain. Try Boots, they (at least used to) sell them, unfortunately they're a sort of yukky pink colour, instead of a good old trad Long John Silver black.

The other reason for strain when using a scope is the funny angle your head & eye have to be at to look through. The natural comfortable angle of the human head is with the centre of vision looking about 30° downward. This means that with a straight-through scope, you're looking 30° higher than normal, and with an angled scope, about 15° below normal. On a prolonged seawatch, this gives you quite a bit of neck strain, obviously worse with a straight through. Now if someone could develop a 30° angle scope . . . but it would be complex optics, so expensive.

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Old Wednesday 10th December 2003, 10:12   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Frankis
unfortunately they're a sort of yukky pink colour, instead of a good old trad Long John Silver black.
Shame that! Quite liked the idea of the pirate look! LOL

Christmas is coming though, and didn't you used to get them in crackers?!?

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Old Wednesday 10th December 2003, 10:37   #5
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Hi Simon,

I notice you mention looking through your scope with both eyes open. This is something I do with my x20 old straight scope*, when scanning... it's not so hard to get used to "concentrating" on what your scope eye sees and "ignoring" your other eye. (In fact, the other eye becomes my peripheral vision, as it were, so I have half an idea what's going on outside the scope field of view (although I must confess that I don't know whether I have 180 degree "peripheral" or just 90 degree - as I've never paid that much attention).

Of course, if I find something interesting then I close the other eye.

(* I don't know if magnification is a factor, and perhaps this is more difficult at higher mags?)

Last edited by birdman : Wednesday 10th December 2003 at 10:40.
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Old Wednesday 10th December 2003, 10:44   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by birdman
(* I don't know if magnification is a factor, and perhaps this is more difficult at higher mags?)
Hi Birdman,

It will be - the higher the magnification (for the same objective lens), the darker the image, and the more the bright outside at the other eye will overpower brain's interpretation of the scope image

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Old Wednesday 10th December 2003, 10:51   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Frankis
Hi Birdman,

It will be - the higher the magnification (for the same objective lens), the darker the image, and the more the bright outside at the other eye will overpower brain's interpretation of the scope image

Michael
That'll be part of the problem then! I use a 30x (far too powerful really, don't know why I chose it over the 23x or 20x?!? Nevermind)

Simon
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Old Wednesday 10th December 2003, 11:40   #8
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Using the scope doesn't give me headaches but I do have an alergy to the material used to coat the eyepeice on my Leica Bins which causes my eyelids to swell up - it looks like I have had insect bites on the lids - no itching, no pain just makes me feel like I have been in a fight (probably over a contentious wader identification!)

I have not found anyone else who suffers with this problem.
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Old Wednesday 10th December 2003, 11:51   #9
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This is precisely the reason why I recently moved from a Scope to Large Aperture Binoculars, The headaches just were'nt worth it after a while.

A Pair of 20x60 with Tripod adaptor soon cured me.

Might not suit everyone and the quality is'nt as good as some high end scopes, but you pays your money...
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Old Wednesday 10th December 2003, 11:57   #10
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I use one hand to drive and the other to cover the free eye. You don't have to block the eye entirely, just enough so it doesn't get distracted.

A patch would be silly - you'd be whipping it on and off to use your bins!
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Old Wednesday 10th December 2003, 12:03   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alastair Rae
I use one hand to drive and the other to cover the free eye. You don't have to block the eye entirely, just enough so it doesn't get distracted.

A patch would be silly - you'd be whipping it on and off to use your bins!
Oh the temptation to make a funny quip....


I've not had a problem so far, although I have to close the left eye.
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Old Wednesday 10th December 2003, 12:36   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alastair Rae
I use one hand to drive and the other to cover the free eye. You don't have to block the eye entirely, just enough so it doesn't get distracted.

A patch would be silly - you'd be whipping it on and off to use your bins!
I have tried that but you'd be surprised how much more difficult it is if, like me, you're using your left eye to view (try it!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by pduxon
Oh the temptation to make a funny quip....
Awww, go on!

Simon
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Old Wednesday 10th December 2003, 12:55   #13
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I found a royal blue patch at the first chemist I tried. It allows you to relax those face muscles, and it just flips up to let me use the bins. It cured my problem of double vision after prolonged scoping. It also keeps the wind out on those draughty winter days.
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Old Wednesday 10th December 2003, 17:48   #14
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There is a Bushnell Spacemaster with a variable angle - see http://www.bushnell.com/productinfo/...acemaster.html and look at the bottom two scopes. I have never even seen it, but somebody on Birdforum asked about value for money and scopes and ended up going for one.

Interested to see somebody going for 20x60 binoculars. I enjoy looking through binoculars but find scopes a bit of a trial. Also I don't like carrying too much kit around. I was going to wait a few years for IS to mature and then think about 20x60 IS binoculars or similar.
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Old Wednesday 10th December 2003, 18:29   #15
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I also have a very dominant left eye and find that I need to cover my right eye when using a 'scope, especially at higher magnifactions (I use a 20-60 zoom) and in poor light. If I don't, then I tend to get very tired eyes quite quickly. It sometimes helps to alternate between using the 'scope and binoculars. Anyone know why?



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Old Wednesday 10th December 2003, 19:05   #16
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You might well find it's the vertebrae in your neck - that's my problem anyway and it's not uncommon, especially if you are tall or have ever had a whiplash injury. Thank goodness they make angled scopes!
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Old Wednesday 10th December 2003, 19:58   #17
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I've really knackered myself with my scope. First mistake: carrying it on the tripod over my right shoulder. Over the years its led to muscle strain. Then, as Scampo says, the vertebrae - now have problems due to cricking my neck back to look through the thing. Currently costing me a fortune in osteopath fees (but things seem to be improving slowly).

Doug, I too react to the eyecups on my old Leitz red-spots. Not often, but just occasionally I get an itchy eye.

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Old Wednesday 10th December 2003, 21:21   #18
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I tell you what - I wish tall blokes designed bird hides. Lots of those viewing gaps are t-o-o low by half for us tall ones.
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Old Wednesday 10th December 2003, 22:05   #19
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I often find that when using a hide clamp on the shelf below the viewing windows, that the seats are fixed too close to the window and that I have to lean right back to use the scope.


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Old Wednesday 10th December 2003, 22:09   #20
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I find the same thing, AndyC. And the shelf is never big enough for my bins, notebook, fieldguide, camera, scope adaptor, hat, gloves, sandwich box, flask...
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Old Wednesday 10th December 2003, 22:46   #21
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I watched a Biathlon on the tv over the weekend I noticed lots of them had what looked like a bit of card on the sights sticking out at right angles to stop distraction through the non-aiming eye ...may be worth a try and if it dont work then its cost nowt anyway :@)
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Old Thursday 11th December 2003, 10:23   #22
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For long seawatches I have been known tape a piece of featureless grey card inside of a cereal packet to the scope so my left eye can sort of just drift. It means you dn't have nything in the way of your eye is you suddenly need bins.

Of course thes days I just poke the scope through the curtains and look at those with my left yet!

I used to suffer burn out... loss/reduction of colour vision in my right eye after prolonged use of a bright scope!
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Old Thursday 11th December 2003, 10:43   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug
I find the same thing, AndyC. And the shelf is never big enough for my bins, notebook, fieldguide, camera, scope adaptor, hat, gloves, sandwich box, flask...
What? No laptop with Birds of Britain CD-ROM running?
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Old Thursday 11th December 2003, 11:26   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyC
I often find that when using a hide clamp on the shelf below the viewing windows, that the seats are fixed too close to the window and that I have to lean right back to use the scope.
Andy
I find that many of the seats are too low for use with an angled scope. I supposed they were designed that way for straight scope users or am I too small at 5/8?. I often use the hides at Martin Mere so I know where I can sit and not, but new places can be a pain particularly if busy like at weekends when I have the most time to go.

I also agree that many shelves are to narrow as well, although I try to keep everything in my bag until I need it.

My biggest bug bear though is with windows. The number of times I've set the scope up then gone to open the window and the scope is in the way! Thinking about it thats the narrow shelf thing as well.

I suppose I shouldn't moan as its often nice to be somewhere were you have a window!

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Old Thursday 11th December 2003, 11:43   #25
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Quote:
by Doug - Using the scope doesn't give me headaches but I do have an alergy to the material used to coat the eyepeice on my Leica Bins which causes my eyelids to swell up

Doug, are you allergic to latex? Latex allergies are known to cause the symptoms you state. Not sure if there is any latex in the eyepieces, but there may be a form of it in there.
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Last edited by KC Foggin : Thursday 11th December 2003 at 11:46.
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