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Guest doctidy

USAF / USA / USN / USMC Vision

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Guest doctidy

First, let me say that posting this using UBB is a pain in the A@*!!!!

Second, these are the Standards. What they will waiver (which is probably what you want to know) is inappropriate for me to post. You need to ask them.

Third, these standards are for Applicants. There are different standards for trained aviators.

Standards

Visual Acuity

Pilots

USAF 20/70

USN 20/40

USMC 20/40

USA 20/50

Nav

USAF 20/200

USN correctable to 20/20

USMC correctable to 20/20

USA N/A

Other

USAF 20/200

USN correctable to 20/20

USMC correctable to 20/20

USA 20/400

Refractive Error (any meridian)

Pilot

USAF -1.50 +2.00

USN -1.50 +3.00

USMC -1.50 +3.00

USA -1.50 +3.00

Nav

USAF -2.75 +3.00

USN -8.00 +8.00

USMC -8.00 +8.00

USA N/A

OTHER

USAF -5.50 +5.50

USN -8.00 +8.00

USMC -8.00 +8.00

USA no standard

Pre-PRK (any meridian)

Pilot

USAF -5.50 -1.00

USN -8.00 +6.00

USMC -8.00 +6.00

USA -6.00 +4.00

Nav

USAF -5.50 -1.00

USN -8.00 +6.00

USMC -8.00 +6.00

USA n/a

OTHER

USAF -5.50 -1.00

USN -8.00 +6.00

USMC -8.00 +6.00

USA -6.00 +4.00

COLOR VISION

Pilot

USAF 10/14 PIP 1&2

USN 12/14 PIP

USMC 12/14 PIP

USA 10/14 PIP

Nav

USAF 10/14 PIP 1&2

USN 12/14 PIP

USMC 12/14 PIP

USA N/A

OTHER (flight engineer, loadmaster, airborne weapons controller, airborne crypto-linguist, etc.)

USAF 10/14 PIP 1&2

USN 12/14 PIP

USMC 12/14 PIP

USA 10/14 PIP

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Guest Kawen
Originally posted by Rage_:P:

other would be flight engineer, loadmaster, airborne weapons controller, airborne crypto-linguist, etc

What are the requirements for commission (non-flying jobs)? I'm a PharmD student and have considered joining the AF under the health professions scholarship prog, but I'm not sure if my vision is pre-disqualifying.

[ 19. January 2006, 17:14: Message edited by: Kawen ]

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Guest doctidy

The medical requirements for enlisting (officer or enlisted) are in AFI 48-123 Attachment 3.

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Guest Spitfire

not trying to call you out rage...but i thought the AF nav (FCIA) PRK pre-op was -8.00 for myopia in any meridian...i'm depending on that!

oh and the air force needs to catch up with the navy on this stuff, -8.00 seems a lot more reasonable for an FCI, don't you think?

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Guest Spitfire

and another question regarding vision standards...if they say something is "not waiverable" right on the form to apply for the waiver, does that actually mean that you can't get a waiver for it? or is there some kind of trick?

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Guest doctidy

Spitfire: LOL -- no, -8.00 does not seem a lot more reasonable for FCI!!

Right now it is -5.50 for FCIA (Nav/WSO). We are looking at -8.00.

I make no excuses for our standards. We are higher than the USN/USA on some things and lower on others. We have been a leader in vision for years. As a service, we accept LASIK and even allow some to fly following the procedure (trained aviators, non-ejection seat, pressurized cabin)...the USN does not.

I don't know what form you are talking about so I am hesitant to say when something says it is not waiverable there is a trick that it actually is. If you can be more specific...

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Guest Spitfire

The form I was referring to was titled "Photo Refractive Keratotomy Flying Applicant Waiver Criteria Checklist," it's basically the application for the FCI/IA/III PRK waiver.

The first part on the form is for Pre-Operative refractive error. It says in bold that it "Cannot be over +-5.50 for FCI, +-8.00 for FCIA/FCIII in any meridian for any flying duty waiver (No exceptions)."

Then it asks for OD/OS, which is where mine read

OD: - 4.75 - 1.75 x 90

OS: - 4.75 - 1.75 x 100

This is the form the SG used to say I wouldn't be eligible for FCI, but they said according to the form I would be eligible for FCIA assuming I had no other complications. We turned in this form at the same time we applied for the accession PRK waiver (still no word on either one). A number of the forms we had here had discrepencies though so I don't know how much to trust it.

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Guest doctidy

Sorry, cannot comment on a public forum other than to say there is a max above which we will not waiver.

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Guest fdgrant
Spitfire: LOL -- no, -8.00 does not seem a lot more reasonable for FCI!!

Right now it is -5.50 for FCIA (Nav/WSO). We are looking at -8.00.

Rage,

Are we talking about without PRK here? Is that what you meant?

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Guest doctidy

Pre-PRK for USAF Nav is now -8.00.

Don't expect it to get any less restrictive.

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Guest cyborg939

If I have -4.25, can I get PRK and qualify for pilot duties?

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Guest beeflow

It should be noted that if you had PRK it is automatically disquallifying (regardless of who performed it civilian/Air Force). However, you can get a waiver.

Example, on my FCI, it says disqualified due to PRK, however it provides a positive recommendation for waiver consideration. When I went down to Brooks for MFS, on the form 600 it says disqualifying, however it provides a positive recommendation for the waiver. Thus, AETC/SG approved the waiver and I'm allowed to fly.

This is confusing but it's the way the Air Force does things.

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Guest clemon220

I hope no offense is taken by this, but you're talking to a young punk of a kid. Since I'm not following the -1.00 jargain (my prescription looks something like -3.25;-2.25 - I understand this to mean that my nearsightedness is a -3.25, with and astigmatism of -2.25; varies per eye, so not exact), I'm gonna seek out some more info on this one. My cousins an optometrist, so I know I fall within the acceptable range for prk; the question is whether I'm in the acceptable pre-op range for rated service. No reply is necessary. Thanks for your time. Your wisdom is not unheralded on these boards.

[ 19. September 2006, 08:54: Message edited by: Corwin ]

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Guest P27:17

When you get your eyes dilated (cycloplegic exam), the optometrist does measurements for a refraction. Those measurements (numbers) will determine the answers to the questions you are asking:

Let's say the refraction is -3.25-2.25 x 180 (the axis , 180, does not play into waiverability, it's only needed for making the glasses).

The waiver criteria is based on the most myopic (near-sighted) portion of the prescription, which in this case is -5.50 (-3.25 combined with -2.25). This means you would be over any waiverable limits for current refractive status (-3.00 is the limit) and you would be at the maximum pre-operative limit to be eligible for UPT if you pursued PRK (any number higher than -5.50 or more would bust your consideration).

Bottom line...you won't get a waiver with your eyes as they are right now...if you decide to get PRK and there are no changes to your current cyclo refraction, you stand a chance for a waiver.

Now it is between you and your doc to decide if it's the right time (age) and if there are no other issues prohibiting you from getting PRK...if you go that route.

Good luck

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Guest clemon220
Originally posted by P27:17:

When you get your eyes dilated (cycloplegic exam), the optometrist does measurements for a refraction. Those measurements (numbers) will determine the answers to the questions you are asking:

Let's say the refraction is -3.25-2.25 x 180 (the axis , 180, does not play into waiverability, it's only needed for making the glasses).

The waiver criteria is based on the most myopic (near-sighted) portion of the prescription, which in this case is -5.50 (-3.25 combined with -2.25). This means you would be over any waiverable limits for current refractive status (-3.00 is the limit) and you would be at the maximum pre-operative limit to be eligible for UPT if you pursued PRK (any number higher than -5.50 or more would bust your consideration).

Bottom line...you won't get a waiver with your eyes as they are right now...if you decide to get PRK and there are no changes to your current cyclo refraction, you stand a chance for a waiver.

Now it is between you and your doc to decide if it's the right time (age) and if there are no other issues prohibiting you from getting PRK...if you go that route.

Good luck

This, I do understand... It would make sense to me that I need to add the two together, since astigmatism does add to the final numbers of nearsighted refraction error. I wasn't trying to say "my cousin says I can get the surgery;" but I was saying "my cousin says I'm within the eligibile range for a CIVI to get the surgery." sorry for any misunderstanding. I realize uncle sam and his docs get final say. Afterall, even though I'm a tax_ it is their multimillion dollar aircraft I'd be flying.

What I was confused about was this:

USAF -5.50 -1.00

If -5.50 is the total refraction, what does the -1.00 stand for? Is their another index I am overlooking in my prescription that I need to know? Lastly, am I right in assuming that they are going to use the pre-op specs. of the Civi docter doing the surgery for what my pre-op prescription is? Otherwise, how on earth would they know?

I guess in the end, all I really want to do is to thank you all for your help. I just started learning about this 3 days ago after having made my own grandious plans w/o bothering to consult enough memmorandums. Despite my willingness to learn, I am certain that having to continually answer these questions on this board can be quite exasperating.

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Guest doctidy

I did understand your question...and will try again to get the answer across.

-5.50 is the most you can be

-1.00 is the least you can be

in other words, you have to be between those numbers. Like I said, the -1.00 has nothing to do w/ astigmatism.

Now with that said, there has been a change in those numbers. The new numbers are -5.50 to +0.50 (that's right, a plus 0.50). Like I mentioned in another post...I'll get the new info up as soon as I can.

You are close...very close if the numbers you give are accurate. And...those numbers aren't the ones that count. Its the ones P27 talks about, the cycloplegic (dilated) exam. And they do know and can measure. Are there people who cheat? Yep. Sooner or later they get caught. I had an aircrew member about 2 years ago who had been flying with RK (radial keratotomy) for 8 years! He's not flying anymore...and the flight doc who helped hide it has a nasty letter addressing his lack of integrity. The letter is in his credentials file, which will follow him for 5 years as a civilian.

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Guest clemon220

OK, so I guess I have a new series of questions. One that I am certain have been answered, but as I continue to go through this complicated process I continue to find myself confused. Rage, I'm hoping you can answer some of these. I'm also pursuing answers through the civilian doc performing my prk, through the Col. of a local ROTC Det., and to my OTS recruiter. Unfortunately, I have to play the waiting game, which is quickly running out, as my surgery is scheduled for Nov. 3.

Here's my situation:

My most recent prescrition is:

Right Eye: (exactly as written) -3.25-2.25x180

Left Eye: exactly as written) -4.00-1.75x170

Now I should mention three things. 1) I know that last number (x???) means nothing for the waiver.

2) I don't need these numbers... What I need is the cycloplegic numbers... WAIT! I did that yesterday. Don't have them on me, but my doctor assured me they are toughly the same (he said the astigmatism was actually -1.91 in the left eye with the drops in).

3) Ok, so you've said that the only thing that matters is Brooks, but you don't get the Brooks numbers until post-op, so these numbers (the pre-op from my physician) DO seem to matter.

Now here's where I get lost. If I've understood everything correctly, I have to get my pre-op numbers by ADDING my astigmatism numbers to my myopia numbers. I'm lost on this, because all the forms I've read as follows:

Myopia: -1.00 to -5.50 diopters (FC1)

Astigmatism to 0.75 to 3.00 diopters (FC1 and 1A, FC2, and FC3)

Now it seems to me that I DO meet these requirements. My myopia is within the limits, and my astigmatism is within the limits. My doctor concurred. These numbers are directly off of a USAF MFR.

I'm specifically looking for some guidance from Rage, as he is the guru of gurus on this board, but I'll take anything from anyone knowledgable.

Before you start answering, though, read my next post too.

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Guest clemon220

OK... part II:

Now mind you, this may be totally irrelavent. This was a message I got from one of my USAF buddies that did a similar song and dance 1 year ago. Unfortunately, he is next to impossible to reach in any timely fashion, I don't know what his numbers that prevented him from getting in were, and he is NOT a doctor. He's now a JS nav. Anyhow, here's what he sent me:

Pre-Prk (any meridan)

Pilot

Usaf -5.5 -1.00

Usn -8.0 +6.00

USMC -8 +6.00

USA -6.00 + 4.00

THese are the base waviors, but thse are not the waviorable limits. YOu shoud be fine inside of those limits. The only person who can tell you for real is an opthamologist from Brooks, and those guys are damn near impossible to get ahold of. If you know anyone at Brooks or if you know anyone at a large base they can get you a number. I am at a Navy base and our ophamologist left, so I can't really get you hard numbers, and unfortuately they aren't allowed to reveal those they are only allowed to evaluate your numbers and give you a yes or no. I still recommend the surgery because I love it, and if you want you could always go nav and then transfer once on active duty. If you go on Baseops.net and look on avaiation medicine and this guy named rage is a flight doc. Let me know how everything goes. Sorry I have been pretty busy

_________________________________________

What lost me here was that he said those numbers were the "base waivers" and not the "waiverable limits." Now like I said, this guy is really smart, but he's only using his own research and experience. I'm just wondering if there is anything to what he is saying here. If not, well, not, but that's not going to stop me from looking for more loopholes if I'm DQ'd

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Guest P27:17

Corwin,

If this is your cycloplegic refraction (eyes dilated):

"Here's my situation:

My most recent prescrition is:

Right Eye: (exactly as written) -3.25-2.25x180

Left Eye: exactly as written) -4.00-1.75x170"

Your right eye is at the MAX for IFC 1 pre-op cycloplegic refractive error PRK waiver...your left is over the MAX by .25...you won't get a waiver recommendation from Brooks...you won't even be cleared to proceed to Brooks for your IFC 1/MFS. You are within the standards for Nav.

Now if this is your eye glass (manifest) Rx, you need to get a cyclo...you could be within the standards.

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Guest clemon220

Wow! So I've been away for too long, due to my vision surgery making it virtually impossible for me to read anything on a computer screen for a while. I just had my 1 month post-op and had my cyclo refraction messsured, and it's left me with a laundry list of new questions. I hope someone can help me. Once again, thanks to p27:17 and Rage for all of their help thus far.

It seems my vision is roughly 20/20 now, one month out and with the cyclo drops in. This would be cause for celebration, except it still seems to fade in and out at this point. Wondering when (if ever) it will stabilize. My optometrist says they still might be changing a bit, but she's only ever dealt with 1 other prk patient before in her life (not the same doc. that performed the surgery).

Here's the disturbing news. after the drops went in, and we ran all the tests, she told me:

her: "congrats; you're 20/20. However, you now appear to be a little far-sighted."

me: Wait a second, before the surgery, didn't I just have asitgmatism and near-sightedness?

her: "yes, but it seems you may have been overcorrected a bit. Nothing to worry about; you are what we would call 'marginally hyperopic."

me: what's that mean in a prescription?

her: "oh, well, it ends up being only like a +.75... It may even correct itself over time, as it's possible your eyes are still healing."

OK, at this point, bells, whistles, and warning lights began flashing in my head. So I came here to see what information I could get before I proceed any further.

My understanding is that... in order to qualify for ANY rated slot (FC1, 1A, 2, 3, etc.) I could have ZERO hyperopia. Am I wrong here? Is that ZERO number the prereq. for the surgery only? Someone throw me a life raft here, b/c if I just forked over a ton of money and had a great doc. (he really is one of the top surgeons in the field) who somehow overshot the mark and now earned me a DQ, I need to start taking some action, or at least looking at my options.

The other side of it is this. Let's say I can't be hyperopic at all... Is that when I get to Brooks, or at ANY point of the post-op recovery. In other words, let's say my doc. is right and my eyes are still changing, and the hyperopia goes away over the next few months. If it's on the sheet at month 1, is that a DQ? Moreover, one of the requirements is that I don't have a change in vision by more the -.50 during my recovery. If it changes from +.75 to a 0, am I really gonna get DQ's for that?

I'm getting a bit nervous here, and I'm going to go to the optometrist tomorrow to get an official copy of the numbers, but if anyone can clue me in here before that, let me know... please!

~C.G.

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Guest P27:17

Hey man congratulations on your surgery...I can tell from your post that (like many people, myself included) a little bit of knowledge can be bad for our health.

Let me answer your post from 2 directions personal and professional.

I had PRK in 2002, now I am considerably older than you so I was told going in that my perfect near vision would be gone and replaced with perfect distant vision ( I have to now wear reading glasses) The juice was worth the squeeze for me since I had worn glasses for my distant vision most of my life. As I recall, what you are experiencing is the normal healing process and things should get better with each visit to your doc.

From the professional aspect, what you have posted is no cause for alarm at this point for several reasons:

1. It's too early post-op

2. After your 3 month visit, you can begin/complete your IFC 1 (a considerable amount of healing should have taken place by then).

3. 1 year post-op you can get your MFS (most, if not all healing should be complete by then)

4. If your near vision has changed and now you have 20/30 or better uncorrected near vision that is correctable to 20/20 you won't need a waiver for it.

So hang in there, be careful with your new eyes, get all of your required follow-ups, and then let the chips fall where they fall.

Good luck

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Guest doctidy

I've been promising a vision update and it looks like the date will be the last two weeks of Feb. If you've been DQ before, know someone who has been DQ, tell them to tune in to the best Aeromed Forum on the WWW!

As for a glimpse...

- pre-op vision test will be on the order of: if the doc holds up a finger, asks how many, and you guess either one or two, you will qualify for corrective surgery

- if you've had or want to have vision corrective surgery and are seeing or are correctable to 20/20, you will be in the game

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Have a buddy that was .25 diopter outside limits when they added astigmatism pre op. Otherwise 20/20 after surgery with all timelines and post op visits met. He is now about to submit a package for the Navy. All other ducks in a row (AFOQT, BAT, Engineer, flight time etc) Awsome candidate. When can he resubmit, is it possible to send the package for approval now knowing it will take a month to get wherever it is it goes?

Would hat to lose him to the darkside.

-j

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I have a friend who got the DQ for retinal perforation...any hope for him? Or is this just a change to the laser correction limits?

[ 13. January 2007, 16:29: Message edited by: gimmeaplane ]

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