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

im all the way the heck in ontario, but that IS food for thought and i can tell you i will be looking further into this over the next month...(a trip to the optomitrist as well to get more information)

thanx for bringing that up thou ^_^ i prolly wouldnt have found out on my own for months.
Optometrists are the best source of info, mine gave me a bunch of inside info as he used to work at a refractive surgery center, and, like I said, use google, google finds all. Either way though you are going to need to go see your Doc before getting the beams of light fired into your lookers!
my glasses recently actually broke (had them 4 years, i guess the hinge wore out or sumthing, first time they broke :eek:) and ima go down to his office somtime within the week to get it all fixed up nice nice. ill speak to them then about getting any and all information i can get about this. ^_^
scott1nsh said:
Optometrists are the best source of info, mine gave me a bunch of inside info as he used to work at a refractive surgery center, and, like I said, use google, google finds all. Either way though you are going to need to go see your Doc before getting the beams of light fired into your lookers!

Hmm... I wonder if this is true. My Optometrist (I'm looking for a new one) also sells glasses, frames and contacts including the associated annual checkup plans that go along with them. Though he has told me after questioning that I am a candidate for surgery, he still has reservations about the long term effects. Now, he makes a tidy some off me for all the non appointment residuals. How would it benefit him financially if I were to seek permanent vision correction? Conversely, perhaps I'm just being cynical, but is there any possibility that optometrists can make a commission for referring patients to clinics? I'm not aware if this is considered ethical or not or the legality. I have always been a little nervous about asking questions of medical practitioners who's practice is not funded by healthcare and getting an honest, "good for me" answer.
Blindspot said:
... My Optometrist ... still has reservations about the long term effects ...

These eye surgeries are still relatively new, thus it's a fact that there's just not enough empirical data yet.
Thus, the CF initially erred on the side of caution (i.e. until there was more info).
Now we're seeing and hearing more from people who've had the procedures, so a "track record" is emerging.

Personally, I decided to wait a few years rather than get something done and then suffer from side-effects when I could least afford it (i.e. I could have had the procedure done years ago, but if anything had gone wrong it could have impacted upon that time of life just before I'm ready to be put out to pasture ...)

Anyway - there's tons of data becoming available in reputable sources such as medical journals.
Don't tell anyone, but I've had the surgery. Best money I ever spent and my medical category is green all around. Yes the Army knows about it. I cannot become a Navy Diver. WAH! Everything else, I am good to go. the CF will come on board eventually. the night vision thing is a possibility, but I havent' had a single problem with my eyes since I had it done in 1999.

Like I said, best money I ever spent. :salute: :cdn:
Hi, and greetings from the USA. My current and main goal is to be a soldier. I would like to join the United States Marines, however, there is a problem... My eyesight is very poor. It is -9.0 in my left eye, and -8.0 in my right. I am getting laser eye surgery within a few months, but the US military does not take anyone with eyesight worse than -8.0 points in any eye, even if you have surgery to correct it to 20/20 vision. So, I figured, if plan A doesn't work, I'd move up north, become a legal resident, and join the CF. So far it looks good, since I haven't seen anything that would prevent me from serving in Canada. I have not seen any policies regarding LASIK for enlisted members, and I don't think that they have a policy where LASIK automatically disqualifies you from entry if your vision meets acceptable standards after surgery. This is all based on educated guesses though, and I would like concrete answers. Is there anyone here that knows official CF Army policy torwards LASIK, and if there are any waivers required. It's not asked on the application if you've had LASIK (I checked), and I have not found any policies, anywhere that would bar me from entry, but again, I really want to hear answers from someone who had "been there, and done that". Recruiters won't answer me over email, or tell me where to find info, so do any of you know. Thanks alot, and the help is really appreciated...
One of my Section Commanders had LASIK earlier this year.  No problems that I heard.
All applicants require a thorough medical examination, followed by a description of limitations (if any), and assignment of an appropriate and approved medical category. Applicants will not be medically disqualified on the basis of a diagnosis or disease but only because of employment medical restrictions. The examination includes measuring your heart rate, your blood pressure, your cholesterol, etc. and you will have to provide a urine sample.

Applicants who have corrective lenses should bring any glasses or contact lenses, as well as a copy of their prescription (if available). Applicants must NOT wear contact lenses for a period of 24 hours (for soft lenses) or 72 hours (for hard lenses) prior to their eye examination in order to have a valid unaided vision test. Applicants should avoid any unnecessary noise exposure for 48 hours prior to hearing testing. Aircrew applicants need to fast for 14 hours prior to blood being drawn for lipid testing.

I pulled this blurb from the recruiting site http://www.recruiting.dnd.ca/engraph/howtojoin/med_examination_e.aspx

There does not seem to be anything on laser eye surgery.  That being said I have worked with a number of soldiers in the CF who have had corrective laser eye surgery.  The military had no issues with this, the only issue is that the military does not pay for it.  Hope this helps, good luck with your recruiting. 
Thank you very much for the info. Like I said, it doesn't appear that I'll have any problems getting in, but I wanted to make sure. That's really good news, I'm glad to see that I won't have to completely give up on a military career. PS, I'm looking into getting into Airborne Infantry, do they have any special requirements?
You should do a search on the forums for that one.  I believe there has been much discussion on that issue.  You would need to join the infantry first then get your basic jump qualification.  The first step is joining the infantry.  Hope this helps.
I have read other postings on this site that indicate that a 6 month wait is required between the surgery and your application to the CF.  i was also told the same thing by a recruiter.  This reason is so that they can ensure that nothing went wrong with the surgery and that you have healed properly.  I think there are still some limiataions -  can't  be a pilot etc.
Just a question but............why does the army need to know?
Mike Cotts said:
Just a question but............why does the army need to know?

The Army needs to know a complete medical history so that it can efficiently diagnose and treat problems you may have while serving. They also need to know such issues to ensure you are assigned a medical category which properly fits your correct medical history and condition. Hiding any condition constitutes fraudulent enrolment, if it leads to injuries in service by a recurrence or failure of concealed treatment, you may not be eligible for release benefits or medical pension. If you are granted a medical category, and possibly a trade, that exceeds what a proper assessment would justify, you may be putting yourself and your fellow soldiers in danger if the training requirements exceed the limits of your physical capabilities. And, finally, if we cannot trust someone to admit to their medical history, and have the personal integrity to accept the limits that may impose, how would we trust them with our lives in training or operations.  This is real life, there is no reset button.

Yeah, that's exactly why I wan't to be nice and honest about all of this, I don't want things to come  up and bite me in the rear later on...
SilentWolf, I am going through the recruiting process right now and I had LASIK in the summer.  The first thing I would like to say is that I think you are mistaken about the USMC not accepting laser eye vision.  I have read numerous reports in the media about the US military paying for the procedure for frontline soldiers.  The reason is that sodiers with glasses can't use night vision goggles:  plus glasses are a pain in the a** when doing any sort of outdoor activity.  I can even recall TV news item (CNN, NBC, ABC, etc...) about the US airforce sending pilot candidates to an eye surgery clinic.  I guess the air force was turning away too many good candiates (and accepting too many marginal candidates just because they had 20/20 vision.) due to a correctible problem.

The current policy of the CF for applicants is to have them wait for 6 months to make sure everything turned out okay (no halos, dry eyes, starbursts, stable vision, blah, blah).  The guy who did my medical said the CF was about to change this policy to 3 months;  as a result he gave me extra forms to get filled out 3 months post-op by my surgeon.  Most police departments make applicants wait 3 months after surgery before they can be cleared medically so I guess the CF is just going along with the crowd.

If your prescription is -8 I would definately consider getting the procedure whether you enter the military or not.  Wow, -8 is basically blind.  I was -2.75 in both eyes and that was bad enough.  Do yourself a favour and get a second opinion from an eye doctor who does not do the procedure.  The Lasik clinics always say "you are an excellent candidate for the surgery" so you can't trust them.  I spent quite a bit of time researching the procedure and there can be serious complications.
Yes, the Marine Corps takes people with a history of Lasik surgery. It's a simple waiver process... IF your eyesight was no less than -8.0 points BEFORE surgery. My left eye is -9.0 points, so I'm automatically DQ'd even if I have perfect eyesight afterwards. Bad policy? Yes, but I don't think that I can do anything about that for now...
I currently wear glasses and really want to join the Air Force and become a pilot. But you have to have 20/20 vision uncorrected in order to become one. If you get laser eye surgery to fix the problem, will the military allow you to become a pilot? Or should people with bad eyes not hold such ambitions?
As it states "20/20 uncorrected".  Laser surgery would fall into the corrected category.
So that would be a no?  :crybaby: Well, maybe I could be an air navigator...or join the navy or something.