PopularHow To Get Lasik In The Military

How To Get Lasik In The Military


Why Choose Lasik For Military Personnel

How to get Lasik for FREE in the Military – Military Savings

Can you get LASIK in the military? Many believe the answer is no, but that is outdated information. All branches of the military now permit some form of refractive surgery, but certain personnel may need a waiver. Here are some of the benefits to choosing LASIK as a mode of vision correction:

  • Eliminates the need to carry glasses or contact lenses
  • Eliminates the risk of broken glasses
  • Eliminates the risk of fogged-up glasses
  • Eliminates the risk of contact lens-related infection
  • Eliminates the risk of torn contact lenses
  • More natural vision than glasses
  • No need to update glasses or contact lens prescription
  • Fast recovery
  • LASIK military dependents are more easily cared for

Army Installations Providing Laser Eye Surgery

There are 12 Army installations providing Laser Eye Surgery :

Fort Benning, GeorgiaMartin Army Community Hospital Fort Bragg, North CarolinaWomack Army Medical Center Fort Campbell, KentuckyBlanchfield Army Community Hospital Fort Carson, ColoradoEvans Army Community Hospital Fort Hood, TexasDarnall Army Community Hospital Fort Lewis, WashingtonMadigan Army Medical Center** Fort Sam Houston, TexasBrooke Army Medical Center** Fort Riley, KansasIrwin Army Community Hospital Fort Stewart, GeorgiaWinn Army Community Hospital GermanyLandstuhl Regional Medical Center Honolulu, HawaiiTripler Army Medical Center Washington, D.C.Walter Reed Army Medical Center**

Soldiers not stationed near an Army installation providing the surgery may still be able to receive laser eye surgery. Although the Army has the majority of laser eye surgery facilities, the Air Force does allow qualified Army personnel to use their facilities. Some Army units will also provide TDY funds for soldiers to travel to the nearest Army facility to receive the surgery.

Us Navy & Marine Corps

Navy vision requirements include eyesight of 20/40 in the best eye, 20/70 in the worst eye, and correctable to 20/25. There is a stipulation against color blindness. Navy seal vision requirements are no different. Refractive surgery is permissible without waiver, so long as it meets certain constraints and doesnât cause visual compromise. If the parameters for surgery are not met, a waiver is required. ICLs are permissible for certain classes as well.

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Army Laser Eye Surgery Program

The Army provides free laser eye surgery for many soldiers under the Warfighter Refractive Eye Surgery Program . This is an excellent opportunity for soldiers to fix their eyesight at absolutely no cost and often with better results than what can be achieved at a civilian laser eye surgery provider.

Prk Vs Lasik: Recovery And Healing Time

Can Civillian or Military Pilots Get LASIK Surgery ...

LASIK typically has a much shorter recovery time than PRK. The initial recovery time for PRK lasts about two to three days, while with LASIK you can typically go back to work the next day.

There is little to no pain during recovery with LASIK, while about 10% of PRK patients may experience mild to moderate pain or discomfort in the 24 to 36 hours after surgery. This pain may be managed with eye drops and oral pain relievers.

The length of time it takes to attain clear vision after surgery is much longer with PRK than with LASIK. It can take about a month to see clearly after PRK, while LASIK patients may be able to see clearly within a few hours to a few days.

Because it can take so long for the eye to heal fully after PRK, some surgeons prefer to do surgery on one eye and then do the procedure on the other eye a month or two later. With LASIK, doctors typically do surgery on both eyes in the same surgery session.

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Prk Vs Lasik: Surgical Techniques

Both PRK and LASIK are outpatient procedures that will involve spending about an hour at the eye surgery center. For both procedures, the surgeon will put anesthetic eye drops in your eye and use an eye speculum to hold your eyelids open during surgery.

There are some differences as well. Heres a contrast of PRK vs. LASIK in terms of surgical technique:

  • LASIK involves creating a flap while PRK does not. In LASIK, the doctor uses the laser to create a flap in the cornea to access and reshape the cornea to correct your vision. The surgeon places the flap back in place to heal.

  • PRK involves removing the outer layer of the cornea while LASIK does not. In PRK, the surgeon removes the outer layer to reshape the cornea. The outer layer of the cornea grows back after surgery. The surgeon inserts a soft contact lens to act as a bandage during healing.

Both types of surgery require you to have someone drive you home because you will not be able to see clearly immediately afterward.

Us Military The Vanguard In Refractive Surgery Research And Implementation

More than 312,000 laser refractive procedures performed in the U.S. Air Force, Army and Navy have provided invaluable insight about laser refractive surgery to both military and civilian communities.

Since the first military laser study began in 1993 and the U.S. Department of Defense adopted laser refractive surgery in 2000, military laser refractive cases have demonstrated safety, efficacy and excellent visual results when performed in appropriate patients.

Military refractive cases have also provided accurate and large sample data that can be extrapolated to the general population.

The studies that we perform here at the Naval Medical Center San Diego are viewed by civilian ophthalmologists all over the world as a benchmark of refractive surgery research because the studies are unbiased, theyre fair, theyre balanced, U.S. Navy Capt. David J. Tanzer, MD, said. Were looking at safety and efficacy of war fighters, so we want to ensure that these procedures are safe. The extrapolation of the data that we accumulate here influences how civilian surgeons perform refractive surgery all over the world.

U.S. Navy Capt. David J. Tanzer, MD, performing LASIK on a patient, says that unbiased military studies of the procedure are a benchmark of refractive surgery research.

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Can I Get Lasik If Im In The Military

A question we hear often is, Can I have LASIK if Im in the military? We also have patients ask if they can have LASIK if they are pilots or first responders. Most people think the answer is no, but actually, most military personnel, pilots and first responders are able to have LASIK.

LASIK for military, pilots and first responders

LASIK is a safe procedure that most military personnel, pilots and first responders can have if they are deemed good candidates for it. Previously, PRK was the preferred procedure for people in these fields however, the healing time is longer with PRK than it is for LASIK. The recovery time and the risks associated with LASIK are very minimal, so LASIK patients can be back to work within a day or two, no matter what kind of work they do.

What if I dont qualify for LASIK?

If our doctors determine that you are not a good candidate for LASIK, PRK could be an option for you instead. PRK is similar to LASIK, except instead of a LASIK flap, that top layer is removed and a contact is put in your eye for a week until it heals. PRK has a longer healing time than LASIK, but the visual outcomes are just as good as LASIK. Both PRK and LASIK are viable options for patients who are military personnel, pilots and first responders.

Dont let glasses or contacts get in the way of your personal or professional life! Contact us to schedule your complimentary consultation to start your journey to visual freedom today!

Each Type Of Waiver Has Its Own Requirements

Getting Eye Surgery (Free Lasik)

Waivers for entrance into the military are available, but they are not easy to obtain. There is a long list of reasons why the military may disqualify a potential recruit: illegal activity, medical conditions, minimum height, and even age. The recruit needs to have a compelling reason for requesting a waiver, and even then it’s not guaranteed.

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Lasik Eye Surgery Safety And Success Rates

When patients at Gordon Schanzlin New Vision Institute are considering LASIK, often their first question is How safe is it? The second is, How likely is it to improve my vision? In other words, how successful is the procedure? We love to answer these questions because a well-informed patient is

The History Of Lasik In The Military

Although approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration FDA in 1998, it wasnt until about 10 years later that LASIK, one of the most popular laser vision correction procedures available, was approved for aviators and other active military service members. In fact, it is due to the diligent efforts of some of our own laser eye surgeons here at Gordon Schanzlin New Vision Institute Institute that LASIK received that approval. Since then, thousands of men and women who serve our country have undergone laser vision correction to help them reduce, and even eliminate, refractive errors in their vision and be able to see clearly without relying on corrective eyewear.

A recent video from Patient Education Concepts, Inc. called LASIK on the Frontlines illustrates the history of LASIKs introduction to the U.S. Armed Forces, and the teams of dedicated people who rigorously tested the technology to ensure it would be safe and effective for the people who protect and defend us every single day. The video features interviews with our own Dr. Steven Schallhorn, who is a retired Captain in the U.S. Navy, and is considered the founder of the militarys refractive surgery program. He and a team of researchers spent years testing laser vision correction surgery to make sure that the superior results among civilian patients would be as effective for service members in the armed forces who would need to rely on excellent vision to accomplish a number of important and dangerous tasks.

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Prk Vs Lasik: Cost Differences Pros And Cons

If youre looking to get rid of contact lenses or glasses, you may be weighing the pros and cons of PRK vs. LASIK to decide which type of laser eye surgery would work best for you.

Both PRK and LASIK can be used to treat refractive errors in vision, including astigmatism, nearsightedness , farsightedness and presbyopia, a condition common after age 40 that can make it harder to see when doing close-up tasks like reading.

Learn how PRK compares to LASIK in terms of cost, surgical technique, recovery time, pain, complications and side effects. This guide also covers PRK vs. LASIK for military, law enforcement and other professions that may require excellent vision.

The Us Military Trusts Lasik So Can You

Refractive surgery center enables warriors to shed glasses ...

For most people, having LASIK is about seeing well without needing to rely on glasses and contacts. What you may not know is that the U.S. military trusts LASIK and other laser vision correction procedures in order for service members to have the vision required for operational success and safety. While a civilian may really enjoy or even need great vision, for military personnel in combat situations or when landing a fighter jet on an aircraft carrier, good vision can be a matter of life and death.

Some service members endure harsh environments, with sand, dust, smoke and debris flying around. These conditions render corrective lenses, both glasses and contacts, useless and even dangerous. This is why the U.S. Department of Defense conducted its own research into the viability of laser vision correction procedures, like LASIK, to support their personnel in achieving the excellent vision needed to perform their duties no matter where they might serve.

One study measured the military readiness of 360 active duty service members before and after laser vision correction surgery. The study evaluated factors such as weapons sighting ability and ability to function at night. In all cases, performance indicators improved after surgery. Data showed that after laser vision correction:

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Ii Photorefractive Keratectomy Or In

a. IAW reference PRK or Lasik surgery waivers are granted case by case by BUMED.

b. An approved PRK or Lasik surgery waiver must be included with your medical package per reference to the Naval Special Warfare Center Medical Department for review.

c. The PRK or Lasik surgery waiver must also be included with the completed BUD/S package for final approval from the SPECWAR Assignments .

Most Commonly Approved And Disapproved Waivers

There are several common waivers people apply for. Some are almost guaranteed depending upon the job, and some are almost always denied. Here are the most common waivers.

Morals Waiver: Getting a waiver for a felony record is rare, but in times of need such as war, many of these waivers may be approved to meet staffing requirements. Juvenile records are subject to review as well by the military.

LASIK and PRK Vision Repair Surgery: Usually waivers for recruits who have undergone LASIK or PRK eye surgery are easily processed but require a six-month post-surgery recovery time first. After receiving a clean bill of health from a military doctor, the waiver will be processed .

Color blindness: You can be color blind and still join some branches of the military but may not qualify for certain jobs. For instance, a number of combat operations jobs in the Navy and Marine Corps require personnel to be able to see vivid reds and greens. The same goes for many special operations and aviation jobs .

Asthma: The recruit has to be able to prove he or she no longer has asthmatic issues or takes asthma medications.

ADHD /ADD: Often younger children can be misdiagnosed or grow out of such behavior and focus issues. Full medical records are required if the applicant was ever treated for ADD or ADHD with any medication other than Ritalin, Adderal or Dexedrine.

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    Laser Eye Surgery Eligibility

    Soldiers desiring laser eye surgery must meet the following requirements to be eligible:

    • At least 18 months remaining in active duty military service at the time the surgery is performed
    • At least 12 months remaining at their current unit of assignment and occupation with no pending adverse actions
    • Unit Commander must authorize the surgery
    • Vision must be stable no greater than a .50 change in eye prescription level in one year. Must be verifiable with a current prescription and one performed a year prior.
    • Must be able to attend post-operative exams at 1, 3, 6, and 12 months. Soldiers can deploy after the 3 month followup but must return for an exam upon completion of deployment.
    • Minimum age of 21

    Army Laser Eye Surgery Compared To Civilian Providers

    Eye Surgery in the Air Force (PKR & LASIK)

    Why does the Army often deliver better results? The Army has strict guidelines that must be met before a soldier can receive laser eye surgery. Many civilian providers of laser eye surgery have more lenient policies, allowing teenagers to receive the surgery as well as approving people with less stable vision. Additionally, the Army provides laser eye surgery as a way of improving a soldier’s combat effectiveness while a civilian provider is concerned about the bottom line . The Army is also extremely experienced with the procedure, performing well over 100,000 surgeries at the 12 Army facilities providing laser eye surgery. All soldiers receiving laser eye surgery must also return for several post-operative appointments for evaluation.

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    Intending To Join Officer Candidate School With The Goal Of Flying A Helicopter Or Jet

    Whether you plan on being a Navy fighter pilot, an Air Force rescue officer, or an Army sniper, youll need excellent visual acuity to qualify for special roles. Usually that means having perfect vision and anything short of that can stymie your dream of flying. Thats the bad news.

    The good news? Its not 1980. No matter if youre near-sighted, far-sighted, or have astigmatism, your vision can typically be surgically corrected to meet stringent vision requirements.

    Having near 20/20 vision can change the trajectory of your military career and your life.

    Thats why its important to consider getting Laser Eye Surgery prior to joining the United States Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Army, National Guard, and certain other careers in law enforcement .

    Most people who undergo laser vision correction achieve 20/20 vision and almost all will have 20/40 vision to help you pass your mandatory MEPS physical prior to joining OCS.

    Which is the best laser eye surgery for the military?

    While LASIK and PRK are now both accepted by most military branches, PRK and its close cousin ASA is the most common and is embedded in military culture. PRK has been and continues to be the go-to eye corrective surgery in the military. It also has a history of being more widely accepted for special roles like aviation.

    What about recovery times?

    Military Laser Eye Surgery: Enhancing Vision Readiness

    Falls Church, VA, July 12, 2021 – Maintaining near perfect vision is vital to any warfighter.

    While many service members wear contact lenses or glasses, other warfighters find glasses or contact lenses incompatible or difficult in austere environments.

    “Vision impacts so much of what we do in the military, and having problems with glasses or contact lenses, especially in a deployed environment, can cause a host of problems,” said Air Force Lt. Col. James Townley, refractive surgery consultant.

    “Glasses can dislodge, fog or be lost, putting the military member and team at additional risk. Contact lenses are not allowed in deployed conditions due to their propensity for infection. Eliminating the need for distance correction, particularly when service members deploy, avoids these risks.”

    Twenty years ago, the Department of Defense initiated the Warfighter Refractive Eye Surgery Program. The purpose of the program then, and now is to enhance vision on the battlefield, improve readiness, retain or qualify military members in occupations demanding excellent uncorrected vision, and to make headgear and goggles less burdensome.

    This program was initially designed to provide a combat-vision edge to Navy SEALS, Special Forces and other warfighters through a variety of corrective surgery options. Since its inception in 2001, the research, technology and experience have allowed the program to expand and include all active duty service members, including aviators.

    Research and safety:

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