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VISION THREAD (other than colour vision) 2

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VISION THREAD (other than colour vision) 2

Old 16th Dec 2012, 10:26
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I am not a pilot and have no experience of the CAA, however I have had LASIK surgery in both eyes. For me it was a good move and I am pleased I had it done although it does mean my dusk/night vision is quite impaired as all lights tend to 'star'. I was warned about lights showing a 'halo' effect, but what I now live with is more pronounced than I ever expected. It might be worth asking your consultant about these effects. I had the wave-front (NASA based) guided laser technology that was the newest available about 8 years ago. Assuming CAA are happy, and consultant provides the right answers for you - then all the best if you go ahead.
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Old 16th Dec 2012, 11:04
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I'm a UK pilot too and wear contacts.

I personally wouldn't want to risk my livelihood by having laser treatment. I know the risks are small but also that the results can vary between people for many reasons - risk/reward ratio too high for me as any problems or an unsatisfactory result could mean loss of medical and a career change!

Is there a particular reason you want to bin glasses/contacts for laser?

I'd just be a little wary as I assume this is also your livelihood.

Just my thoughts!
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Old 16th Dec 2012, 11:11
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How many Laser Eye Surgeons have had the procedure done to themselves? Most of the ones I see have regular glasses!
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Old 16th Dec 2012, 11:20
  #64 (permalink)  
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Thanks for your responses so far.

More after info from any pilots that HAVE had it done. The risks associated with it I can and have weighed up for myself.
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Old 16th Dec 2012, 14:50
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Never ever have eye surgery unless it is 100% guaranteed no ill effects! I know people who have spent thousands on surgery but as their vision was really poor they still need glasses!! Also several people suffer blurred night vision after surgery, not great when trying to drive or fly at night in teeming rain with lights coming towards you.
If spectacles do the job perfectly well then stick with those until laser surgery is much more advanced and proven to be more successful
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Old 16th Dec 2012, 18:28
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I am a UK ATPL holder. Had lasik surgery at Moorfields London. No dramas had the procedure, follow up the following week, took the drops. Had a 3mnth report from the consultant sent it to the CAA who then asked to see me. Looked into my eyes and sent me home. Been flying ever since without glasses etc.

BTW, did contact my Loss of Licence provider and asked if I was covered should the consultant accidentally slip and chisel out my eyes. And they said yes it was. Perhaps in hindsight I should have got it in writing but didn't need to as it turned out.

Last edited by BOMB-DOCTOR; 16th Dec 2012 at 18:33.
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Old 16th Dec 2012, 18:52
  #67 (permalink)  

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. Perhaps in hindsight I should have got it in writing but didn't need to as it turned out.
1. The chisel would have prevented you seeing it in writing.

2. You wouldn't have had any hindsight - or much at all.
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Old 16th Dec 2012, 19:03
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Don't bother, the risks are against you and if if goes wrong then you have lost your job for life. I went down this path but stayed with the bins, you are better sticking with the glasses to keep your class1/2.
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Old 16th Dec 2012, 19:05
  #69 (permalink)  
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I daresay though that it counted somewhat with the CAA that the procedure was done at Moorfields.
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Old 16th Dec 2012, 19:52
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I had LASEK at Ultralase in Leeds. At the time I was around -5.5 in each eye, with astigmatism.

My reasons were that I was in the Army at the time, and sick of wearing contact lenses. I did it without getting permission (I'd asked during my whole Army career and was told not to get it done) as I'd signed off and was in my last year. It resulted in a medical downgrade for 6 months, but I didn't care as I was getting out anyway. I didn't want to spend the rest of my life as a slave to contacts/glasses for short-sightedness, and my father and Aunt had had surgery prior and couldn't rate it highly enough.

I had a Class 2 medical with VDL, and spoke with the CAA (around 2006) at the time to see how I would go on about getting the Class 1, if surgery was allowed, and how to remove the VDL. At the time there was a limit on eyesight prescription for a Class 1. The ruling was that if your eyesight was outside the limit prior to surgery, then having surgery wouldn't be allowed, but if your eyesight was within the limits, then you could have your eyes "lasered" and then be eligible for a Class 1.

So I had surgery in winter 2006/2007, then my Class 1 initial in October 2007. I'd had all the relevant eye tests post-Surgery which everyone was happy with, me especially as I now had better than 6/6 vision and had gone from barely being able to see the second line down on an eye chart while squinting prior to surgery, to reading the bottom line clearly afterwards.

Anyway, I passed the medical fine and was issued a Class 1, being a bit of a guinea pig at the time and attracting the attention of a few doctors and medical folks while at Gatwick... They took turns to view my eyes through their equipment, and said they probably wouldn't have noticed I'd even had surgery if I hadn't told them. So all in all, I was, and still am very pleased.

I don't suffer from any of the halo effects at night, or have any other problems. No dry eyes, or anything else to report. I did have very slight double vision for probably 1-2 months post surgery, which was attributed to the astigmatism correction on my left eye. So my eyes were now focusing slightly differently, but eventually my body would figure it out - this being the only thing I was ever concerned about afterwards. I only noticed when I was on guard duty a few nights one week on an Army exercise. It was a cold, crisp winters night with a full moon, and if I studied it with the naked eye, it was shadowed by an identical image a few millimetres offset. The more I looked at it, the more it would sort itself out, but if I was to turn away and focus on other things, then back to it, it would be doubled again until my eyes sorted themselves out. After 2 months or so after surgery to present, my eyes have been great. All I can describe it as, is when you get an eye test and a new set of glasses with the latest prescription, where everything is crisp and clear without a struggle... I have that all the time. To have that feeling nowadays, having known what it was like to have poor eyesight in the past, and without needing any correction is nothing short of amazing.

All I know, is that now I'm not having to endure a piece of plastic on my eye that I'm paying £20/month for, or wearing spectacles. I can wake up on a morning and see clearly from the off without the visual disability I had suffered prior to surgery. All in all, I'm chuffed and would recommend it to anyone.

Interestingly enough, I also know an eye surgeon who wears glasses! Their view seems to be that people get the op done for purely cosmetic reasons, and it's not really worth the hassle. It's just another thing that people can do once they've had their teeth fixed and whitened, their lipo's suctioned etc.

I don't feel that, and have my own reasons for having the operation. But each to their own.
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Old 17th Dec 2012, 04:49
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PRK Eye Surgery and the Class 1 - Australia

I have searched for some up to date threads on this but could find anything too recent.

I have PRK back in 2007 in Melbourne and subsequently became a pilot. I am now employed in a small airline. I have just renewed my class 1 and CASA have come back after all this time requesting another opthamologial asessment to check my "contrast sensitivity function". If this is not satisfactory i will lose night flying approval and this will mean losing my job.

Does anyone know what this is? How is it tested?

Has this happened to anyone before?

Im obviously a little stressed right now given the implications.

Cheers - HHH
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Old 17th Dec 2012, 17:49
  #72 (permalink)  
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Never ever have eye surgery unless it is 100% guaranteed no ill effects! I know people who have spent thousands on surgery but as their vision was really poor they still need glasses!! Also several people suffer blurred night vision after surgery, not great when trying to drive or fly at night in teeming rain with lights coming towards you.
Do you have any stats to back this up?
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Old 18th Dec 2012, 21:02
  #73 (permalink)  
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Interesting thread...

Hello folks, hope everyone is well. I'm glad I discovered this thread. Thought it was just me who was hindered by messed-up eyesight!

Anyway, allow me to provide a bit of background about my predicament.

I had my JAA Class 1 medical at Gatwick, back in September of this year. Everything went perfectly well until...wait for it...the eye test. Passed every single eye test, apart from the reading of the letters from a distance. My right eye, there was no issue at all (could read every line/letter), however, my left eye struggled. To quote what the CAA said when they sent me written clarification about failing the medical:

you were unable to achieve the JAA standard of 6/9 distance visual acuity in each eye separately even with the best possible spectacles prescription. You were easily able to achieve this standard even without spectacles, with your right eye but, regrettably, your left eye could only be corrected to 6/12. This is sufficient for JAA Class 2 medical certification...
Going by the CAA then:

Left eye corrected: 6/12

Now, I went to Optical Express this afternoon (yes, it's taken me 3 months to go for an eye test - busy life and all that). They confirmed that I have a "regular astigmatism" to my left eye, which CAN BE CORRECTED with either glasses or (my preferred option) laser surgery.

According to the CAA, I was told that my left eye wouldn't meet the required standards - even when corrected. Not so, according to Optical Express. This is what my prescription says:

Sphere: -0.25
Cyl: 0.00
Corrected VA: 6/5+

LEFT EYE (the weakest):
Sphere: +0.50
Cyl: +2.50
Axis: 117.0
Corrected VA: 6/6 -2

Safe to say, I'm at a loss trying to get my head around it all. One minute I'm unable to fly an aircraft (commercially), the next I can!

Also, I was considering applying to NATS and doing ATC (it was always my back-up plan, should the commercial pilot route stall) however I appreciate NATS have their own strict visual limits. Bearing in mind I currently hold a JAA Class 2, does this mean that I'd satisfy the criteria for the NATS medical?

Sorry for bombarding with all this, but if someone knows, then I'd be eternally grateful!
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Old 19th Dec 2012, 18:29
  #74 (permalink)  
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As far as I know, astigmatism must not be more than -2 dioptres, so I assume you failed for your left eye has -2,5. Just my personal explanation
All the best for your career
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Old 3rd Jan 2013, 11:22
  #75 (permalink)  
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Is laser eye surgery detectable by CAA

There are people saying it s hard to hide if you have had laser eye surgery, if it is detectable, how and what s the chance?
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Old 3rd Jan 2013, 14:50
  #76 (permalink)  
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Yes, it is possible. Report them before undertaking the medical examination.
I know it is possible to detect it by examining the eye with corneal topography. As far as I am concerned, they don't always perform corneal topography though I would be totally honest.
If you had myopia the number of dioptres you needed is not a problem anymore as there are no pre-operative limits for myopia according to EASA Part-MED.
This should apply to astigmatism too.

I can't say anything about other refractive errors.
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Old 3rd Jan 2013, 15:45
  #77 (permalink)  
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Corneal topography is definitely carried out as part of a Class 1 initial at Gatwick.

With any medical history is it always best to be open an honest, there is no point trying to hide a condition as it will be documented somewhere in your medical history.
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Old 5th Jan 2013, 17:03
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I've got very poor vision in my right eye after a complicated retinal detachment operation in early November 2012, which was followed by a post operation glaucoma attack a few weeks later. I have a fold behind my macula which makes it very difficult to see things in my central focal point as there is a black line, and I cannot read using my right eye. Also images in my right eye appear lower than normal making double vision when I use both eyes. There was also damage to the optic nerve due to the glaucoma attack which has reduced my peripheral vision. The doctors are fitting me with a prism type lens. I am 49 years and hold a PPL from the Philippines CAAP for about 4 years now with around 200 hrs. I will probably lose my PPL when I go for the medical in Manila this July. Before this disaster happened to my right eye, I was actually planning to convert it to a JAR (EASA) PPL in England in late 2013 as I planned to pursue my dream job as a pilot in the General Aviation field when I retire at 55 (I'm 49 now). Reading these posts gives me hope to continue flying. I was wondering where (and/or who) is the best place in the UK to go for the medical with one bad eye and one good eye; obviously it would be better to go to someone who has experience with this. Any help will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 6th Jan 2013, 17:54
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I personally knew a pilot who was monocular and flew under JAR-OPS as a copilot on a citation. Limited to multicrew.
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Old 23rd Jan 2013, 11:01
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Laser Surgery + glasses

Hello everybody, I have a doubt that I would like to be cleared from anyone. 2 years ago I had Laser surgery to my right eye, now after having my Class 1 Medical certificate, my ophtomologist gave me a pair of glasses to wear whenever my eyesight is tired or when Iīm using computer. This because my left eye (the one thatīs tired and hadnīt been to surgery) was the one I 'used' for years before I had laser surgery to my right one. So my left eye had to see for both eyes, and thatīs the reason itīs ītired' somedays (0.5 diopter). My question is, can I have any problem at the AME, by wearing glasses and been to laser surgery ? Thanks in advance.
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