vision

Discussion in 'DoDMERB' started by luckydoggy1234, Apr 7, 2015.

  1. luckydoggy1234

    luckydoggy1234 Member

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    I have terrible eyesight (9.5 diopters around for both eyes give or take). I have almost no astigmatism or whatever, just poor vision; however, it is correctable to 20/20. Does anyone know if they usually give waivers to people with bad vision but are correctable?
     
  2. Zero

    Zero Member

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    You can get waivers just depends on which branch and what the limits are. You also can get LASIK or PRK beforehand and not have to worry about it.
     
  3. future_navy

    future_navy Member

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    nonono do not get listen to zero and get lasik or prk beforehand that automatically disqualifies you! As long as you are correctable to 20/20 vision with glasses and there are no other complications you will not need a waiver.
     
  4. luckydoggy1234

    luckydoggy1234 Member

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    im pretty sure im correctable to 20/20 with glasses (if not, then I can see 3/4 of the 20/20 line) but with contacts i definitely can see 20/20. Also, doesnt it say on the medical requirements that eyesight over 6.5 diopters must be waived?
     
  5. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    This is inaccurate and potentially harmful advice. PRK or LASIK prior to entering the Academy is NOT ADVISABLE.

    It is +/- 8 diopters for some. The correctable to 20/20 is important, but the amount of refractive error in your case is going to be the more important part. I'm not sure how the Services are leaning these days in regards to this so I won't venture to guess how likely a waiver would be.
     
  6. luckydoggy1234

    luckydoggy1234 Member

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    do you know which academy has the harshest vision requirements, and which one the most lax?
     
  7. Zero

    Zero Member

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    First he didn't say he was going to a specific academy and if his vision would fail flat out into the unwaiverable area getting a waiver for each specific academy is likely to be different, rotc completely acceptable. Further he stated I have almost? no astigmatism. So you kinda have one, Having that alone can cause issues because they know it will likely worsen over time due to aging. And it may not be "advisable" but it is possible and an option if you clearly exceed limits. I suggest you talk to a recruiter and look at the regs for the specific program your looking at because they all vary.
     
  8. Zero

    Zero Member

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    AF Acad example:

    Farsightedness (hyperopia) no greater than +8.00 diopters and nearsightedness (myopia) no greater than -8.00 diopters spherical equivalent.

    Waivers may be considered for both PRK and LASIK, however, the waiver applicant must meet very strict preoperative and postoperative criteria. A waiver will not be considered until 12 months following the procedure to ensure full healing. Refractive errors in spherical equivalent of greater than +/-8.00 diopters are disqualifying and greater than +/-10 are not waiverable.

    Pretty much in this example your getting a waiver either way. However it is easier to get a waiver for bad but correctable vision.
     
  9. luckydoggy1234

    luckydoggy1234 Member

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    the reason why I say almost no astigmatism is because the eye doctor told me that at my vision depth (9 diopters greater) astigmatism becomes harder and harder to measure. That is why I would really prefer wearing contacts because the contact fits closer to my eye and because of that I have no astigmatism. Without contacts though my astigmatism measures to be 1.25 on both eyes, but (again) according to my eye doctor that is actually extremely good considering my farsighted problem.
     
  10. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    I'm normally not this harsh, but you are factually wrong if you are talking about PRK or LASIK bringing you within limits. The Services will use the Preoperative refractive error for admission requirements NOT the post-operative when it comes to people who have had refractive surgery. The reason is that the risk of ocular issues related to high myopia and high hyperopia are NOT changed by getting refractive surgery.

    Ones risk of retinal detachments is much higher with high myopia....this risk does not change just because one had a laser reshape their cornea.

    I kinda know this area, I'm an ophthalmologist.....
     
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  11. Zero

    Zero Member

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    I'm not saying that he needs the surgery to get himself within the limits, he's out of them already, my reference was to exceed limits depending on what exactly he wants to do. No matter what his vision is beyond what they would allow without a waiver, Unless one allows 9+/- or higher, which, like I said in my example they do. If he wanted the option to get the surgery, it is possible. From the requirements I've seen he needs a waiver either way. In your opinion it may not be "advisable" but the information on getting it pre-academy/rotc/ots is out there and even posted on official websites. IMO its an option, especially if you don't want to be limited career wise by vision requirements, maybe I'm thinking too far ahead.
     
  12. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    Again, you are just wrong. It's not that it is advisable or not (which it's not at that age anyway for the most part) PRK or LASIK to get within diopteric power limits IS NOT a way to get around the waiver requirements. Maybe I'm reading your statements wrong, but here is an example for illustrative purposes:

    18 year old person wants to join the Service. Their spectacle correction is (insert random high number...) let's say -9.50 Sph. (The Sph part means they have no astigmatism, but just as easily they could have some as PRK/LASIK will correct that too).

    Okay, obviously they are beyond the limits of what the Services allow for commissioning. For illustrative purposes, let's use the Navy requirements (no matter the commissioning source) which is +/- 8.00 Diopters to obtain a commission and +/-6.00 Diopters for starting a program "which leads to a commission" ie USNA/ROTC. (which can be found in MANMED Chapter 15)

    They go ahead and go get their refractive surgery of choice and now whala (how do you even spell that, wala? whaalllaaa? ;) ) they have no need for glasses AND their new refractive error is Plano Sphere, meaning they have 0.00 Diopters of refractive error.

    Guess, what....they are still DQ! They still require the EXACT SAME waiver they required before they had refractive surgery. They have done nothing to improve their chances at getting a waiver, and in fact have introduced another potential problem in their history by having PRK/LASIK completed at an age when most would say the eyes aren't quite completely developed. AND they've introduced risk to their vision that wasn't necessary in the first place to get to their end result.

    Ah, but you say now they've opened the door to being a pilot once they get their commissioning waiver. Well, guess what, that's not quite true either. The requirement for Student Naval Aviator vision is -1.50 to +3.00 Diopters. Well, they meet that requirement, because right now they are 0.00 BUT the requirements for someone that has a history of PRK/LASIK is that their PREOPERATIVE power be within the +3.00 to -8.00 range. So, they are disqualified from that as well and once again, getting PRK/LASIK prior to entering the service gave them no advantage or help. Now reality is they are 3+ years out from their original surgery and since they had surgery at a younger age they likely have had some myopic progression and in reality their prescription has progressed to -1.75 and now they are again outside the limits for pilot again. So now they go back and they need a second surgery, but since they had one already they don't have enough corneal thickness left to safely perform the surgery so now they are completely out of luck for being a pilot.

    Your example of the Air Force Academy from their website is interpreted incorrectly. They are not suggesting that someone who was a -9 correction and does not get PRK/LASIK would not be granted a waiver. They are simply stating that someone who is between 8 and 10 has a chance for a waiver and those beyond 10 are unlikely to get a waiver. The placement of that statement under the discussion of PRK/LASIK does make it slightly ambiguous to someone who is not intimately familiar with these standards.

    I may be coming off harsh here, but it's because I really don't want a young person to come and read this thread and think they've found a way around needing a waiver for their near sightedness.
     
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  13. Zero

    Zero Member

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    I already said your reading it wrong, he has vision issues, he will have issues getting into an academy or even rotc. My comment is that If he wants to do certain career fields that require correction depending on which or what he wants. Like I said above from that example he is disqualified and has to get a waiver for his initial vision no matter what. But your explanation is exactly how i read the regulation right off the admissions website. Pretty easy to find.

    Lastly just to give the OP some hope, when I was at wright-pat they even told us all general vision waivers under max limits are nearly gurenteed as long as correctable.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2015
  14. luckydoggy1234

    luckydoggy1234 Member

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    do you suppose my eyesight would be a major issue for the medical board for either USNA or USMA? (Assuming everything checks out exactly as I have posted it out on this thread)
     
  15. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    It will obviously need to be waivered as you are above the -6.5 cutoff for programs leading to a Naval Commission and beyond the -8.00 for commissioning. As you are close to the cutoff they may require additional eye testing for the waiver review. Whether it will be waivered or not has many variabilities, but if you are a strong candidate or have other factors the Academy is looking for then a waiver is within the realm of possibility, but not necessarily guaranteed.
     
  16. luckydoggy1234

    luckydoggy1234 Member

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    what may these additional eye testing consist of? And what do you mean I am close to the cutoff? I thought 9.5 is very far from 8...
     
  17. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    This is the part of your original comment that I'm taking issue with. You are correct that at some point having refractive surgery MAY open up other career fields to him; however, doing that before even entering a commissioning program does not give one any advantage and may even cause a worse outcome in regards to career opportunities than waiting.
     
  18. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    A detailed dilated fundus exam by an ophthalmologist, a cycloplegic refraction, formal visual field testing, etc. Possibly even an evaluation by a retina specialist depending on what, if anything, was seen on the original exam.

    Simply a more thorough and detailed exam than what one would normally have.

    The problems they are looking for in high myopia include:
    -what caused the high myopia? Is it simply a longer eye than normal, is it a bulging (staphyloma/coloboma) of the back of the eye, is there a problem with the front of the eye being steeper than normal, is it from a corneal condition called keratoconus.
    -Does this person have any additional retinal findings that people with high myopia are at higher risk for? retinal tears, retinal detachments, lacquer cracks, lattice degeneration
    And the answer that the risk analysis people are really looking for: what is the risk this person will develop a vision threatening condition during their time in service or with potential career fields (eg G forces in aviation, atmospheric pressure forces in diving, etc)
     
  19. Falcon A

    Falcon A Member

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  20. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    I think you may be right, but I was going for the more "southern" version of the word which is more Wha- than Voi- (but still I couldn't come up with Voila either, haha)
     
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