Vision Restrictions for surgery

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by Ratdawg81, Feb 14, 2014.

  1. Ratdawg81

    Ratdawg81 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2014
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    19
    Can anyone elaborate if there are limits on who can receive corrective eye surgery at academy to become medically qualified for pilot training? Or are all nearsighted mids q'd for this if they choose to pursue aviation?
     
  2. mparow57

    mparow57 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    From what I've read online, a Navy pilot's eyes can be no worse than 20/40, which is about the same requirement to drive unrestricted anywhere in the US.

    I'm pretty sure all LASIK surgery is disqualifying for pilots. There are, however, a small percentage of pilots-to-be who are selected for experimental testing with corrective eye surgery who are then given a waiver. Hope this helps.
     
  3. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    Messages:
    742
    Likes Received:
    121
    Bad, or at least outdated, gouge. PRK is extremely common for mids who want to go flight and, provided there are no complications (95% of cases), essentially is granted an automatic waiver. LASIK might still have a couple restrictions, but that's changing.

    As long as you are medically able to have corrective eye surgery, you will be able to have PRK or LASIK at USNA.
     
  4. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2010
    Messages:
    7,547
    Likes Received:
    1,009
    I believe the key part of that is in red. Do not be rushing out to get this done on your own. My recollections, based on past threads, is that it could cost you your opportunity to fly.
     
  5. SwimmingMid

    SwimmingMid Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2014
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    0
    A Firstie I meant on one of my visits said he received PRK prior to his SEAL cruise. He has selected EOD as his service so I am wondering if PRK is an option for SpecWar or SpecOps not just pilot training. I would figure it is or is not, and if it is not, the Firstie must have had poor enough vision to be considered although he never told me what vision he had prior to the surgery. My DodMERB eye exam placed me at 20/20 but I was wondering if 20/15 or better would be more desired for SpecWar or SpecOps(EOD). Also are the eyesight requirements the same for both fixed-wing and rotary aircraft training?
     
  6. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    Messages:
    742
    Likes Received:
    121
    The choice to have (or don't have) PRK happens 2/C year, well before service selection. The only impact is has on service selection is whether or not you are qualified for a particular service/designator. There are plenty of guys who have eye surgery and end up in SEALs/EOD/USMC Infantry, etc. More likely your firstie for other reasons (his choice or otherwise) ended up not in SEALs.

    Eyesight requirements are universal to enter flight training. To my knowledge, the only difference in requirements for different platforms are the anthro requirements. If you're too tall/short/heavy/little/disproportionate you can't fly certain airframes. Originally I was told, for example, that I couldn't fly jets because I had little T-Rex arms. When I came to Pensacola I got measured again and got cleared for every platform.

    And yes, to add on to what Kinnem said, do not get eye surgery before reporting to USNA. It will disqualify you. They will give it to you for free anyway, so it behooves you to wait.
     
  7. usnabgo08

    usnabgo08 USNA 2008/BGO

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    Messages:
    1,829
    Likes Received:
    595
    DO NOT....I repeat....DO NOT get eye surgery prior to attending USNA. It might jeopardize your DODMERB status and cause the appointment to be revoked. As others said above....get it AT USNA, NOT BEFORE!
     
  8. SwimmingMid

    SwimmingMid Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2014
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    0
    Oops! Forgot to edit "meant" to "met" haha.
     
  9. 1964BGO

    1964BGO Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Messages:
    923
    Likes Received:
    16
    As a bit of background on the issue: about ten years ago when vision requirements still were an issue for admission, BGO's/AC's were told that the Senior Medical Officers of all of the academies discussed the nature of the problem and what should be a common approach. At that time Lazik was a major taboo for DOD, and anyone having had that procedure was absolutely DQ's from the academies. The position adopted by the SMO's was to relax on the vision requirements for the SA's on the premise that since candidates generally were still in late teens or early 20's their bodies still were developing, and they may outgrow the need for surgery for vision. USNA took the position to award waivers for vision with the backup that if a midshipman required better vision for his/her service selection Navy would control the access. Early on this affected about 40 - 50 admissions per class.

    Among other things, I got the impression that one of the concerns at that time was regarding the quality of the surgery that was available on the open market, so the academies opted to control the situation by controlling access and going with PRK which was less invasive. Dear Abbie may have had an input with her response to someone's complaint about a less than satisfactory experience with a physician: "... remember that at least fifty per cent of all physicians graduated in the bottom half of their class..." No aspersions being intended, just quoting an advice columnist.
     

Share This Page