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VISION THREAD (other than colour vision) 2

Medical & Health News and debate about medical and health issues as they relate to aircrews and aviation. Any information gleaned from this forum MUST be backed up by consulting your state-registered health professional or AME. Due to advertising legislation in various jurisdictions, endorsements of individual practitioners is not permitted.

VISION THREAD (other than colour vision) 2

Old 18th Nov 2016, 12:05
  #281 (permalink)  
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"Best" is a subjective measure.

There are MANY lens patterns for progressives, even from single manufacturers. The width of the various fields (far/mid/near) varies significantly, and can make the difference between a BAD pair of glasses and a GOOD pair.
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Old 19th Nov 2016, 07:56
  #282 (permalink)  

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I don't think any person can "tell" you what to get. Nor can they make sweeping statements like "Varifocals (which I assume is another term for progressive lenses) should be banned for pilots".

Glasses are such a personal thing that it is presumptuous for someone to stipulate to another what is, or is not acceptable.

I tried bi-focals and hated the bloody things. I've used progressives now for about 10 years or so, never had any problems with them, and for me, I reckon they're the greatest thing since sliced bread.
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Old 20th Nov 2016, 03:37
  #283 (permalink)  
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FWIT i have used progressives for about 15 years and apart from driving home from the opticians the first time I've never had any problems using them on the flight deck.
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Old 20th Nov 2016, 11:14
  #284 (permalink)  
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I wear contact lenses, and my eye gal prescribed a set for flying that backs off on the distance vision (I was over 20/10), allowing my aging eyeballs to read the smallest bits on the panel before me without bifocals or blended lenses.

A compatriot of mine did LASIK to 20/40 (or 50 I can't recall) and has a light prescription for distance vision, and a set of bifocals for flying when needed, although he claims with the LASIK, his no correction vision gets the job done most of the time.
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Old 20th Nov 2016, 11:28
  #285 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by vapilot2004
although he claims with the LASIK, his no correction vision gets the job done most of the time.
Gets the job done with 20/40? Are you serious?
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Old 20th Nov 2016, 13:58
  #286 (permalink)  
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For life in general, yes. That's what our guy with LASIK claims.

I've tried a prescription that gives me 20/30 vision and am able to safely drive (road signs, potential hazards in the distance etc all visible) as well as read the smallest of text like a teenager and go on extended gadabouts and operate heavy machinery (weed whacker etc) with no trouble at all.

For work, knocking a quarter or a half a diopter value off my 20/10 lens prescription allows me to have around 20/20 and be able to read up close. It's a great compromise and many people are unaware you can ask your optometrist to go up or down a quarter or more in power and be in perfect compliance with either your regulator or the company rules.
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Old 21st Nov 2016, 02:25
  #287 (permalink)  
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There are several different progressive lenses available.

I found the basic progressive lenses that I first tried to be unusable for flying. Fortunately I then found an optometrist who works with pilots, and the second round had very good results. Expensive, but worth it.

So it is not just a progressive/bifocal question. Which progressive lens matters a great deal.
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Old 21st Nov 2016, 03:59
  #288 (permalink)  
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I have pretty close to 20/20 but need readers. I went to an AME with a bad eye machine and wound up with must wear glasses on my medical. I got progressives with minimal distance correction and have been wearing them ever since, and I retired 9 years ago. They just work really well for me. My wife (not a pilot) hates them. Everyone is different.
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Old 21st Nov 2016, 11:25
  #289 (permalink)  
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Quick Personal Observation: Eyeglasses are an extremely personal choice. Vitally important for pilots and one simply has to TRY some to know what works best for YOU. Any GOOD optician will remake if you are not satisfied, BUT, you do have to invest a little time to give them a fair trial.
If seen more than one pilot using what amount to TRIFOCALS while flying: The TOP most section is a small area for close viewing the overhead panel, mid section for distant vision and another small lower section (same or different Rx as the top) for maps and reading text. They do look a little funny, but the DO work. For obvious reasons, some electricians also use this style. You can HELP your option/optometrist by premeasuring some distances: Bridge of nose to OH panel and bridge to your usual text/chart reading distance. Get some help from a colleague or spouse to make the measurements. The idea may sound/look a little strange, but the configuration works if you get the measurements and degree of correction correct. Standard bifocals are probably better for normal use and for driving. I'm told that progressives can also be made this way, but personally, I've had horrible luck with the type, even for standard, everyday use. Good luck and please be sure to tell your providers about your work, what you need and ask a lot of questions. You WILL get there! -NFZ
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Old 22nd Nov 2016, 04:39
  #290 (permalink)  
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I've been using varifocals for about three years now and although they take a while for you to train yourself how to use them, they have been great. My advice - don't skimp on the optician and lens cost. Also, chose frameless. The frameless advice is from a fellow 'Magoo' and helps with peripheral vision. Also, when learning how to use them, you will find them different and it takes a while for your brain how to process the image. While you are learning - do not go back to your regular glasses- Once you have the new varifocals, there's no reversion mode!

Of course, it all depends on your prescription. In my case, my close up vision is OK, but my accommodation (ability to change focus) was getting poorer as my eye's lenses hardened with age. I am also astigmatic.

BTW - if you are prescribed with bi/varifocals in New Zealand, you are grounded for 3 months while you get used to them.
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Old 12th Dec 2016, 12:10
  #291 (permalink)  
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I'll weigh in with a couple thoughts. I very much like my progressive lenses. As others have commented, some are better than others.

Generally, the entire upper half of the lens is for distance, while a narrow column down the middle has the "reading" part. (OK, the transition from infinity to reading distance...) Typically, the cheaper the lens, the narrower this corrected center part is. the lower corners of the lenses have no correction.

Paying extra for "thin lenses" gets you a high refractive index plastic lens that only works well when viewed on axis, i.e., you have to turn your head rather than just move your eyes. The first time I had this (pre reading correction days) I went back to regular plastic for a few more years.

Find a good place to get what you need. Be persnickety and willing to pay for it. You should not need more than a couple minutes to "get used to the new glasses." I had a pair once that gave me a horrible headache until I figured out the optical center of the lens was not in front of my eye! Back they went.

For a few years I had a pair sunglasses with no reading correction - the reading part was useless when sharing a thermal with several other gliders. I could still safely see the panel.

An optician I visited in Munich once specialized in eyewear for athletes and had many pilots as customers. She was all about seeing well rather than looking good.

Did you know you can actually get little spot lenses that will cling to the inside of your lens? You can have a spot of reading correction in the corner of otherwise "infinity" glasses.
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Old 13th Dec 2016, 08:49
  #292 (permalink)  

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I used varifocals for years without any problems and, yes, they take a bit of getting used to. The best pair I had was plain tinted glass at the top and gradually changing to clear for flight deck work. I used a totally clear pair at night. Cataracts got the better of me and I had lens replacement in both eyes. Sadly now retired and just use standard reading glasses when necessary.

Good luck
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Old 16th Dec 2016, 19:49
  #293 (permalink)  
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The first pair of varifocals I got was horrible, tunnel vision is too nice a description, I gave them back. The optometrist searched and found a solution: Seiko glass, expensive but day and night; like Cinemascope instead of a keyhole.
I would never want anything else again.
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Old 17th Dec 2016, 22:26
  #294 (permalink)  
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Much useful info here. In my case I need +1.75 correction for distance, +3.25 for reading/close up and -0.75 astigmatism correction. When I first needed glasses my prescription was a little less than this but not much. I tried varifocals but really couldn't get on with them. The distortion of everything through them and the way it changed as I move about made me feel a bit sea sick. I make small mechanical stuff by hand in my work and I can't manage the distortion and size change you get when you tilt your head. Straight lines become curved, right angles might be more than 90 deg or less than 90 deg and trying to use the microscope was a non starter with them on. I also never got used to having to point your face directly at something and nod the right amount to get it in focus. Peripheral vision was crap, my eyes naturally see a very wide field of view. I tried to get used to them for a few weeks but was un-nerved when driving and when I flew, with a safety pilot, just didn't feel safe. My landings were totally off with loss of peripheral vision.

My solution is contact lenses. As a single lens can only correct two aspects from the distance/close up/astigmatism I have settled on one lens (for one eye) for close up with astigmatism correction and one lens (for the other eye) for distance with astigmatism correction. I don't have any motion/distortion sea sickness issues, stuff I work on has straight straights and square right angles and I can use the microscope OK. My peripheral vision is like a wide screen cinema view again. It did take a short while to get used to most things being only in sharp focus in one eye but your brain sorts that out quite quickly. I can even use my old non prescription Ray Bans. I also don't spend half my life trying to find my glasses. Win win.
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Old 20th Dec 2016, 12:49
  #295 (permalink)  
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UK CAA eyesight correction limits

Hi Guys

I'm looking to re-test to see if I can get a Class 1 - the issue being my prescription is +5.75. There used to be a thing called a deviation (12 years ago) which could allow you get a class 1 if you fall outside the limits. I think the upper limit was +3 but now it appears to be +5 so maybe there is hope.

|'ve been out of the loop for over 10 years on this subject so if anybody has advice I'd appreciate it.

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Old 18th Jan 2017, 07:30
  #296 (permalink)  
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Hello. Recently been down to Gatwick and failed my class 1 due to eyesight. Everything else was perfect, but my left eye let me down. I always had a lazy eye as a child and had the usual patch and other things when I was a child. I went for an eye test at my local eye shop and they confirmed I was very much on the borderline and would have to see what they CAA Say. Obviously as I'm sure you can imagine, I was VERY disappointed with the result. Can anything be done? The CAA doctor said nothing, but there is such things as lazy eye training, eye surgery? Anybody got any experience? How can I dispute what the CAA?



L +0.50 -1.00 175
R +3.00 -1.75 25

This is my current prescription, I have just spoken to the AME who has conducted the test. He Said my left eye reached 6/12 with glasses and 6/18 without glasses. My right was above standard. He said I was just over a line of the chart.

he said both my eyes were very stable, would things such as correction vision, or amblyopia treatment increase my chances
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Old 18th Jan 2017, 22:25
  #297 (permalink)  
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My suggestion is get a life where your body & health is your own personal business, nobody else's and physicians are there to cure you not test you. Look at the state of the industry and look at your fail as a lucky escape.
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Old 20th Jan 2017, 14:00
  #298 (permalink)  
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Dear HGT 95

Sorry for your disappointment with your medical.

My advice is dated, but I would recommend that you seek specialist advise from an eye surgeon. Many years ago I worked with a surgeon who operated on the eye muscles of "lazy "eyes with a high degree of success. I remember him saying that a lot of middle aged people need treatment due to lack of follow up progress checks from when they were younger.

Hope my advice helps, and good luck.
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Old 7th Feb 2017, 12:45
  #299 (permalink)  
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Disputing CAA Class 1 Medical


How would you Appeal a class 1 medical rejection? I presume write to the CAA, AME?

Last edited by HGT_Fly95; 9th Feb 2017 at 07:49. Reason: Used the word Appeal rather than Dispute
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Old 11th Feb 2017, 10:32
  #300 (permalink)  
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A quick Google reveals the following:

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