Contact Lenses

Ive just recieved some paper work to take to my GP for my medical. Im wanting to go into the rifles, 5RRF but i wear contact lenses, would this in any way stop me from being in a infantry battalion? Reading through the paperwork it says that i have to get another form to take to my optician so he can fill it in. Im just a bit worried because that is the battalion i would like to go in and would hate to be knocked back due to my eyesight. The reason im asking is, a few year ago, my mate who wore glasses got knocked back from the infantry in the regs because of his eyesight.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
You may get the advice you need on here but I suggest speaking to your recruiting office in any case. They will have the most up to date advice for you.

I don't know the answer but I would be surprised if you need x-ray vision. Is your eyesight correctable to standard?

There's a thread running on the Offciers forum now that discusses wearing contacts at Sandhurst. Take a look at that.
I too was worried when I joined (inf as well) as I had a prescription of -7 in one eye and -9 in the other.

The form you fill in goes straight into your med file for the med centre people to glance at when you attend the med w/end (this is before they had selection centres, so they may now do med stuff on the selection w/end).

I'm glad to say that my eyesight has never been remarked upon, the doc didn't say anything. Don't know whether the TA standards are any less than the Regs.

I highly recommend that you ensure that when you start your life in the TA you take spare contact lenses for field weekends. One of my lens got totally f*cked on the tacex at CIC and I count my blessings that I bothered to take spares with me. Best way to get spares, if you don't already do this, is to get regular disposable lenses (I have mine in for 2 weeks before putting in some new ones. This is with Spepcsavers, only costs £15 or so a month).
Just a point to note, wear your glasses to your medical. Some people like to check your eyes both corrected and non-corrected.

While I am in only the OTC, I'd HIGHLY suggest looking into Focus Night and Day 30 day continuous wear contact lenses. I wore 2 week Acuvue Oasis with hydroclear, not realising that they suggest only wearing them for the odd nap or odd night if you really can't take them out. Especially if you are planning to go inf where you will at one point spend several nights in the field and there is no clean or proper way to take them out and clean them. The Focus lenses are FDA approved to wear for 30 days without taking them out. Please do heed this advice, I have damaged one of my eyes (hopefully not permanently) by not paying it the proper attention it deserves. Take bloody good care of your eyes, there's no point ******* them up for good!
Cheers for the advice lads.

im currently wearing the acuvue advance for 2weeks, im in for my aftercare on friday so ill quiery the continuous 30 day lenses. I was thinking about asking for them anyway.

one more thing, ive got my medical with my GP this week, then what happens? do i have to go for a medical with the army doc? or will i get to see the army doc on the recruit selection weekend?
When I did it, my unit sent me with a few other guys to a local GP. It's the basic stuff, 'do you smoke?' blah blah, give them a urine sample and that's it.

Your army medical just goes over the med form you've completed and the form filled in by the GP. My impression was that it was really basic stuff. If you have anything significant in your med history they may ask you a few questions about it, but otherwise no worries. He asks you to drop your kecks for a look at your balls, but don't worry, he doesn't stick a finger up yer bum.

As well as the interview with the doc, there is also a hearing test (press a button every time you hear a barely audible beep through the headphones), they test your lung capacity (i.e. you blow into some kind of tube), take a blood sample and that's it really.

Prepare to be bored out of your head - we spent most of the day lounging in a reception room waiting to be seen by various med staff.
If you need to wear your contacts all the time, you will need a optician's prescription for corrective lenses for the S10 respirator. When you do your basic, it's strongly advised that you remove your contacts before entering a CS chamber because CS & contact lenses DO NOT mix well together - there is medical advice which says CS can leech under contact lenses & cause permanent eye damage, hence the reason for corrective lenses for your respirator. You need to get this one sorted soonest upon joining.
I've never rec'd corrective lenses (as per your advice, I had to take my contact lenses out which was a pain) but never thought of asking whether I should have them in case I give anyone the impression that I'm eager to do CBRN.
Asking for a prescription for S10 corrective lenses doesn't give anyone the impression that you're keen to do CBRN - if you need to wear glasses/lenses on a daily basis for anything other than reading, it's in your own interests to have fully corrected vision whilst wearing a respirator too. Being fully suited & booted for CBRN restricts your senses enough without you giving it a helping hand by not having full vision.
I wore 30 day continuous lenses doing CBRN in the chamber, if anything it made it easier to deal with the gas, although I still couldn't breath, my eyes didn't water as bad as other peoples did.
If you still want to wear your contacts in a CS chamber (or RTF, to use the PC term) having been warned of the risks, then that's down to you. I've taken people for chamber drills before who stated they didn't wish to take their contacts out, with no ill-effects at all. But I've always impressed upon them when briefing them for the chamber period what the risks are, & got them to make a verbal declaration that they are aware of the danger & are willing to take responsibility for the decision they make re: their contacts. There are some who would say I should refuse to take them in the chamber if they refuse to remove their lenses, but my belief is that if I were to take that course of action it would give those who didn't want to do CBRN training a get out of jail free card to drop out whenever they felt like it. Harsh? I don't think so.

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