Corrective eye surgery questions

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Dec 4, 2018
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Does anybody know if the U.S. Naval Academy allows prior corective eye surgery like PRK or LASIK? If so, do they require waivers? Are they hard to get? Can I become a pilot with it?
 

Old Navy BGO

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Jan 5, 2012
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Lots of good information in the Medical Section,,,but with respect to Corrective Surgery, it is my understanding that any procedure before Admission is disqualifying and non-waiverable. Once in, Navy will perform corrective surgery for qualified persons. I will leave it to current or recent Midshipmen to comment on flight eligibility.
 

BDHuff09

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May 26, 2012
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The Navy heavily discourages getting eye surgery from a private doctor before joining. I can't find the regulation right now that says whether or not they can waive prior surgery for joining.

At any rate, the Navy can give you PRK/LASIK while you are a Midshipman, typically after 2 for 7 signing and before the fall of your 1/C year. It's free, and as long as you are medically able to have the procedure (and desire to) there is no reason you can't have it done.

If the surgery is successful and corrects your vision deficiency to within standards for aviation (which happens most but not all of the time) and your eyes are healthy then yes you can enter flight school to become an Pilot/NFO.

I had LASIK and while my eyes are perfectly healthy one of them was not corrected to within pilot standards. I could have asked to have a second surgery but due to timing and some other circumstances I chose not to do so. I am now in NFO flight school.
 

CatChaser

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Mar 21, 2014
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My DD had PRK the fall of her 2/C year. Her service selection was aviation/pilot and she was accepted into that community. She heads for flight school sometime next summer after graduation/commissioning.
 

GoCubbies

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Does anybody know if the U.S. Naval Academy allows prior corective eye surgery like PRK or LASIK? If so, do they require waivers? Are they hard to get? Can I become a pilot with it?
What’s your eye glasses prescription?

I wouldn’t get corneal refractive surgery until you’re at least 20yo because your refraction isn’t really stable until after your teenage years. Plus, you’ll be hitting the books hard while at the Academy so your refraction may change a bit because of that. Those are a couple reasons why cadets and mids don’t get CRS until later during their time at the Academy.
 

MidwestDad

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Feb 15, 2017
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Your DoDMERB exam will include vision; as long as correctable to 20/20 it is not a DQ.

Good advice above - don't do anything on your own now. If you receive an appointment you will have the chance to fully vet your options then.

Also military rules and regulations change frequently so don't assume today's answers will apply the same when it affects you in future years.
 

kayaker

Mother of USNA Graduate (Class of 2019)
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Feb 5, 2013
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141
Good advice above. My son had PRK between 2/C and 1/C years. It was successful, but because vision was very bad (greater than 8 diopters, if I got it right) in one eye pre-surgery, he was told he would not qualify for pilot. As MidwestDad says, rules and regs change, so keep on top of it. Things could change.
 

poppygaichik

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Joined
Nov 14, 2018
Messages
29
Does anybody know if the U.S. Naval Academy allows prior corective eye surgery like PRK or LASIK? If so, do they require waivers? Are they hard to get? Can I become a pilot with it?
What’s your eye glasses prescription?

I wouldn’t get corneal refractive surgery until you’re at least 20yo because your refraction isn’t really stable until after your teenage years. Plus, you’ll be hitting the books hard while at the Academy so your refraction may change a bit because of that. Those are a couple reasons why cadets and mids don’t get CRS until later during their time at the Academy.
roughly 20/40 in each eye, with -1.25 to -1.5 myopia, and 1-2 degrees of astigmatism.
 

poppygaichik

Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2018
Messages
29
Does anybody know if the U.S. Naval Academy allows prior corective eye surgery like PRK or LASIK? If so, do they require waivers? Are they hard to get? Can I become a pilot with it?
What’s your eye glasses prescription?

I wouldn’t get corneal refractive surgery until you’re at least 20yo because your refraction isn’t really stable until after your teenage years. Plus, you’ll be hitting the books hard while at the Academy so your refraction may change a bit because of that. Those are a couple reasons why cadets and mids don’t get CRS until later during their time at the Academy.
roughly 20/40 in each eye, with -1.25 to -1.5 myopia, and 1-2 degrees of astigmatism.
*borderline 20/40 to 20/50
 
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