Myopia Pending Waiver Review

BW3124

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May 10, 2017
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My daughter was offered a 4 year AFROTC scholarship. Her DoDMERB status is currently Pending Waiver Submission/Review. Her disqualification code is D155.70 Myopia - refractive error greater than -8.0 diopters. She called to get her test results; one eye was -7.75 and the other was -7.75 with a cylinder power of -.75. This should make her spherical equivalent in that eye just over -8.1. The person she spoke with at the DoDMERB number given in the letter said that the numbers from both eyes are added together so her numbers would need to be around -3 in both eyes in order to qualify. I'm not sure, but unless the Air Force has a different formula for qualification, this does not sound right to me. Is this accurate? Do we need to submit anything that might be helpful to get this waived? Should we take her in for another exam? The letter states that any additional medical information we submit now will be forwarded for the waiver authority's review. Since her numbers are so close, is it likely that it will be waived? I know that it is anyone's guess, but it seems that if waivers are granted for this, it would be more likely if her numbers are close. I am curious about other persons experience with the same issue. She has been accepted to the University Nursing Program and would therefore be a Nurse in the Air Force. We spoke with the detachment at the U and they said that they wont have access to anything until she starts to in process with them. Please, we are just looking for anything anyone can tell us about their experiences. Thank you.
 

AROTC-dad

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I will chime in since no one else has responded.

I would suggest that you find another opthalmologist who has a military background to obtain a second opinion. Send that into DoDMERB to be forwarded to the AFROTC waiver authority.

Another idea would be to give Dr./CAPT Glen Merchant a try. He is a retired DoDMERB director and former Navy Physician/Marine fighter pilot, who now operates DoDMERB Consultants. Just Google dodmerb consultants and it will pop right up. Several members of this forum including a friend of mine have been pleased with the guidance that Dr/CAPT Merchant provided them. He is retired and travels, so he may not respond instantly.

Be sure your DD communicates with her AFROTC detachment contact and informs him/her of what you are doing. Keep your chain of command advised.

Good luck!
 

BW3124

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Thank you for the advice. I will follow your suggestions and keep praying that things go well.
 

AROTC-dad

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You are welcome, and congratulations on your DD's outstanding achievement!

Please keep us posted on what happens.
 

CA_USNA_Dad

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Dec 29, 2016
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My daughter was offered a 4 year AFROTC scholarship. Her DoDMERB status is currently Pending Waiver Submission/Review. Her disqualification code is D155.70 Myopia - refractive error greater than -8.0 diopters. She called to get her test results; one eye was -7.75 and the other was -7.75 with a cylinder power of -.75. This should make her spherical equivalent in that eye just over -8.1. The person she spoke with at the DoDMERB number given in the letter said that the numbers from both eyes are added together so her numbers would need to be around -3 in both eyes in order to qualify. I'm not sure, but unless the Air Force has a different formula for qualification, this does not sound right to me. Is this accurate? Do we need to submit anything that might be helpful to get this waived? Should we take her in for another exam? The letter states that any additional medical information we submit now will be forwarded for the waiver authority's review. Since her numbers are so close, is it likely that it will be waived? I know that it is anyone's guess, but it seems that if waivers are granted for this, it would be more likely if her numbers are close. I am curious about other persons experience with the same issue. She has been accepted to the University Nursing Program and would therefore be a Nurse in the Air Force. We spoke with the detachment at the U and they said that they wont have access to anything until she starts to in process with them. Please, we are just looking for anything anyone can tell us about their experiences. Thank you.

I'm no expert on myopia waiver but that does not sound right. I know that waiver depends on the institution giving the waiver but my DD was granted a waiver with -9 in one eye and -8 in the other eye. If what the DoDMERB person told your DD is correct, then my daughter had -17 diopter. Either the numbers do not get added or USNA is very, very generous with their waivers.
 

kp2001

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The person that you spoke with is incorrect, I would recommend calling back and asking to speak with someone different letting that person also know who gave you that response so they can be appropriately educated. For eye prescriptions you never add the two eyes together. Yes, spherical equivalent (sphere +0.5*cyl) in each eye is calculated, but you don't add the eyes together to get some magical number.

The reason 8 is the number is that is essentially the number at which your risk of retinal detachments and other issues becomes more pronounced (it's still fairly low though).
 

BW3124

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I'm no expert on myopia waiver but that does not sound right. I know that waiver depends on the institution giving the waiver but my DD was granted a waiver with -9 in one eye and -8 in the other eye. If what the DoDMERB person told your DD is correct, then my daughter had -17 diopter. Either the numbers do not get added or USNA is very, very generous with their waivers.
Did you submit anything additional to obtain the waiver? Did it take very long for your daughter? I have seen that it can take from 1 day to 6 months.
 

CA_USNA_Dad

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Did you submit anything additional to obtain the waiver? Did it take very long for your daughter? I have seen that it can take from 1 day to 6 months.

After she was initially DQ'ed, more comprehensive exam (with pupil dilation) was scheduled with a specialist as per USNA request. The myopia was even worse than the initial measurements. However DD got the waiver in about 2 weeks. Hope that this info helps.
 

BW3124

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After she was initially DQ'ed, more comprehensive exam (with pupil dilation) was scheduled with a specialist as per USNA request. The myopia was even worse than the initial measurements. However DD got the waiver in about 2 weeks. Hope that this info helps.
Thank you! We appreciate your response and sharing your experience with us. The support and input we have received from this site has been very helpful in easing our anxiety.
 

BW3124

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May 10, 2017
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The person that you spoke with is incorrect, I would recommend calling back and asking to speak with someone different letting that person also know who gave you that response so they can be appropriately educated. For eye prescriptions you never add the two eyes together. Yes, spherical equivalent (sphere +0.5*cyl) in each eye is calculated, but you don't add the eyes together to get some magical number.

The reason 8 is the number is that is essentially the number at which your risk of retinal detachments and other issues becomes more pronounced (it's still fairly low though).
Thank you for responding; we appreciate your taking the time to reply and provide us with the information. I was pretty sure that what he was telling her was wrong. Hopefully she will get the waiver and we can breath a sigh of relief.
 

Royals8515

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Jun 30, 2020
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My daughter was measured at over -8 and was granted a medical waiver for Air Force ROTC (June 2020). The key was the eye exam itself. The concern is the possibility of a detached retina. Here is an example of the comments we received from two different eye doctors.

Summary of DOD-contracted Dilated Fundoscopic Exam with Dr. X (26 May 20)
- OD and OS Vitreous: Clear without hemorrhage, cells, or pigment.
- OD and OS Vessels: Normal contour, caliber without neovascularization.
- OD and OS Macula: Normal contour without heme, edema, drusen, or exudate.
- OD and OS Periphery: Normal appearance without retinal tears, breaks, holes, or mass.

Summary of Dilated Fundoscopic Exam with Family Eye Doctor, Dr. Y (14 May 20)
- Optic nerves, maculae, and retinal vasculature all revealed optimal ocular health.
- Retinal peripheral exam revealed no ocular pathology.
- There are no hemes, exudate, scars, opacities, or retinal degeneration.
- Of specific interest in this case, no thinning or lattice degeneration of the retina 360 (OD or OS).

Although we had great results from both exams, it important to note that the needs of each Service shift from year-to-year.

Best wishes during the process. It is long and difficult but most definitely worth the effort.
 
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