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Green vs Red Dot Astigmatism – Which Is Best?

Millions of people in the US have Astigmatism. This common condition can be extremely frustrating for an avid hunter or someone who just loves to shoot. Dot sights are known to significantly improve the shooting accuracy of people with this condition. However, not all dot colors are the same. In this article, we’ll teach you how to choose between red vs green dot sights for people with Astigmatism.


Which Is Better: Green Dot vs Red Dot for Astigmatism

comparing green dot and red dot sight

Green dot sights are generally better for people with Astigmatism. The illumination of a green dot tends to distort less than red, making it easier for your eye to focus on the target. They are generally easier to see in low-light conditions.

  • Green Dot Sight: Optimal for people with Astigmatism

This doesn’t mean that you absolutely have to use a green dot sight. If you find a red dot sight that has superior quality then go for it. We’ll talk later in this article about how you can optimize your performance with a red dot sight with Astigmatism.

Red Dot vs Green Dot: Pros & Cons

If you are trying to decide between red and green sights, there are a few key differences to be aware of. Here are the major pros and cons of each.

Pros of using a red dot sight:

  • Usually cheaper
  • Good battery life, so you don’t have to worry about them going out in the middle of a hunt
  • Compatible with night vision, so you can still see your target even in low light conditions

Cons of using a red dot sight:

  • Can experience issues with refractive light
  • Less effective for people with Astigmatism
  • Usually requires a higher brightness setting

Pros of using a green dot sight:

  • Usually has better visibility
  • Green optics perform better in a wider range of lighting conditions than red dots
  • Less eye strain

Cons of using a green dot sight:

  • Usually more expensive
  • Battery life is worse when using higher dot intensity

Definiton of Astigmatism

picture of what it looks like when you have astigmatism

Astigmatism is an imperfection in the curvature of your eye’s cornea or lens. This imperfection causes light to be distorted as it enters your eye, which results in blurred vision. Unfortunately, Astigmatism is a very common condition.

There are two forms of Astigmatism:

  • Horizontal Astigmatism: If your eye is naturally wider then it is tall.
  • Vertical Astigmatism: If your eye is naturally taller then it is wide.

People with Astigmatism often have trouble seeing objects that are far away, which can obviously affect a shooter’s accuracy.


Tips To Use A Red Dot with Astigmatism

Nearly 1 in 3 people in the United States have Astigmatism [1]. If you are one of those people, there is no need to panic! Follow these 4 tips to improve your shooting performance.

1) Pick Dot Color

As we already mentioned, choosing between green & red dot sights will make a significant difference for people with Astigmatism. Green light stimulates more cones in the human eye which creates a more clear visual image. If you have this condition, a green dot optic is the way to go.

2) Special Glasses

If you have the budget, I recommend you invest in polarized glasses. Polarized glasses can help focus the light entering your eye, making it easier to see your target. They’re not a magic bullet, but they can definitely help if you have Astigmatism.

3) Adjust The Dot Intensity

After you have your polarized lenses & chose between red and green dots, there is still another trick to test out. Play around with the brightness settings.

More specifically, adjust your red dot sight intensity. Try using a lower intensity setting. It might sound counterintuitive, but the highest brightness can actually history the shape of the dot for people with Astigmatism.

4) Talk To A Doctor

This goes without saying, but if you suspect you suffer from Astigmatism you should speak with a doctor. In fact, this should be the very first step you take. A doctor may recommend a specific type of glasses or even surgery that can significantly improve your eyesight.


Astigmatism or Broken Red Dot Sight?

As we already mentioned, Astigmatism is very common in the United States. And for this reason, many people tend to self-diagnose their own condition. However, there are a few things you can do to ensure you actually have a health condition & not a faulty red or green dot sight.

1) Use Your Phone

Take a picture of your red or green dot sight with your cell phone. Your eyes may be distorting the reticle shape, but the cell phone will not. If the cell phone picture shows a clear & crisp red dot image…your eyes are the problem.

2) Ask Someone

Ask a family member or friend for some help. If your friend takes aim with your sight and sees a blurry or deformed red dot…then your sight may be broken. If not, your eyes are the problem.

3) Use Your Iron Sights

Align your red dot & back up rear iron sight on a target. If the red dot shape still is not right, then your eyes need to get checked by a doctor.

4) Adjust The Dot

Take aim at a target with your red or green dot sight. Then slowly move the gun side to side with your eye still fixed on the dot. If the dot moves irregularly when you rotate the weapon…then your sight may be broken.


Best Red Dot Sights For Astigmatism

There are plenty of great options when it comes to picking a red dot sight for someone with Astigmatism. To make things easy, check out our article on the Best red dot for ar 15! It really depends on your specific budget and preferences. If you happen to own a Buckmark, check out our post on the Best Red Dot Sights for a Browning Buckmark!

Best Dot Size For Astigmatism

When it comes to picking the best MOA dot size, I normally recommend 6 MOA or 3 MOA dot sights. However, when it comes to people with Astigmatism, I have a simple rule. Go with any dot larger than 4 MOA. Small dots may be better for precise shooting from long range, but they will be very hard to see for people with this common eye condition.


FAQs – Green vs Red Dot

Does the military use red dot sights?

The military is known to use red dot sights on their weapons. The dot sights improve accuracy. Most importantly, they improve performance in low light conditions. Most red dots & even green reticles are compatible with night vision devices that are commonly used in military operations.

Is shooting with a red dot easier?

Using a red dot sight on your weapon definitely makes shooting easier. The major benefit is they improve accuracy. You don’t have to align front and rear sights. That is the major difference between iron sights vs red dot. With a red dot, you simply need to put the reticle on your target and pull the trigger.

What distance are red dots good for?

Generally speaking, red dot sights are normally only good for targets at 100 yards or less. This makes them ideal for hunters, law enforcement, military, and weekend shooters. Skilled shooters can extend the range, but 100 yards is a standard limit.

Does red dot work at night?

Red dot sights work very well at night, due to the illuminated dot that is used as the aiming point. It is very easy to locate a target in poor lighting with the LED-powered red dot.

Why is green red dot more expensive?

Green dot sights are generally more expensive than red dots. This is mainly because green dots are stronger. For the human eye, green light is in the middle of the visible light spectrum. This makes it more visible in normal lighting conditions. Green dot sights also tend to have better battery life.

Do police use red dot sights?

The police have long been known for their use of red dot sights on their pistols and rifles. These sights allow for greater accuracy when aiming at a target, and they also help to improve the visibility of the target. Some red dot sights are even compatible with night vision devices, which makes them ideal for unique tactical situations.

Is a red dot good for home defense?

Red dot sights are great for home defense situations mainly because they help to improve accuracy. This is especially useful in close quarters, where every shot counts. Red and green dot sights perform well in low light conditions. This can be very helpful if an intruder enters your home at night. Reflex sights & red dot sights are very effective for home defense. When it comes to the best reflex sight dot color, I normally stick with red or green.

Is it worth putting a red dot on a pistol?

Many gun owners choose to put a red or green dot sight on their pistols. The dot significantly improves target acquisition speed and overall accuracy. They also make aiming in low light conditions much easier. Adding a red dot sight to your pistol is a great move.

Do you have to zero a red dot sight?

You do need to zero a red dot sight. Zeroing your red dot is a must if you want to shoot consistently. Using a 36-yard zero is my personal preference. However, there are a variety of distances you can use to sight your red dot. It really depends on your specific needs.


The Bottom Line

There you have it. Now you’re an expert on green and red dot sights. This condition does NOT mean you can never shoot accurately again. If you are one of the many people who have Astigmatism, we recommend at least testing out a green dot sight. For most people, this is the best option. Let us know which dot sight works best for you!

About the author

Patrick Howard

I have been working as a gunsmith for 20 years. Rain, fog, moisture, high temperature, or even snow are all the things a product must withstand in order to be recommended by me.

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