Orthokeratology - an absolute DQ?


10-Year Member
5-Year Member
May 31, 2007
Hi all,

I'm a hopeful from California whose optometrist recommended these hard lenses to control my myopia and astigmatism. It was a pretty long while ago and I didn't realize it was one of the things that would DQ me from the USAFA process...

but orthokeratology is non-surgical and non-permanent (my vision degrades pretty fast if I don't wear them for a few nights) so I don't see what the problem is. Would I still be qualified if I discontinue use starting from now? It will be 2-3 years before I reapply for USAFA and I am 17 years old so my eyes still have some time to stabilize.

*awaiting your responses with heart in my mouth*
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First, I apologize for the delay in responding, I needed to do a little research on this for you. The use of orthokeratology by itself will not be a disqualification from DoDMERB. The vision issues that require the use of orthokeratology may be a disqualification. If the only way you can be corrected to 20/20 is through the use of orthokeratology, or if your refractive error excedes standards then those are 2 possible disqualifications.

If USAFA is what you want, I would advise you to apply. Even if you do get disqualified, there is a chance of getting a waiver. You will never know if you don't try, and if you get disqualified for a vision issue, fight for the waiver. Again, you'll never know if you don't try.

The use of orthokeratology is a disqualification for aviation, but if your primary goal is go to USAFA and to serve your country in the USAF, then go ahead and apply.
Thanks so much! :)

Ah... you have my eternal gratitude, sir (or ma'am, I don't know as I am new...) I'm very much relieved to hear that; I don't have any glaring optical problems so I'm pretty sure I'll pass the test.

I know many people say that the AF is full of pencil pushers, but I've known many retired AF personnel who really inspired me and it gives me pride to know that I can be like them too.

My real love is aircraft though, and I hope I'll be PQ too...
Everytime I hear about the academies it makes me burn that I can't have a shot at it 'till later...

Thanks very much! You just made my entire year :) It's good to know I can still go on with what I want to do.
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