How To Fix Red Dot Astigmatism?

A lot of newbie shooters buy a red dot and get disappointed at it. Most of the time it happens due to the distortion on the red dot they see and the glare coming from the illumination.

Chances are, the red dot is perfectly fine and calibrated but it’s your eyes that are having issues. And if you are diagnosed with astigmatism, you already know what the issue is. But how do you fix it? How to fix red dot astigmatism? Am I not allowed to use red dots anymore? Don’t worry, you will. Let’s find out how.

What Is Astigmatism?

How To Fix Red Dot Astigmatism

Before we get started, let’s find out what astigmatism is and how it affects our red dot vision. Astigmatism is a common eye problem that is known to have cornea or the lens is irregularly shaped. Instead of having it normal, it’s slightly crooked if that makes sense.

Because of that, our cornea perceives the light differently and we see more bouncy lights than a normal person. As astigmatism cannot focus on a single ray point, it creates focal distortion and makes it look blurry.

Many of us have astigmatism and are not even aware of it. Unless you get your eyes checked by a professional, there is no way of confirming whether you have astigmatism or something else.

How do you treat astigmatism to shoot better? There are several ways of tackling this issue. The most common one is getting a pair of contact lenses or prescribed glasses. With the right axis and focal depth, the prescribed glasses will make sure that you are now seeing from a single focal point instead of multiple.

Astigmatism Vs Defective Red Dot, What Is The Main Issue?

Well, now that we know a bit more about astigmatism let’s assume you don’t suffer from it. How do you find out if it’s the red dot that is having the issue? With astigmatism, a red dot can look like an anomaly. For example,

  • Comma, apostrophe, or a smear
  • Double dot (two dots)
  • Cluster of dots/grapes
  • Starburst
  • Blurry dot

How do you figure out if the red dot is the one having an issue?

Take a Picture

Take your smartphone out and take a picture of your red dot in focus. And see if the picture is smeared or having any of the issues mentioned above. If the red dot appears to be smeared or distorted, then your red dot is the one having issues, not your eyes.

Friend Test

This is not scientific nor I’m claiming it as one. It’s just to eliminate the doubt. Call a couple of your shooter friends and let them see through your optic and tell you what they see through the red dot. If those friends have no astigmatism and they say it’s smeared, then there is a high chance that it’s a defective red dot.

Look Through The Iron Sight

If your red dot still appears to be smeared if you look through the iron sight and it’s not as crispy as it’s supposed to be, then it’s probably you.

Using A Red Dot With Astigmatism

Just because you have astigmatism, doesn’t mean you should stop using red dots. As astigmatism doesn’t do well with lights, the light reflection from the red dot isn’t picked up by your eye that well. So, how do you use a red dot with astigmatism?

Turn Down The Light

As we know, astigmatism doesn’t do well with lights. So, if you are using your red dot at a high intensity setting, then you will see more glare coming out of the red dot. And that will result in an intensive experience that will hurt your eyes and make you miss shots.

During the day, we have no issues working regularly under heavy light despite having astigmatism. Considering that you might want to tone down the intensity of your red dot slightly it will help you.

Green vs Red Illumination

Many shooters believe that green dots smear less than red dots. While there is no concrete evidence proving that fact, I suggest you find someone from your community who uses a green dot and try that out. If you see that the green one has significantly fewer smears compared to the red dot, then it’s time to change the optic, my friend.

Polarized Glasses

If your astigmatism isn’t severe and your focal points aren’t having a disco after coming in contact with light, a polarized glass will fix your altered vision and help you with minimal astigmatism.

This is why a lot of bike riders use yellow lens polarized glasses during the night to help them ride better. So, if polarized glasses work for you, that’s incredible!

Just Roll With It

This doesn’t feel like advice, right? Well, technically it still is and isn’t at the same time. But enough about technicalities. The point of a red dot is to shoot as fast as you can with high accuracy.

If you can adjust your MOA to match the accuracy while shooting fast as well, you might as well roll with it, right?


While this might not be the selective solution for most people with high astigmatism, very often astigmatism sufferers benefit from a magnifier. I suggest you try out a magnifier+red dot combination if you can. And if that helps you, go for it.

Prism Sight

Prism sights are a bit different compared to a regular sandwich-style lens or magnifying lens for example. But chances are, prism sights will be more than enough to solve the issue you are having.

Doctor Time

Astigmatism is not a joke my friend. While the internet astigmatism tests and images might seem a bit exaggerated, I assure you that real people are suffering from that. If you are having massive issues with astigmatism, I highly suggest you seek a professional.


Astigmatism is a pain in the head and it causes more issues than you can comprehend. Driving at night becomes nearly impossible due to the light-smearing issues. Headlights seem like a glowing star that is ready to blind you.

If you are a sufferer of astigmatism, I suggest you seek professional help while it’s solvable. Besides that, I hope the steps I mentioned above will help you fix the red dot astigmatism issue.

With that said, that’s all for now. Thanks for reading as usual. Hopefully, you found the read useful. Remember, don’t take health issues lightly. Till next time, take care and have fun.

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