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All things LASIK surgery (aircrew/other -- merged)

Fishbone Jones

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Flyingboy444 said:
Also, is there a difference between the vision requirements for fast jet, multi engine and helicopter? Thanks for all answers. BTW this was my first post but not my last!

Thanks for the warning.

We'll fire up the radar and schedule extra mod operators.
 

Loachman

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Flyingboy444 said:
Also, is there a difference between the vision requirements for fast jet, multi engine and helicopter? Thanks for all answers.

No.

I gave you some guidance in my last response. Read,  and learn to use the Search Function. If you cannot do simple work like that, y'ain't getting near a live CF aircraft.
 

Blackadder1916

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I suppose resurrecting a long dead thread is appropriate for All Hallows' Eve, but as my presence on these means has been sporadic over the past year or more, I don't know if this topic has been discussed on a more recent thread.  The arrival in the mail a few days ago of the most recent PSHCP bulletin got me wondering if a similar benefit has been initiated in the CF's spectrum of care.  The reason for my wondering?

Laser eye surgery now eligible under the Plan

Effective October 1, 2014, the PSHCP will cover expenses for elective laser eye surgery to correct vision.  The benefit is subject to a lifetime maximum of $1,000 (reimbursed at 80%).  Procedures that take place before October 1, 2014, will not be eligible.

Please note that the lifetime maximum is per covered person under the Plan, not per eye or per procedure.  The surgery must be performed by an opthalmologist; however, a physician's prescription (referral) is not required by the Plan.
 

CombatDoc

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Laser eye surgery is not presently covered in the CF Spectrum of Care. This has been a topic of discussion for at least 15 years, including the cost savings of not having to provide prescription eyewear. 
 

Mister Donut

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Blackadder1916 said:
I suppose resurrecting a long dead thread is appropriate for All Hallows' Eve, but as my presence on these means has been sporadic over the past year or more, I don't know if this topic has been discussed on a more recent thread.  The arrival in the mail a few days ago of the most recent PSHCP bulletin got me wondering if a similar benefit has been initiated in the CF's spectrum of care.  The reason for my wondering?


ArmyDoc said:
Laser eye surgery is not presently covered in the CF Spectrum of Care. This has been a topic of discussion for at least 15 years, including the cost savings of not having to provide prescription eyewear.

I was wondering the same thing and figured it would be at least offered to Reg force folks and maybe Class B, but I guess CF isn’t covered under the Public Service Health Care Plan?
 

MartinB22

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Hi there,

I haven't seen a whole lot of posts related to the air division of the CF on here, but I thought I'd still ask. I have always dreamed of being a pilot with the Canadian Forces, but recently my vision deteriorated just past the 20/20 requirements (I'm 20/20 in one eye and 20/25 in the other  :(). However, I was just browsing the pilot webpage on the forces.ca website and on the entry plans portion of this page (http://www.forces.ca/en/job/pilot-32), it says "Applicants who wear glasses, contacts, or have had certain types of laser refractive surgery to improve their vision may apply for the Pilot occupation. However, Radial Keratotomy or corneal reshaping procedures are not approved for Pilots." So does this mean that it's now possible to fly in the CF if your vision is corrected with glasses? I'm not too keen on getting laser eye surgery so this would be awesome, if it's not a mistake.

I look forward to hearing back on this topic.

Kind regards,
Martin
 

Loachman

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Hello, MartinB22, and Welcome to Army.ca

I have merged your post with an existing thread regarding Laser Eye Surgery for Pilots. I also intend to merge other Pilot vision-related topics into this one. Other people with knowledge can also chime in here, whereas they cannot in the Ask a Recruiter section.

In the meantime, the nifty Search Function is your friend. Please take the time to do some research here. You will likely find answers to questions that have not even occurred to you yet.
 

DAA

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MartinB22 said:
So does this mean that it's now possible to fly in the CF if your vision is corrected with glasses? I'm not too keen on getting laser eye surgery so this would be awesome, if it's not a mistake.

You will never know whether or not you are medically fit for the Pilot occupation, until you apply and have been properly assessed by the recruiting medical staff.  Anything less, is mere speculation.
 

MartinB22

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DAA said:
You will never know whether or not you are medically fit for the Pilot occupation, until you apply and have been properly assessed by the recruiting medical staff.  Anything less, is mere speculation.
Fair enough. As soon as I finish flight college I guess I'll apply and hope for the best. If I'm unsuccessful, I guess I'll just have to bite the bullet and do the LASIK surgery.
 

Luftwaffle

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MartinB22 said:
Fair enough. As soon as I finish flight college I guess I'll apply and hope for the best. If I'm unsuccessful, I guess I'll just have to bite the bullet and do the LASIK surgery.
I had laser eye surgery done last September and went from a 20/200 V4 to 20/15 in each eye, sometimes 20/10 in my left. I'll share my advice.

-Take your time and find a highly skilled doctor, the best equipment, and preferably a life-long guarantee with free post-operative checkups (you're going to have plenty of those, especially if something goes wrong). My eyes ran me $3700 at King Lasik (after a $300 military discount, also got $1050 back on my tax return), I paid for around $200 in meds, I have a year of free appointments at my local eye place, and as long as I get an eye check once a year, I can go back whenever I want to get my eyes re-done for free.

Get PRK, not lasik. PRK takes longer to heal, but it does not leave a flap. Also, as far as I can tell, in some branches of the military there's a bias against Lasik due to the flap. The usual fear is that water pressure / concussive force from heavy weapons discharges / air pressure / sand / etc might dislodge the flap or irritate it. This may not sound like a big deal, but speaking from experience, a painfully irritated eye will jam itself shut regardless of how much you will it to be open. Seeing as you're in a field where getting minor eye injuries is common, you probably won't want that flap's liability.

-If you do one eye at a time, for the love of god, do your dominant eye first. When your brain starts retraining eye dominance, it's weird to say the least.

-Don't worry about pain during the procedure! it's just weird and uncomfortable. The next 24 hours will be a little painful, but the funny thing about eye irritation pain is that it makes you keep your eyes shut. You'll spend a lot of the next day sleeping whether you want to or not. Pain after 24 hours will vary. My pilot friend was extremely light sensitive and spent the first few days hiding from light in a pitch black room. I was just fine. That said, for the first week or two, your vision will be something like 20/80 while the initial healing occurs. Don't get freaked out by it. It slowly gets better over 2-4 months.

-What people may not tell you is that morning dry eye is very common after laser eye surgery for up to two years afterwards due to all the nerves the procedure damages. Overnight eye ointment will be your friend. $10/tube, lasts a month or so, and saves you the trouble of waking up with painfully dry eyes while staggering around, trying to find eye drops. Lubricating gel, however, will be your friend in the morning if you ever forget to put eye ointment in. It's thicker than drops, so it soothes those burning eyes much better.

-Break your habit of rubbing your eyes. I trained myself to rub my temples instead. Not only is rubbing your eyes a way to deform perfectly good eyes, but rubbing your healing ones will be counterproductive to healing properly, and most importantly, will hurt like a motherfucker. Seriously. One time I woke up and, not thinking, accidentally dragged my arm over my left eye three weeks in. Worst pain of my life.

-Follow your eyedrop schedule.

-Take flax seed oil and omega 3 supplements to help those eyes heal.

While it was easily the best decision of my life, do keep in mind that the numbers are something like 50% for getting 20/15 after surgery and 90% for 20/20 after surgery. There's no guarantee your eyes will get fixed.

Hope it all works out for you, though!
 

medicineman

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A good ophthalmologist will make the decision for you which is the best procedure based on what you do or plan on doing for a living - I'm going through the process now.  Though I'd prefer going through the iLASIK due to recovery time and missing work (not to mention what I saw my wife go through for her PRK), I've a feeling that I'll be pushed towards the PRK simply because I'm still active in the Reserves and work full time in emergency medicine, where things can get a little rough sometimes.  I see my ophthalmologist in a couple weeks and we'll have the formal discussion then..the price for the 2 is the same, so we'll see how things go.

MM 
 

MartinB22

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Thanks for the advice guys. It's appreciated. So I've done a little more research. I don't think there would be any point to getting laser eye surgery right now as my eyes are really not that bad (one is 20/20 and the other is 20/25). As far as I know, my vision is V2 which means I could fly with glasses as long as they correct me to 20/20 vision. The only restriction would be that I can't fly fast jets, for obvious reasons. My goal is flying transport aircraft so that works for me! If my eyesight deteriorates to V3 vision or less, I guess I'll have no choice but to get laser eye surgery if I want to be a pilot in the CF. I'll make sure I go the PRK way because I don't fancy the idea of a flap on my eyes!

Cheers
 

BlueAngels14

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Good day ladies and gentleman,

After completing my interview last Wednesday, I was scheduled to go back for my medical today. I am by no means an expert in the medical process but I just wanted to share a quick example of the visual acuity numbers for those who know they might potentially be around V3/V4 and are worried. (This addresses vision for Combat Arms trades rather than Pilots, however the other vision megathread is locked.) The Sergeant, who was also the medical officer on duty, told me that my eyes would not qualify me for the three trades I applied for. To make sure that they were correct, the Sergeant gave me a Visual Acuity "Non Aircrew" form and told me to have it filled out by an optometrist. The form is to be handed back in within 30 days by mail or in person in order to keep my application file active. It was a whooping $60 for the eye examination and $35 to fill out the damn form. :-\ The following were the results:

Uncorrected vision (without glasses or contact lens)
Right: 6/90 = 20/300
Left: 6/90 = 20/300

Best corrected vision (with my glasses on)
Right: 6/6
Left: 6/6

Present glasses
Right: -4.00 sphere
Left: -5.00 sphere -0.50 Cylinder 004º Axis

Manifest refreaction (actual prescription)
Right: -4.00 sphere
Left: -4.50 sphere -0.50 Cylinder 005º Axis

Turns out that the glasses I have right now, the left lens is -0.50 sphere stronger and 001º weaker than what my left eye needs. However, the result still puts my eyes in the V4 category, therefore disqualifying me from the combat arms trades. :'( Just thought I'd share these numbers as a quick reference for those with a similar prescription.

Keep your eyes healthy !

 

SupersonicMax

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MartinB22 said:
As far as I know, my vision is V2 which means I could fly with glasses as long as they correct me to 20/20 vision. The only restriction would be that I can't fly fast jets, for obvious reasons.

Where did you get this information?  Or is it an assumption?
 

wolfforlunch

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Good day folks,

I am a recent applicant to the CF. I have chosen to pursue the Pilot position.
I wrote my CFAT two weeks ago and I was told that I will be called within 45 times for my interview and medical. The CAF Recruiting officer was extraordinarily supportive and told me that I did great on my CFAT. He said that I had every potential to become a pilot, as long as I do well on my interview and ACS test. I have a couple of medical question that I forgot to ask the CAF Recruiter, that I was hoping you'd be kind enough to help me with:

I do not have 20/20 vision. I was told that I do not require glasses by the optometrist, but my vision is somewhere around 19.50/20.50.  I also like to add that my height is 5' 7". Now is this enough for me to fail the medical? If so, should I stop the application process and not waste the CAF's time along with my own? I would love some insight on this.

God Bless.
 

Pilot-Wannabe

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Not sure about the vision but youre good for height as far as I know - see the topic below.

http://army.ca/forums/threads/17651.0

as long as youre over a little less than 5'4" and under 6'2"\6'3" standing.

 

bradley247

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Pilot-Wannabe said:
Not sure about the vision but youre good for height as far as I know - see the topic below.

http://army.ca/forums/threads/17651.0

as long as youre over a little less than 5'4" and under 6'2"\6'3" standing.

Good luck! Im a pilot hopeful too just need to finish up school first

That info is over a decade old and no longer valid. There are no min/max heights anymore, your body is measured by a computer to determine what (if any) aircraft you fit in. The average height for males in Canada is 5'8.5", being 5'7" is a non issue (it's body proportions that count anyways, not height).
 

JackMerridrew

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I'd still go through with the medical, aircrew candidates actually need what's called a "cytoplegic refraction" as well.

If you know your prescription you can compare it to the V2 vision category on the forces website here. (Pilots need V2 and up)

http://www.forces.gc.ca/en/about-policies-standards-medical-occupations/cf-visual-acuity-testing-instructions.page

I wouldn't count yourself out yet.
 

PuckChaser

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Gentlemen, this area of the forums is for recruiters only to answer questions. That way, only official responses are here and they will not mislead potential applicants. Those official recruiters will have their rank in their forum name, and a special badge. You probably didn't see the giant orange banner at the top and bottom.
 
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