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Guest goducks
Thanks GD your wisdom/time is much appreciated. Would wearing my glasses more reqularly help prevent the scenario you described?

At this point in your life, no. The visual system is developed by about age 10 and it's hard to change it after that. That's why they put glasses on very young babies sometimes. Early in life is when the development occurs.

For you, it's mostly just a matter of becoming accustomed to the optical effects glasses create. There can definitely be a learning curve in adjusting to wearing glasses. If this is not an issue then don't feel obligated to constantly wear the glasses.

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Guest goducks
This forum has been an excellent resource for me so far!

I have been researching the vision requirements for a long time. My non-cycloplegic refraction is as follows:

Sphere Cylinder Axis

OD: -0.75 -0.25 075

OS: -1.75 -0.25 120

As far as acuity, at my latest eye exam I was 20/200 in my left eye and 20/70 in my right. Assuming my cycloplegic numbers (I’ll find out next week) are relatively similar, if not better, I believe I meet all waiver criteria.

Mentioned in an above post is that 20/200 is waiverable, but I cannot find this fact in the waiver guide. Is it located in any official documentation anywhere?

Also, I can see much more clearly, (prob. 20/70 even out of my left eye) by squinting and straining to read the chart. Maybe a stupid question, but is this forbidden during the FC1 examinations? I don’t know how strict the exam is.

For an ANG flying slot, many applications state 20/70 or better, without mention of a waiver. Do all ANG units follow the same medical standards as prescribed by the USAF?

I have been getting PRK consultations, but hope I can avoid it if possible.

Thank you!

I'm having a brain fart and don't recall where the 20/200 is posted. Maybe it's not, but I can assure you that 20/200 is the current waiverable limit for uncorrected acuity. Perhaps P27 can straighten me out here and bring something more official to the table.

As best I know, ANG plays by the same rules as the USAF.

Squinting will help improve uncorrected vision by reducing the pupil size, often called the pinhole effect. I think it's something that most nearsighted people will do whenever trying to resolve an image.

Bottom line is that 99% of the time it's the refractive error that counts versus the acuity. Refractive error can be precisely measured, whereas uncorrected acuity cannot. You might be 20/200 if you don't squint, 20/100 if you squint a little, 20/70 if you squint more. So what's the real number? The USAF needs to be able to draw black and white lines when it comes to standards and waivers and, thus, refractive error is a better way to measure these things so that everyone can be treated fairly.

IMHO you don't need to get PRK. You should be waiverable (or maybe won't even need a waiver) based on the numbers you give.

GD

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Guest ANGatior

I have been reading this board for a while and now I Finally have Dates for Brooks and AMS.

My question is that I have 2 RX's and some one told me diffrent DR's write RX's differntly and must be converted and these numbers are very diffrent. I do not understand what numbers apply. Do I have any thing to worry about? (Not that worring will help) The navy doc did diolate my eyes and during the exam and the civ did not.

civilian doctor

OD -150 +050 010

OS -200 +1.25 160

navy doctor

Right -0.25 -1.00 115

Left -0.50 -1.25 070

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Guest goducks
I have been reading this board for a while and now I Finally have Dates for Brooks and AMS.

My question is that I have 2 RX's and some one told me diffrent DR's write RX's differntly and must be converted and these numbers are very diffrent. I do not understand what numbers apply. Do I have any thing to worry about? (Not that worring will help) The navy doc did diolate my eyes and during the exam and the civ did not.

civilian doctor

OD -150 +050 010

OS -200 +1.25 160

navy doctor

Right -0.25 -1.00 115

Left -0.50 -1.25 070

ANGatior,

You're correct that the two Rx's are written in different formats. The first is in plus cylinder (second number in each line is positive), while the second Rx is in minus cylinder. Converting the first Rx to minus cylinder would yield.

OD: -1.00-0.50 x 100

OS: -0.75-1.25 x 070

Now you can compare the civilian and Navy numbers directly and can see that the only real difference is in the first number for the right eye (OD) which is -1.00 from the civilian Rx and -0.25 from the Navy. That difference is probably the dilation effect.

Bottom line is that you're fine. Might need a waiver for excessive myopia, but might not depending on exactly where the chips fall. The cut-off is -1.50, which can be determined from the first number as your Rx is written in plus cylinder (-1.50 OD, -2.00 OS) or by adding the first and second numbers in the minus cylinder format (-1.25 OD, -1.75 OS). The way the Rx is figured at Brooks will probably decrease these numbers slightly so you may be within the -1.50 in both eyes. If not, won't matter. Waivers for myopia are routine.

Here's a basic description of converting plus and minus cylinder formats.

http://www.eyetec.net/group4/M19S1.htm#Transposition

Hope this helps.

GD

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cf320i,

You will need a waiver for excessive astigmatism as the standard is 1.50 D. This waiver is granted if there are no indications of corneal degeneration on corneal topography (e.g. keratoconus) and your vision is fully correctable to normal levels. Brooks has a small battery of tests that are used to judge whether this is the case (this will happen when you go for your MFS screening). Obviously, you will need to use correction when taking these tests. Do you currently wear glasses or contacts? If you do not have a good pair of glasses, get one. You will not be allowed to use contacts at Brooks. If you do not bring glasses to Brooks, a temporary set can be fabricated, however, these would be optically inferior to your true prescription. Note that this isn't always the case. Some types of eyeglass prescriptions are trivial and a temporary set can be just as good as a permanent set. Due to the high amount of astigmatism in your Rx, however, this is not the case. You will want to have glasses that are spot on and that you are fully adapted to wearing.

As far as the (+) numbers in your Rx...they are relatively meaningless and nothing to worry about.

GD

Go Ducks,

I just recieved an email from Robins Flight Medicine stating that my Exophoria from the IFC1 was at 6 prism diopters. They are requiring me to go to my civ eye doctor to have a phoria and tropia exam done. From searching here and reading the reg (A2.7.2) it appears that at 6 prism diopters of exophoria is when they require these additional tests. Will I need a waiver if the civ doctor also finds me to have 6 prism diopters? Do you see a lot of DQ's for this type of condition? Thanks for your help.

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Guest goducks
Go Ducks,

I just recieved an email from Robins Flight Medicine stating that my Exophoria from the IFC1 was at 6 prism diopters. They are requiring me to go to my civ eye doctor to have a phoria and tropia exam done. From searching here and reading the reg (A2.7.2) it appears that at 6 prism diopters of exophoria is when they require these additional tests. Will I need a waiver if the civ doctor also finds me to have 6 prism diopters? Do you see a lot of DQ's for this type of condition? Thanks for your help.

6 is the limit to be within standards. Not sure what triggered the additional testing. Also, the way the flight surgeons measure phorias (using the OVT- the box that you look into) is sometimes not accurate, which may be why they wanted the extra testing given that you're right at the limit.

If your civ doc finds you at or below 6 prism diopters, you should not need a waiver. Above 6 will require a waiver. Excessive phorias are not typically DQs unless they are associated with other failures (red lens, depth perception).

GD

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Guest NavHopeful

I will be getting PRK/Lasik next month, and have a question about the timing of getting waivers. My understanding is I can get a class IA waiver 3 months post op, and can't start training until after 1 year post op. So is this timeline correct?

April 09 - corrective surgery

July 09 - get waiver

April 10 - get final clearance before starting training

Thanks in advance for your help.

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Go Ducks,

My FC1 has been "pending certification" at AETC for over a month and today I recieved an email stating I need both a corneal topography and a color diopter map done. My FC1 contains a waiver for my excessive astigmatism so I assume these tests have something to do with that. From my research both tests are looking at the shape/health of my cornea, is this correct? In particular looking for signs of keratoconus? When I have these tests done at my eye doc will he be able to tell me if I have passed or failed these tests? Or if I do have or am showing signs of developing keratoconus? What would have to show up for me to recieve a DQ? As always, thank you for your help.

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Guest goducks
Go Ducks,

My FC1 has been "pending certification" at AETC for over a month and today I recieved an email stating I need both a corneal topography and a color diopter map done. My FC1 contains a waiver for my excessive astigmatism so I assume these tests have something to do with that. From my research both tests are looking at the shape/health of my cornea, is this correct? In particular looking for signs of keratoconus? When I have these tests done at my eye doc will he be able to tell me if I have passed or failed these tests? Or if I do have or am showing signs of developing keratoconus? What would have to show up for me to recieve a DQ? As always, thank you for your help.

I'm not familiar with the term "color diopter map", but what I think they want is a topography that includes a numerical view of the data. This would be done to look for any early signs of keratoconus. The eye doc should be able to tell you whether the topography looks normal or not, although it's possible that in a borderline situation they may not be able to explicity tell you whether it would be DQing or not.

Basically, without getting into a lot of detail that would be hard to follow, what we're looking at in a topography is symetry along the horizontal axis. The inferior and superior halves of the topography should somewhat be mirror images in terms of shape and color. The corresponding inferior and superior numbers should be within 1.0 D of each other.

It's hard to say specifically what would constitute a DQ without having all the data in front on me, but an abnormal topography would be a concern, and based on the degree of abnormality could be DQing.

GD

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Guest boredwith9to5
I know the standards say your vision can be as bad 20/70 and correctable to 20/20. However, do you have to be "corrected" to 20/20 at the time of the physical or do you just have to be "correctable" to 20/20. I currently am 20/25 in both eyes and therefore don't need to hassle with contacts to get through the day. I just don't want to get to my FC1 and be DQ'd because I'm not "corrected" to 20/20 when my eyes are easily "correctable" to 20/20. Hope that all makes sense. Thanks for your help!

Correct-ABLE...don't sweat it...they'll either put temporary lenses on you and/or read it during the cycloplegic.

This is something that I've been trying to figure out for a few days now. I'm 20/50 in both eyes (correctable to 20/20 with my glasses and contacts) and have been reading things that are scaring me about my vision. So the way I understand it is that I will take my physical prior to applying to the board. At that physical will they test my eyes? Assuming they do and I pass, then get accepted to OTS/UPT, I don't NEED corrective surgery? They can just give me glasses/contacts and I can still qualify to fly?

Is it at the physical that they do a full test on my eyes, or at FC1? I'd hate to pass my physical and get accepted to OTS only to take the FC1 and get DQ'd for something I didn't know was an issue. That's rough.

Edited by boredwith9to5

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Guest goducks
This is something that I've been trying to figure out for a few days now. I'm 20/50 in both eyes (correctable to 20/20 with my glasses and contacts) and have been reading things that are scaring me about my vision. So the way I understand it is that I will take my physical prior to applying to the board. At that physical will they test my eyes? Assuming they do and I pass, then get accepted to OTS/UPT, I don't NEED corrective surgery? They can just give me glasses/contacts and I can still qualify to fly?

Is it at the physical that they do a full test on my eyes, or at FC1? I'd hate to pass my physical and get accepted to OTS only to take the FC1 and get DQ'd for something I didn't know was an issue. That's rough.

If you can meet aircrew standards (ie. 20/20, normal depth perception) with glasses or contacts and your Rx isn't more than -1.50 D in either eye, then you are considered within medical standards and DO NOT NEED refractive surgery.

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Guest boredwith9to5

That is good news then! I'm pretty sure I'm alright, but I'll take a look at my paperwork from my last eye exam. Much appreciated!

EDIT: They'll check all of this out before I send my package to the board right? If I happen to be outside the limits, I'll have to get the surgery done and then try again in a year, correct?

Edited by boredwith9to5

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Guest goducks
That is good news then! I'm pretty sure I'm alright, but I'll take a look at my paperwork from my last eye exam. Much appreciated!

EDIT: They'll check all of this out before I send my package to the board right? If I happen to be outside the limits, I'll have to get the surgery done and then try again in a year, correct?

PM me with your details and I'll be happy to let you know where you stand.

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Guest 169ASNAV

I looks like the last time that the vision requirements were posted for different branches and jobs was a while ago; I know that they've had to have changed since then. I'm looking for the visions requirements for a Navigator on a C-130 in the Air National Guard. Does anyone know or know where I can find the answers? Thank you.

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Guest milehighman

Goducks,

I am currently a rated c-130 pilot in ANG and will be anticipating getting eye surgery this fall. I have been talking to my base eye doc and he is a little unsure of the process for current flyers. My understanding is once i get approval from SQ/CC, I go get a pre-op from a civilian eye doc, go to civilian for the surgery. Go see him pre-op, dnif for roughly 2-3 months. Once I get cleared from the civilian doc, go see base eye doc, and he clears me, from there to the state surgeon general, then clear back on flying status? At any point will I have to go back down to brooks for another exam? I.E, one year post op?

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Guest goducks
I looks like the last time that the vision requirements were posted for different branches and jobs was a while ago; I know that they've had to have changed since then. I'm looking for the visions requirements for a Navigator on a C-130 in the Air National Guard. Does anyone know or know where I can find the answers? Thank you.

All medical standards are found in AFI 48-123 (volume III applies to aviation). The most recent version is dated June 2006. I'm not aware that any changes have been made to Nav standards since 2006, nor do I believe there were changes from the previous AFI, which was from either 2001 or 2004- I can't recall.

http://www.af.mil/shared/media/epubs/AFI48-123v1.pdf

You want section A4.8

Nav applicants would need to meet the IA standards, while trained Navs need to meet the II/III (non-pilot) standards. ANG folks fall under the same rules as the active duty people.

These are the standards, which means if you meet them you do not require a waiver. Waiver limits are obviously more lenient. I don't know the waiverable limits for Navs offhand. Sorry.

GD

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Guest goducks
Goducks,

I am currently a rated c-130 pilot in ANG and will be anticipating getting eye surgery this fall. I have been talking to my base eye doc and he is a little unsure of the process for current flyers. My understanding is once i get approval from SQ/CC, I go get a pre-op from a civilian eye doc, go to civilian for the surgery. Go see him pre-op, dnif for roughly 2-3 months. Once I get cleared from the civilian doc, go see base eye doc, and he clears me, from there to the state surgeon general, then clear back on flying status? At any point will I have to go back down to brooks for another exam? I.E, one year post op?

Milehighman,

You've got the general process, although it's a little more complicated than that depending on the specifics of your situation. I would recommend you take a look at the USAF refractive surgery website. There is a pretty nice flowchart that describes the process when seeking surgery outside of the AF. See this link:

http://airforcemedicine.afms.mil/idc/group...name=CTB_083793

Do you specifically want to go civilian or are you not eligible to receive medical benefits through the AF? If you are eligible for benefits, seeking treatment via civilian is a little more complicated and there may be some restrictions that apply. I can explain if that's the case. Also, you may or may not need to go to Brooks at all, again depending on the circumstances (ie. what type of treatment you want, what your refractive error is).

PM me with details if you want and I can give you better specifics.

As far as followup goes, the DNIF time is strictly dependent on how long it takes you to get your vision back to normal. 2-3 months is reasonable, although it could be more. You may or may not need to see the base eye doc (you wouldn't if you're not authorized medical benefits). The flight surgeon's office (with input from the civilian doc) would be the ones to submit your case to your MAJCOM for waiver.

The details are, in large part, based on your specifics so it's hard to explain everything without more info.

GD

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Go Ducks,

Finally got my FC1 certified last week. Just wanted to say thanks for the info and advice you provided along the way.

:beer: to you!

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Guest goducks
Go Ducks,

Finally got my FC1 certified last week. Just wanted to say thanks for the info and advice you provided along the way.

:beer: to you!

Congrats. Good luck in UPT.

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Guest CA

If you can meet aircrew standards (ie. 20/20, normal depth perception) with glasses or contacts and your Rx isn't more than -1.50 D in either eye, then you are considered within medical standards and DO NOT NEED refractive surgery.

I just got my MEPS physical last Friday. It looks like the guy wrote "Fail" next to my depth perception test. I had a hard time with the circles, they just didn't look like any were sticking out. I wasn't wearing glasses or contacts. How does this affect me? Does this physical mean anything more than I medically qualify to be an officer and the flight physical is where I will have to worry more about my vision?

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So I'm a week from EADing to Columbus for UPT, obviously passed vision tests at Brooks but I have one question.. I have noticed my vision slightly deterioriate since Brooks over a year and a half ago. Will this be an issue come IFS/UPT? I remember the flight doc saying that once I pass Brooks, I will be good to go with waivers for the rest of my career. True?

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Guest goducks

So I'm a week from EADing to Columbus for UPT, obviously passed vision tests at Brooks but I have one question.. I have noticed my vision slightly deterioriate since Brooks over a year and a half ago. Will this be an issue come IFS/UPT? I remember the flight doc saying that once I pass Brooks, I will be good to go with waivers for the rest of my career. True?

Sort of.

If you are waivered for some condition at your FCI and nothing changes for the worse, then you're 99.99999% likely to continue to be waivered throughout your career. If, however, something new appears, that doesn't necessarily apply. Obviously, the standards and waiver flexibility are much higher once you've completed training.

As far as your specific situation, I wouldn't worry about it much. If you need corrective lenses (glasses or contact) to fly, then so be it. 4 out of 10 USAF pilots are in the same boat.

GD

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Sort of.

If you are waivered for some condition at your FCI and nothing changes for the worse, then you're 99.99999% likely to continue to be waivered throughout your career. If, however, something new appears, that doesn't necessarily apply. Obviously, the standards and waiver flexibility are much higher once you've completed training.

As far as your specific situation, I wouldn't worry about it much. If you need corrective lenses (glasses or contact) to fly, then so be it. 4 out of 10 USAF pilots are in the same boat.

GD

Just a corrective lens issue, nothing major. Just noticing my distant vision slightly worse than what it was. Thanks for the advice.

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Guest APOD

I just got my MEPS physical last Friday. It looks like the guy wrote "Fail" next to my depth perception test. I had a hard time with the circles, they just didn't look like any were sticking out. I wasn't wearing glasses or contacts. How does this affect me? Does this physical mean anything more than I medically qualify to be an officer and the flight physical is where I will have to worry more about my vision?

Depth Perception is not required for all careers, so you don't need to worry about medically qualifying, in general, to be an officer. Qualifying for flight duty is another matter; depth perception is a requirement for pilots/navs/wso. There is only one depth perception used to qualify for flight duties and I'm assuming your test was that "standard"; the DOD vision tester (OPTEC 2300). It's the one with 6 boxes - each box has three rows of 5 circles. It can be a hard test to pass since it assesses distance depth perception, rather than most office tests that measure near depth perception. In addition it is designed to measure smaller levels of depth than most. Not knowing anything about your status, but there can be simple issues caused you to fail, such as a relatively minor refractive error or that the OPTEC not set correctly.

This will be assessed when you have a flight physical. If you fail that test, they (especially at Brooks) will look at possible reasons for failing. If a correctable reason can be found that allows you pass the test, you will just be required to wear that correction for flight duties and you move on to UPT. If it's not correctable then you won't get a waiver.

When you take the next test, take your time. This is not a test that should be done quickly. Assuming you have normal depth perception, the elevated circles will seem to get easier to detect given a moment or two to adapt. Repeat, this test is the one you don't want rush. Relax and work to detect elevation in the first box. It doesn't help to just jump to box D or higher. If you can't see elevation in the first box, you will just be guessing in the other boxes.

What you are to see is one of the 5 circles in each row as slightly elevated. The first box has three different levels of relatively easy detectable elevation and is intended to help you get started. The techs can give you the answers for the first box just to be sure you understand the test. From there on, each box is more difficult as the elevation is reduced. All three rows with a given box are the same elevation. You have to get all three in a box to get "credit" for that box. To pass you need at least the fourth box "D". That said, if you have good sharp visual acuity (corrected or naturally) and normal binocular (two-eyed) vision, you will probably be able to see them all by the time you get passed "D".

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Guest goducks

Depth Perception is not required for all careers, so you don't need to worry about medically qualifying, in general, to be an officer. Qualifying for flight duty is another matter; depth perception is a requirement for pilots/navs/wso. There is only one depth perception used to qualify for flight duties and I'm assuming your test was that "standard"; the DOD vision tester (OPTEC 2300). It's the one with 6 boxes - each box has three rows of 5 circles. It can be a hard test to pass since it assesses distance depth perception, rather than most office tests that measure near depth perception. In addition it is designed to measure smaller levels of depth than most. Not knowing anything about your status, but there can be simple issues caused you to fail, such as a relatively minor refractive error or that the OPTEC not set correctly.

This will be assessed when you have a flight physical. If you fail that test, they (especially at Brooks) will look at possible reasons for failing. If a correctable reason can be found that allows you pass the test, you will just be required to wear that correction for flight duties and you move on to UPT. If it's not correctable then you won't get a waiver.

When you take the next test, take your time. This is not a test that should be done quickly. Assuming you have normal depth perception, the elevated circles will seem to get easier to detect given a moment or two to adapt. Repeat, this test is the one you don't want rush. Relax and work to detect elevation in the first box. It doesn't help to just jump to box D or higher. If you can't see elevation in the first box, you will just be guessing in the other boxes.

What you are to see is one of the 5 circles in each row as slightly elevated. The first box has three different levels of relatively easy detectable elevation and is intended to help you get started. The techs can give you the answers for the first box just to be sure you understand the test. From there on, each box is more difficult as the elevation is reduced. All three rows with a given box are the same elevation. You have to get all three in a box to get "credit" for that box. To pass you need at least the fourth box "D". That said, if you have good sharp visual acuity (corrected or naturally) and normal binocular (two-eyed) vision, you will probably be able to see them all by the time you get passed "D".

Note that the OVT (Optec 2300) is the standard. If you cannot pass this test, there are alternate tests that are used to determine waiverability.

GD

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