USAFA Vision

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by globalview2, Jan 1, 2011.

  1. globalview2

    globalview2 Member

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    Please help with this question.
    My vision is not terrible, it is actually pretty good, but I am very scared right now. I just had an eye appointment check up type deal. I have 20/20 vision in the right and but 20/25 or 20/30 in the left. My eye doctor told me i will be failed for this at USAFA. Is this true, is there any way? I do not wear contacts or glasses. I know nobody can tell me a definate answer but it would be a major blow if this was the case I could not be in the Air Force.
     
  2. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Sounds like your doctor is an idiot. 20/30 vision will not keep you out of the academy. Do you know how many people come into the academy wearing glasses or contacts? Are you an applicant or "Future" applicant? If you're an applicant, then you already took your physical. If you're a future applicant, do worry about it. Maybe your doctor isn't a complete idiot, but he doesn't know what he's talking about.
     
  3. globalview2

    globalview2 Member

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    I am for the class of 2015, I know I am behind, but the pyhsical is all I have to do. And that is awesome news to me.
     
  4. Triple111

    Triple111 Member

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    I believe the eyesight for being PQ'd is 20/70 uncorrected, 20/20 corrected (for nearsightedness)

    20/20 uncorrected (farsight)
     
  5. flymom

    flymom Member

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    My cadet is getting eye surgery right this very minute at USAFA... She just sent a text from the waiting room.
     
  6. agolson

    agolson Eagle43

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    What class is your DD in?
     
  7. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    NOTE FOR NEW APPLICANTS:

    With the talk of eyesight and such; it is common for some people with vision issues to consider getting lasik surgery PRIOR to coming to the academy. One individual's father actually performs the surgery, and they though it could make them more competitive. Especially for pilot slots.

    This is VERY SIMPLE....... DO NOT DO IT!!!!

    If you get lasik surgery prior to getting to the academy, you are almost guaranteed to be considered DISQUALIFIED MEDICALLY!!! Don't Do it.

    If you want lasik type surgery; the academy will perform PRK surgery for you after commitment. (Beginning of your 3rd year). And guess what???? You don't even have to be applying to be a pilot. They'll still perform the surgery for you.

    Also; the surgery literally only takes about 20 minutes. My son had his done this past August. He said there was a line in the waiting room of about 10-15 people. One person in, then out, and they'd say: "NEXT" and the line kept going. FWIW: His vision with glasses/contacts was 20/20. Without glasses it was 20/30 and 20/40. Now, after PRK, it is 20/15 in both eyes. No more glasses or contacts.

    But again; other than possibly getting your wisdom teeth taken out, DON'T get any surgery done. Especially Lasik surgery. Lasik can disqualify you from being accepted to the academy.
     
  8. aggie83

    aggie83 Member

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    CC - interesting that your son's uncorrected vision of between 20/30 and 20/40 qualified him for PRK. Our C3C son's eyes are in the range of 20/50 to 20/70, and he was told when he went for his PQ eye appt. in Dec. that his eyes were "too good" for surgery and would need a waiver. I had read that previously so was expecting it, but now am confused by your own son's experience.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2011
  9. bandit

    bandit Member

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    While I agree with the statement "Don't Do it" I don't believe you are almost guaranteed to be DQ. Here is what the instructions to precandidates booklet says on the matter. That aside, I still wouldn't do it. Chances are your eyes aren't full developed at such a young age, plus if something goes wrong. Then you definately qill be DQ. Whereas if something goes wrong once you are in, they will fix it and if they can't. You might not be PQ but you will still be in the academy.

    You will only get PRK your junior year if you are otherwise PQ. Meaning as long as the only thing keeping you from being PQ is your vision and the surgery is expected to solve the problem, then you can get PRK under the pilot program. Otherwise you have to get it under the Warfighter program. So for example, if you are color blind, you won't get PRK under the pilot program your junior year. The Warfighter program requires you to be 21 and most cadets are not 21 their junior year, so must wait until their senior year. To make matters worse. You must also have at least 6 months left at the academy, which means you must be 21 before Nov of your senior year to qualify.

    Another sidenote. for purposes of evaluating your vision, they will assume your vision will be corrected no better with PRK than it is with glasses/contacts. So if you vision is only correctable to say 20/25 or perhaps even 20/20 -2 with glasses/contacts, then you will not qualify for PRK under the pilot program.
     
  10. flymom

    flymom Member

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    agolson,

    My daughter is class of 2012.
     
  11. bjkuds

    bjkuds Parent

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    Lasiks surgery

    Many Doc's around here won't touch you until you are at least 20 years old anyway. My eye surgeon said that the eyes of a 18 or 19 year old tend to change a lot and its wasted if done too young. I made the inquiry for my 18 year old who's contacts caused some minor issues with his cornea.
     
  12. AFA2016

    AFA2016 Member

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    I'm just going to throw a quick question in here-I recently finished my application for summer seminar and there was a question that asked if my uncorrected vision was 20/50 or better...why do they ask this if PQ requirements are 20/70 uncorrected?(According to what I just read)
     
  13. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    Good question.

    I'll take a wild guess and say it might be an oversight from an old standard.
     
  14. AFA2016

    AFA2016 Member

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    I sure hope so, my vision is 20/60:biggrin:
     
  15. usafa2012mom

    usafa2012mom Member

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    Very helpful information. Thank you. My son is very near-sighted (20/800, but not color blind) He has always dreamed of being a pilot. We had heard that the Air Force would possibly provide lasik surgery to correct vision. So we all were hoping this was true.
     
  16. McCoy

    McCoy Member

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    Can any vision correctable to 20/20 get PQ'd after PRK at the academy?
     
  17. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    After PRK surgery, you will have regular eye exam checkups. After 1 year, you will be determined PQ for your eyes or not. If you are still 20/20, then there is no reason to not be PQ.

    PRK however is not an "Automatic" option. There's a certain range in your prescription that you must fall into. Your eyes can be too good or too bad. I believe it's the diopters or something like that, that they measure. There are some who can't get PRK, but they are correctable to 20/20 with contact lenses, and they can be given a waiver to wear contact lenses and become PQ. There are some that can't get PRK, and their vision isn't correctable with contacts to 20/20, and they aren't waivered or PQ'd.
     
  18. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    If outside of PQ (20/70 correctable to 20/20 with glasses/contacts, and 20/20 near vision, IIRC), there are options for a waiver or PRK.

    PRK is usually done for people with -3.0 to -8.0 diopters (or something like that). Now, PRK isn't a sure bet. There can be complicating factors. It usually works just fine, and a lot of people end up with 20/10 or 20/15 vision. Unfortunately, a few people will still have issues. I have one friend who was not PQ after the surgery due to some complications.

    The other option is the waiver route. This is what I did. My vision was not PQ, but it did not fall into the PRK range either. Fortunately, my vision is correctable to 20/20 with glasses. I was able to get a waiver. This isn't guaranteed either. Some people have other vision factors that will not get a waiver.

    The good news is that USAFA has a clinic staff that knows most of the process pretty well. They might not always be fast, but they usually get things done right, and manage to get a lot of PRK/waivers to be PQ in the end.
     
  19. McCoy

    McCoy Member

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    So, you can get a waiver to be PQ with contacts/glasses? :eek:
    And according to my contacts my right is -2.75 and left is -3.00, so I guess I'd be like right on the edge or qualifying? lol
     
  20. RyWalk

    RyWalk Candidate-2015

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    That was news for me too. I guess I'll have to look into future waivers since my dodmerb came back Q but without the P.

    My perscription is -4.00 right and left, so I have a feeling it's too bad for PRK
     

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