Discuss laser eye surgery in Health and Fitness on The Army Rumour Service; Well, best policy is to do what you want, and don't 'fess up. I had my eyes zapped about 2/3rds of the way through my service (how I wish I'd had it done years earlier...) ...
Well, best policy is to do what you want, and don't 'fess up. I had my eyes zapped about 2/3rds of the way through my service (how I wish I'd had it done years earlier...) and when I was in a unit where uncorrected 20/20 was supposed to be the standard: (a) they never noticed I was wearing contacts to start with, (b) they then never noticed the miraculous improvement in my PULHEEMS.....
Modern contacts are better than the old ones, but there are some strategies you can use to survive during Sandhurst and subsequent service :
- If you are going to be bumped during the night, then obviously you will have a drama with trying to insert your lens. As a rule of thumb, if you feel you've got time to get into a sleeping bag, then you have time to take out and re-insert contacts (easier these days in that you can have a dim torch inside a bivvy bag to see what you are doing); if there is any chance of getting bugged out, then learn to sleep with them in (and get used to sleeping in the open without using your dossbag!). I found that if i slept in a sitting position against a tree or trench, then c lens could be worn without them glueing themselves to my corneas.
- Find a way to get two respirators - one fitted for glasses, and one without. If you are already in TA or OTC, try getting a speccy respirator before going to Sandhurst - then you have the option of drawing a normal respirator and not being detected as a four-eyes by the powers that be. If and when you have to go to a real war, then you have to make a big-boy decision about coming out of the closet as a four-eyes - you just can't risk your life or those of others in the interests of vanity. My strategy in Cold-War days was to deploy wearing contacts, but with 2 prs of normal specs and my respirator specs on my person, in case things went tits up. Although I'd been laser'd by the time of Telic1, I reckon that war could have been done on contacts - such was the relative shortness of the NBC alerts. Dust was another matter..
If the issue is just corrective refraction, the following methods of surgical correction for short sight are now considered suitable prior to entry on a case-by-case basis for non-specialist employment groups, and subject to Single Service requirements.
Photorefractive Keratomy (PRK)
Laser Epithelial Keratomileusis (LASEK)
Intrastomal Corneal Rings (ICRs) also known as Intrastromal Corneal Segments (ICS)
Entry will not be considered for those who have had Radial Keratomy (RK) or Astigmatic Keratomy (AK).
If you are already in you will not have a problem. The commonest procedures are PRK or LASEK, both of which are OK as far as the RN is concerned.
I would suggest getting an informal Army opinion on this (from a suitably qualified person - ie Medical) before proceeding, especially if your form of entry involves any advance of pay or bursary tied to contract.
* Note this is a financial recommendation, not a medical one
Yes. I went to Optimax first. I got scared by the lack of professionalism, the use of the Laser clinic as a hair removal place as well, a discount offer which was on for 'walkins' but was refused to me as a telephone appointment, and lastly, a 'specialist' who had been in the country less than one year, spoke poor english, and who refused to answer my questions about his experience!
99.3%approval means 7 out of 1000 dissatasfied. much less than this at UL. there is spare capacity cos they are crap.
Ultralase were outstanding, the surgeon was the main man with over 10000 ops, and on the day of the procedure my friend who was to accompany me was late, so one of the nurses came in and held my hand which I thought was very sweet of her, and most professional of the company.It was also very reassuring at that time! Despite my best efforts at taking her out 2 weeks later, I didnt get to shag that lovely aussie nurse :( all, 5'1 of her...ahhhhhhhhh.
I had Wavefront EPI-LASIK done at Optimax nearly 6 months ago, I now have slightly better than
While things turned out ok, and the price was great, apart from the actual ophthamologists (or whatever)
the rest of the staff seemed really unprofessional. Lots of sexy nurses from Spain or Latvia but they didnt
really seem to know what was going on..
It now looks like I may be deployed later this year. I'm just wondering if I should come clean, either at my
TA unit or at Chilwell, or, stay schtum and do an honest eyetest, or try to bluff it through that I'm still half-blind..
Although the US Military actively encourages its troops and other service personnel to have LASIK laser eye treatment for short sight, long sight and astigmatism, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has yet to adopt the same approach. Ultralase asked the MoD to clarify their current position. The Secretary of State for Defence (Geoff Hoon, MP) provided us with the following statement.
"The MoD is currently reviewing its policy on laser eye surgery. In future, this may allow us to offer this treatment for Service personnel, undertaken by military ophthalmic surgeons in defence secondary care facilities, where appropriate.
"However, existing military policy - followed by all three Services - states that while laser eye surgery is not generally prohibited among serving personnel or potential recruits, there are rules covering its use. Laser eye surgery is not approved for personnel in certain specialist employment groups such as aviation, diving, airborne forces or marines. And for all personnel, either serving or potential recruits, the maximum pre-correction refractive error that is allowable to be corrected is +/- 6 dioptres. The MoD does not pay for refractive error corrective surgery, nor is it undertaken by military ophthalmic surgeons on military patients.
"Personnel who are currently serving, and choose to undergo laser eye surgery, are obliged to disclose it to their medical officer and, on their return to work, they are temporarily medically downgraded for a period of 12 months. Before being declared medically fit, they are seen by a Service consultant ophthalmologist who confirms that the individual is suffering from no significant visual side effects secondary to the surgery, and that the eye is stable. When contemplating this procedure, personnel are advised that failure to meet eyesight standards following the operation may result in permanent medical downgrading.
"Any potential recruit who has disclosed that they have had laser eye surgery must be referred for a comprehensive ophthalmic examination by a Service approved consultant ophthalmic surgeon who will make a recommendation on suitability for entry. This must include specialist visual function testing. They must also show documentary evidence that:
the pre-correction error was no more than +/- 6 dioptres;
the best spectacle corrected visual acuity is 6/6 or better in the right eye, and 6/12 or better in the left eye;
at least 12 months have elapsed since they had the treatment;
there has been no significant visual side effects secondary to the surgery affecting daily activities; and
refraction is stable, as defined by two refractions performed on each eye at least six months apart, with no more than a 0.50 dioptre difference in the spherical equivalent in each eye.
I hope that this answers the questions raised by Ultralase."
I've worn them but only for a fancy dress party to look even more like a sex pest than usual!
However I do wear contacts and did so throughout RMAS (mid 90's) with no problems whatsoever. Indeed after I commissioned I attended PCBC and wore normal contact lenses for 10 days solid; there was no way I was sticking my sh!tty fingers anywhere near my eyes. After 3 days my eyes stopped itching and were fine. Since then I've had my eyes checked and suffered no damage at all. With the advent of 30 day continuous wear I don't see any reason to be bothered by wearing contacts on exercise.