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Guest Siscojoe

Depth perception issues

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The tech should NOT rush you through the test.

He/she should walk through group A with you...it is part of the "instruction" phase. Once you say you understand (can see how the circles stand out) then the test begins. You must pass groups B through D unaided to pass. If you are unsuccessful they should try with correction...even though your distant vision is "20/15" there may be a slight astigmatism. Once they fit you with temporary lenses they should retest you. If you are still unsuccessful they should send you to the optometry folks to get the further evaluation studies I mentioned before. Don't let them stop just with the OVT...it is only a screening test!

Hang in there.

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More of a question to the flight docs here...

Shirley, there is a medical condition that does affects depth perception, some people will always have a problem.

But for everyone else, there MUST be some sort of excersizes to practice/maintain/build depth perception (as brabus said, without visual cues).

At the pha the technicians hold your hand and walk you through everything but ultimately its up to you to pass. A Polish dude in the waiting room was joking around saying they should use the 3-D books where the pictures pop out, instead of this test. When I went in, after about 2 minutes of saying "they are all the same" I finally tried looking past the circles (like the 3-D pictures) and it worked. The techs try to help you and say stuff like "look past, or look between" blah blah but its a little like trying to explain how to move your arm - you just DO it.

Is there any way to practice or build up strength in the eyes for this? I have good depth perception, I know this because as soon as I knew what to do I read off the lines in rapid fire one after the other. But it took me a WHILE to figure out how to make them pop up. Could the problem of not knowing exactly HOW to look past the pictures be the same problem for others?

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Well, I just went for my DODMERB vision exam and I'm not sure what to think. My visual acuity was all fine as was the color tests. My point of convergence was 2mm, if that matters. The only thing I'm concerned about is that I only got down to 50 arc seconds for the depth perception and I believe you need at least 40. Am I going to be NPQ'd and if I am, can I re test or apply for a waiver? If no waiver or re-test is possible, is this a show stopper for Pilot and Nav, or just Pilot?

Thanks in advance.

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Ok, here's what I did...probably not the best way, but it worked.

I first went to a civilian optometrist and failed a couple of DP tests. From that point, it became very clear to me that I would not be able to pass a depth perception test without some practice. The best way, in my opinion, to pass a DP test is to learn to see Magic Eyes. http://www.magiceye.com/faq_example.htm

For my entire life, I thought the Magic Eye thing was an elaborate hoax, and everyone who claimed to see them was lying. Well, they actually work. I spent a couple of weeks mastering Magic Eye, and then went to talk to my NCOs about how I could change my status. They told me that it wasn't possible. After that, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I went to Dobbins ARB and told them I needed a DP test. I printed out the eye exam sheet from the DoDMERB website and brought it with me to look official. I looked into the machine and none of the circles jumped out at me. Then I started doing the Magic Eye thing, and went line by line. Eventually, I made it through every line and passed. I had the doctor sign the form, and I mailed it to DoDMERB with a paragraph stating that I was rebutting the original test. They sent me a letter back telling me that they wanted a test done by an Air Force doctor. So, I called up Robins AFB, and scheduled a DP test. When I got there, they had me do the same test I had done at Dobbins, and I used the Magic Eye method again.

I mailed in those results, and about 3 weeks later, my NCOs got a letter saying I was PPQ. They were kind of mad because I had done all of this without them knowing, but they told me it couldn't be done, so I had no other option.

A few years passed, I got a pilot slot, and headed to Brooks for my Initial Flying Class 1. Sure enough, it was the same test I had taken so many times before, so I had no problems. A lot of the other people there that passed originally were having a lot of trouble. So in the end, I think all of my practice really paid off.

Remember, the answer will never be #1 or #5, and use the Magic Eye method!

Good Luck!

EDIT:

If you don't already have access to DoDMERB, you need to create an account so you can view all of your information. This is the DoDMERB web address.

https://dodmerb.tricare.osd.mil/default.asp

This is the address for the eye exam form that you will need.

https://dodmerb.tricare.osd.mil/MiscMenuItems/forms.asp

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I've been posting consistently over at airforceots.com and thought I would seek the professional opinions of some of you med guys, rage, etc...

I failed depth perception at MEPS. I went to a civvy doctor and got signed off for 30 seconds of arc on the Randot test. He did a full blown exam and wrote me this prescription:

-0.50 DS

-0.25 DS

I think thats right and left, respectively. I read that the test is already setup to stimulate depth so performing MagicEyes techniques does not yield any results. Supposedly the best thing for depth perception is having equal strength in both eyes. I was wondering if some of you guys could clear it up for me. I want to be prepared for my FC1 in February.

Should I go ahead and get the prescription for glasses and just take them with me? I dont need them for every day visual enhancement. He said they would just "sharpen" my distant vision. When I focus on something off in the distance, I notice I can focus considerably better with my left than my right...supporting his prescription. But was does "DS" mean?

Thanks guys!

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Caveat: I'm not a flight surgeon.

DS stands for distance stereopsis (aka distant vision). To tell which is which, there should also be OD or OS - OD is right eye, OS is left eye.

I used to wear glasses only occasionally with a similar prescription for distant vision (not terrible, just noticed things were a little hazy far off) and used to not be able to pass the depth perception test without them. A few years later, I ended up passing the distant vision test 20/20, and not needing the glasses for depth perception. Haven't used them since, and I don't require them for flying duties. I'd recommend getting the prescription, and using them as required for depth perception - it won't affect the outcome of your IFC I physical whatsoever if you just need a mild prescription.

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If you don't get the glasses, they will give you corrective frames to wear at Brooks. Your eyes need to be the exact same for several of the eye tests they give at Brooks (especially DP). Several of the people that were at Brooks with me had to get corrective lenses to pass the DP test due to inconsistency between their eyes.

Remember, if you ever have trouble passing the DP tests, learn to do magic eyes. It is basically the same principle and works like a charm. I was initially DQ for pilot because of DP. I learned how to see Magic Eyes, got PPQ, and breezed through Brooks with no problems.

Good luck!

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thanks for the responses...

well here's my subsequent question, should i get glasses or contacts?

i can get a free trial pair of contacts to see if i like them from my opt. would contacts be a bad idea at my FC1? I think I remember reading that you can't even wear the contacts 48 hours prior or something?

glasses will have to be picked out and ordered but at least i'll have them. are glasses the only type of correction allowed during the FC1? Plus, if I get glasses I wont have to deal with the hassle of keeping up and maintaining contacts. if i take the glasses with me to the FC1, do I wear them the entire time or just during the vision tests or just during the DP test or what?

Thanks, guys

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You have to wear glasses. You only wear them during the tests, unless you want to wear them other times. Some tests you will do with and without your glasses. They will let you know.

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Hello all! I am in need of "guidence", "clarification/verification" on the Depth Perception issue. First off, just a quick heads-up: I am not an officer applying for UPT but enlisted applying for a Enlisted Aircrew position (1A2X1-Loadmaster). I have passed all of my FC-III with the exception of....you guessed it, depth perception. I have read all the threads on this issue and I too have the problem of NOT seeing this damn circle sticking out at me. FltMed sent me to Optometry to run a full DP evaluation, I went, I tested, and I passed...matter of fact, Opto said I had great eyes! Waiver was written, medical package sent off (MAJCOM-AETC-ACS) but came back denied due to failure of OVT. How is that so?! What can I do?! How come I have great vision, have DP but get denied just because I cant pass that stupid shadow box!? Ridiculous! I will include a few of the info off my waiver. I hope you Flt Docs can help me out.! Please give me some sort of info/feedback on what to do or to take back to my Flt Med Office. Info is as follows:

Distant & Near Visual Acuity: OD&OS 20/20 uncorrected

Heterophoria: eso-0 exo-2 RH-0 LH-0 CT Ortho

Accomodation: RT: 9.5 LT: 11.0

Field of Vision: RT/LT: Normal

Color Vision: VTS-CV passes OS/OD: 14/14

OVT: FAILS A

IOT: RT: 14 LT: 16

Red Lens Test: Pass

Duction: Full Range

Versions: Full Range

Cover Test: Ortho in all fields of gaze

Alternate Cover Test: Ortho in all fields of gaze

AO Vectograph Stereopsis @ 6 Meters: 4 of 4 Correct 90 Arc Seconds: PASS

AO Suppression Test @ 6 Meters: 6 of 6 Letters Correct 20/40 OU: PASS

RANDOT Suppression Test: 10/10 correct, Passes at 20 sec. Arc: PASS

Red Lens Test: Pass

4 Diopter Base out Prism Test @ 6 Meters: PASS

Amsler Grid: PASS

Ocular Fundus Normal Disc and Retina

Assesment: No evidence of micro strabismus or monofixation, normal DP. PASSES all tests req'd by AFI 48-123

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To semi revive this thread...

I'm a rising senior and have already gotten a pilot slot and just recently went to MEPS in Raleigh, NC to renew my physical. Everything was well and good until the dreaded depth test. I've taken depth tests before and had no issue with it but when I got to the part none of the circles beyond row B would pop out at me and I panicked. To make matters worse it was freezing in there and the tech wasn't very friendly and was trying to rush me through it. :bash:

Because I failed and need the depth perception clearance on my physical to go to Freefall on 5 June I'm retaking the test on this Tuesday (27 May). I jumped on here and to my relief saw that other people have experienced trouble with the same test.

Taking the magic eyes advice I went out today and got a book. My question is this:

There are two ways to view the magic eye images, one is diverging your eyes and the other is converging (crossing) them. I find the convergence way to be MUCH easier to do and was wondering if that technique would make the circles jump the same as looking past the image. Anyone who has any idea please drop me a line...really biting my nails for this retake!!!

Edited by laserEYESflyer
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if you noticed in my previous post, i had the same question. after some research, i found that the OVT machine is already setup to stimulate the depth. diverging your eyes slightly is what allows you to hone in on the different levels of depth. also, if you realize, converging your eyes makes an inversion of the image so the circle would be further away, not closer. i went in for my IFC1 in February and passed without my glasses.....barely and to be honest I guessed on a few.

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Okay. Here is my problem. I just failed the depth perception test at brooks. I am rotc getting my FC1. I already know I am going to need a refractive waiver and the tech said its not a big deal and I will be tested tomorrow. I was wondering if I can get a waiver for both refractive and depth?

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Okay. Here is my problem. I just failed the depth perception test at brooks. I am rotc getting my FC1. I already know I am going to need a refractive waiver and the tech said its not a big deal and I will be tested tomorrow. I was wondering if I can get a waiver for both refractive and depth?

WTF is a refractive waiver? If that means you need glasses then after you get glasses the depth perception test becomes exponentially easier since you can now see. As for 2 waivers there is no limit on how many you can have you just have to have them approved and there is no cut and dry answer to what they will approve. For some getting waivers is easy and for other it is not so easy. Just keep at it and don't give up.

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WTF is a refractive waiver? If that means you need glasses then after you get glasses the depth perception test becomes exponentially easier since you can now see. As for 2 waivers there is no limit on how many you can have you just have to have them approved and there is no cut and dry answer to what they will approve. For some getting waivers is easy and for other it is not so easy. Just keep at it and don't give up.

Basically, I am just wondering if you can get a excessive refractive error, depth perception and possibly a lattice degeneration that is well within waiverable limits? I just want to make sure I can get all three waivers. These are the ones I look like I need.

That said, two tech's made it seem as though it was not a big deal and that I would just be tested again. Is this really the case?

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That said, two tech's made it seem as though it was not a big deal and that I would just be tested again. Is this really the case?

Don't worry too much about it. The same thing happened to me, I failed that magic eye circle thing. I think I only got 4 correct, and even one or 2 or those were a SWAG. The following day when your with the optometrist (before you get your eyes dilated) he/she will determine your prescription and a tech will make a quick set of glasses for you (very stylish by the way). Then you'll retake whatever test(s) you failed without the glasses (I think I got 5 correct that time), then while wearing the prescription (aced it). If all goes well and you're within the allowable uncorrected limits you'll be good to go.

Also, when you get your approved FCI paperwork back it'll probably say something about needing to wear corrective lenses in performance of flight duties, or something along those lines.

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Basically, I am just wondering if you can get a excessive refractive error, depth perception and possibly a lattice degeneration that is well within waiverable limits? I just want to make sure I can get all three waivers. These are the ones I look like I need.

That said, two tech's made it seem as though it was not a big deal and that I would just be tested again. Is this really the case?

Look...it's not the quantity of the waviers that is an issue...you can have several defects that need waiver...it's the severity, prognosis, specifics of each case, and the impact on flying safety...yours and the Big Blue's...

- Show stoppers like color vision are not waiverable...you can have it and not realize it or you can game the system and go all the way through the process (taking a seat from someone) but once you hit Brooks they're gonna find it...and if you are on your way to UPT with your U-Haul in the parking lot, your family in billeting, and a newly purchased home waiting for you in Columbus you've really added to your stress factor...

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ok so i just got a nav slot and last week i went to maxwell afb to take my fc1.first thing first i have 20/20 uncorrected vision.

in my depth perception box it says "pass - f ovt" what is the "-f" for? i failed the red lens test in that box it says "fail -diplopia" and i failed the field of view test with 135* for both eyes.

i'm getting a retest bc i claimed i was woozy bc of giving blood, not getting a good nites rest, and having not eaten. but if for some reason when i take the tests again i still fail is there a waiver for the red lens test and for field of view tests?

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ok so i just got a nav slot and last week i went to maxwell afb to take my fc1.first thing first i have 20/20 uncorrected vision.

in my depth perception box it says "pass - f ovt" what is the "-f" for? i failed the red lens test in that box it says "fail -diplopia" and i failed the field of view test with 135* for both eyes.

i'm getting a retest bc i claimed i was woozy bc of giving blood, not getting a good nites rest, and having not eaten. but if for some reason when i take the tests again i still fail is there a waiver for the red lens test and for field of view tests?

On the depth perception, Pass-F means that you correctly identified all of the targets through line F (which is the last line of the test). The red lens test is a screening test that detects misalignment of the eyes in different directions of gaze. If you fail it, more testing is warranted to identify if there really is a problem or not. The "further testing" (which may include a repeat of the test) will determine where you stand with regards to waiverability, or if you even need a waiver. Red lens failures that are due to true eye misalignments are rare, but do happen. If this is confirmed, a waiver is unlikely.

A true failure on the visual field test is also very unusual. Again, a retest or further evaluation is required to confirm that accuracy of this result. As with the red lens, if this is a correct finding, waiverability is unlikely.

Bottom line is that a couple of flags have been raised on screening tests and warrants a closer look.

GD

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I have been flying as a flight engineer for 5 years now. It was recently "discovered" that my depth perception is not up to standards. I am a flight engineer with 2380 hours on the KC-10 and currently enrolled in the CV-22 program here at Kirtland. My flying class III physical is good with the stipulation of no scanning within 200 meters of the aircraft on the ground or in the air. I have 20/15 vision uncorrected and they were unable to find anything else wrong with my eyes other than me not being able to pass the depth perception circle test or the optometrists tests. My functional manager is saying that I have to find a new job. However, I have a buddy back at Travis with the exact same waiver that is still allowed to fly. Furthermore, I also have a buddy at Tinker who says there are 3 guys in his squadron (that he knows of) that have this same exact waiver as well. I can understand not being able to fly rotary on count of the real scanning that goes on with calling down the aircraft into a site etc; but on a fixed wing there isn't that much actual "scanning" that goes on. Any help on this matter would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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If you can teach yourself to see Magic Eye 3-D images, you can pass the test. I know of several people, including myself that have learned how to "pass" the test using this method. It works on the same principle, and it sure does save you a lot of pain if you can just pass it and not need a waiver. Good luck!

Magic Eye

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If you can teach yourself to see Magic Eye 3-D images, you can pass the test. I know of several people, including myself that have learned how to "pass" the test using this method. It works on the same principle, and it sure does save you a lot of pain if you can just pass it and not need a waiver. Good luck!

Magic Eye

So the 5 circles test is like the magic eye stuff? I failed the DP test at MEPS horribly but I can see that magic eye stuff like it's easy.

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So the 5 circles test is like the magic eye stuff? I failed the DP test at MEPS horribly but I can see that magic eye stuff like it's easy.

I've never heard the analogy, and I'll let one of the docs give an official answer, but I can see the comparison. Both of them seem to work when you let your eyes relax rather than trying to focus on a certain point.

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I am applying for a pilot position at an ANG base. Although I believe I may have a disqualifying medical issue.

I have read a few things on the forum about Strabismus. What I have gathered is that it is disqualifying but could be waved. I have had Strabismus surgery twice. I first noticed a problem when I was having a hard time reading. When I went to the doctor that is when he told me what was wrong. I was shocked because it wasn't something that was cosmetically noticeable. The first time I had the surgery it didn't go as planned. I came out of the surgery worse off than I was before and had double vision for six months. Then I had the second surgery and could see just fine. I would like to know whether I would be disqualified to be a pilot because of the surgery. I have seen my ophthalmologist since the surgery and everything seems to be fine. After reading more about the condition I am becoming more concerned with my chances as a pilot in the AF. I am going back to my Ophthalmologist in a few days as a follow up to my last surgery a year ago. I am more interested in finding out if the surgery was successful. Are there specific questions I could ask that would give me and idea if this will affect my chances?

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I am applying for a pilot position at an ANG base. Although I believe I may have a disqualifying medical issue.

I have read a few things on the forum about Strabismus. What I have gathered is that it is disqualifying but could be waved. I have had Strabismus surgery twice. I first noticed a problem when I was having a hard time reading. When I went to the doctor that is when he told me what was wrong. I was shocked because it wasn't something that was cosmetically noticeable. The first time I had the surgery it didn't go as planned. I came out of the surgery worse off than I was before and had double vision for six months. Then I had the second surgery and could see just fine. I would like to know whether I would be disqualified to be a pilot because of the surgery. I have seen my ophthalmologist since the surgery and everything seems to be fine. After reading more about the condition I am becoming more concerned with my chances as a pilot in the AF. I am going back to my Ophthalmologist in a few days as a follow up to my last surgery a year ago. I am more interested in finding out if the surgery was successful. Are there specific questions I could ask that would give me and idea if this will affect my chances?

Strabismus surgery is disqualifying, but waiverable assuming that 1) you are able to meet the depth perception requirements, 2) you have no diplopia in all directions of gaze out to 30 degrees, and 3) there is no significant residual tropia.

I'm baffled as to how a person would get strabismus surgery when difficult reading is the only symptom. Never heard of such a thing.

Anyhow, there is a chance at a waiver, but there will be a lot of scrutiny when you go through your FCI. Most people who are post strabismus surgery still have problems with binocular vision and many are not waivered. It all depends on how well your eyes function.

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