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Eyesight problems.

#1
Hey.

Basically, I want to know if there is ANY way I will be able to join the infantry in either the regular army or the TA. The problem I am faced with is that I wear glasses and my prescription is pretty abysmal.

SPH CYL AXIS
R -7.25 -0.50 40.0
L -7.25 -0.25 80.0

After doing some research on the internet and speaking to people on the army careers helpline I am gutted to realise a number of things, the main one being that;

"Spectacle correction must be no greater than -7 diopters or +8 in any meridian."

So that pretty much means theres no hope for me, right?

Also, after browsing these forums I come across some comments that one of the critereas for laser eye sugery being accepted within the army is that it must not correct the vision beyond 6 diopters.

Which means, as far as I can see, I can't join up with glasses, and I wouldn't be able to even if I had laser surgery either.

I suppose I just want someone to either put the nail in the coffin so to speak, and tell me that theres no way of joining and to forget about it. Or that there might be some loop holes or a way around it.

Anyway, thanks for any help :)

Borgia
 
#3
Mborgia said:
Hey.

Basically, I want to know if there is ANY way I will be able to join the infantry in either the regular army or the TA. The problem I am faced with is that I wear glasses and my prescription is pretty abysmal.

SPH CYL AXIS
R -7.25 -0.50 40.0
L -7.25 -0.25 80.0

After doing some research on the internet and speaking to people on the army careers helpline I am gutted to realise a number of things, the main one being that;

"Spectacle correction must be no greater than -7 diopters or +8 in any meridian."

So that pretty much means theres no hope for me, right?

Also, after browsing these forums I come across some comments that one of the critereas for laser eye sugery being accepted within the army is that it must not correct the vision beyond 6 diopters.

Which means, as far as I can see, I can't join up with glasses, and I wouldn't be able to even if I had laser surgery either.

I suppose I just want someone to either put the nail in the coffin so to speak, and tell me that theres no way of joining and to forget about it. Or that there might be some loop holes or a way around it.

Anyway, thanks for any help :)

Borgia
I'm going through the same issues at the moment for TA Officer Training. My eyesight is even worse. However...

I recieved a letter which stated that even though I correct up to 6/6 vision in both eyes, my prescription was over 7 diopters, jf I could meet the minimum eye sight requirements (6/12 in the right, 6/36 in the left) with a prescription of 7 diopters, then I could continue along in the process, even though I would not ever get that prescription made up.

Unfortunately my eyesight is much to worse for that, so eye surgery is the only way for me. Inter Ocular Lenses. I'm currently waiting from ASOB for approval that this is could be an acceptable method of eyesight correction, but as I understand it, eye surgery is taken on a case by case basis.

Only thing I can recomend is jumping in with both feet. You'll know either way.
 
#4
Thanks for that guys.

MentalPygmy, I suppose thats quite positive from my point of view. Well, in that I think it may be possible for me to meet the minimum eyesight requirements with only a 7 diopter prescription? Gonna head down to my local army careers place tommorow though, see what they say about it.

Borgia
 
#5
If you are fairly young you need to be aware that any sugical treatment might solve your problem and then a few years down the line your vision is blurred again. The higher your prescription the more likely it will progress into your thirties before stabilising. You don't want to have a pattern cut onto your eye and then find it doesn't do the job (although in that event you would be on lighter specs).

Implanted lenses (Optimax do them) is a serious bloody step. Look at the pictures - Christ, they cut through the edge of your cornea and then anchor the lens in place by sticking it into your iris. If it touches your own lens you get a cataract and then your are into lens removal and the possibility of a detached retina or an eye infection. Not steps to be taken lightly.
 
#6
jarrod248 said:
It's a long time ago and I don't remember properly but doesn't the astigmatism make the minus appear worse than what it is?
I think you need to check this out with an optician.
I recall a conversation with my optician where two elements of the prescription could be played off against each other. I don't remember the details but it might be worth a chat with your optician.

Good luck.
 
#7
Just thinking - one of the big dangers in laser surgery is overcorrection. You do not want to be longsighted having been shortsighted. The most unhappy patients (apparently) are ones that have went from (say) -6 to +2. Indeed for cataract surgery they will make everybody just a little shortsighted because that works across nearly every task.

So, mental pygmy, how would they react if you had them take -6 off your prescription, leaving you (roughly) -1.5? Given normal corneal thickness, and a surface based treatment (PRK/LASEK) you could have a big treatment zone which would reduce problems in low light. That would mean you hadn't had more than -6 treatment and your prescription would be low. Low risk of corneal scarring/regression at that level as well.

[I'd recommend the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital in the North (I went there) and a lot of people highly recommend Mr O'Brart at St Thomas's. You'll have to pay, but I'd go to an NHS hospital and NHS consultants given the choice. Both Manchester and St Thomas's in London have good kit as well].
 
#8
EX_STAB said:
jarrod248 said:
It's a long time ago and I don't remember properly but doesn't the astigmatism make the minus appear worse than what it is?
I think you need to check this out with an optician.
I recall a conversation with my optician where two elements of the prescription could be played off against each other. I don't remember the details but it might be worth a chat with your optician.

Good luck.
In his case it's making it worse - both minuses - but not be much. Plus astigmatism could have helped acuity a bit - in theory!
 
#9
Going down to the 3rd Battalion Royal Welsh in Pontypridd next week to have a chat. Hopefully I'll be able to have a medical after that and see what they say about it.

As one of you suggested, I want to find out what they would think of me having laser eye surgery but only corrected by 6 diopters. Which would leave me with a prescription of -1.25, which is well within the minimum requirements. I'd probably consider having that done if I got in as it is aswell.

Out of interest, anyone on here worn glasses/contacts in the infantry. How did/do you find it?
 
#10
just down the road from me :D

i'm torn between them and the sigs in cardiff
but need to get my fitness way up before
i try and join either of them

neb
 
#11
Mborgia said:
Going down to the 3rd Battalion Royal Welsh in Pontypridd next week to have a chat. Hopefully I'll be able to have a medical after that and see what they say about it.

As one of you suggested, I want to find out what they would think of me having laser eye surgery but only corrected by 6 diopters. Which would leave me with a prescription of -1.25, which is well within the minimum requirements. I'd probably consider having that done if I got in as it is aswell.

Out of interest, anyone on here worn glasses/contacts in the infantry. How did/do you find it?
Thinking about it, if they are worried about more than -6D of uncorrected light coming into your eye at night (the centre is the only bit of the cornea that can be treated, 6-8mm depending on how thick your cornea is) then imagine two situations -

a) You get a full 7.5D correction. The difference between the treated and untreated is 7.5 (obviously). When your pupil expands fully there is that unfocused light leaking in the edges, in your case coming to a point of focus just in front of your retina. You can't wear glasses because then you would be overcorrected.

b) You get a 6D treatement in the centre. At night without your specs you've got -1.5D uncorrected in the centre and -7.5D uncorrected at the edges. But now you can put a pair of 1.5D specs on. Now you're spot on in the centre and you've only got -6D uncorrected beyond the centre; the specs correct the rest.

Yours might be a very unusual case. Your numbers mean that there might be a case for thinking about it. But a) you need to talk to the army, and b) you need to talk to a thoughtful NHS ophthalmologist.
 
#12
jarrod248 said:
There has been reported problems with night vision as stated above and also halos around lights at night and other visual disturbances. I looked into this some years ago and decided against it.
I was thinking of havin laser eye surgery also and I am still toiling with the idea. I'm a stab and find it a nitemare when on exercise as glasses get in the way and have the possibility of getting broken (I lost a screw out of my glasses in Iraq; not a hope in hell's chance of finding it in the sand!). My contact lenses are just as much of a pain in the bum as I can't sleep with these ones in and makes good fun trying to put them in on a "stand to" plus it costs me a fortune as i end up sticking them to the wall or somewhere else stupid after being out on the razz! :)

I am joining up and start basic in Nov. I went to selection and the Doctor was saying how he is strongly against the idea of surgery as he has seen so many of them that have gone wrong and tried to put me off (Also said im not allowed). Dangerous for me as I seem to have "the biggest pupils" Ultralase have ever seen and if I had a certain procedure I would definatley have night glare and the whole halo thing going on! They wanted over £4,000 for a certain new procedure! (and that was with MoD discount!)

My other half had it done few years back at Optical Express and it was £1200 for both eyes. He is of a "mature" age now and has had no dramas/changes so far. He has blue eyes (which are more sensitive) and would wake up at night in agony. Apart from that it has been fantastic for him ever since!

You're eyes are alot to gamble with. Speak to your opticians again, if not an eye specialist. Find alternatives before sergery. I suppose it depends how much you want to give...I've heard of the phrase "giving your right arm" for something...but your eyes for the Army? Gamble I say! :lol:
 
#13
gobbyidiot said:
Just thinking - one of the big dangers in laser surgery is overcorrection. You do not want to be longsighted having been shortsighted. The most unhappy patients (apparently) are ones that have went from (say) -6 to +2. Indeed for cataract surgery they will make everybody just a little shortsighted because that works across nearly every task.

So, mental pygmy, how would they react if you had them take -6 off your prescription, leaving you (roughly) -1.5? Given normal corneal thickness, and a surface based treatment (PRK/LASEK) you could have a big treatment zone which would reduce problems in low light. That would mean you hadn't had more than -6 treatment and your prescription would be low. Low risk of corneal scarring/regression at that level as well.


[I'd recommend the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital in the North (I went there) and a lot of people highly recommend Mr O'Brart at St Thomas's. You'll have to pay, but I'd go to an NHS hospital and NHS consultants given the choice. Both Manchester and St Thomas's in London have good kit as well].
I'm actually at 11 Diopters roughly per eye. I've got quite thin corneas which is also another problem. I did have the same idea, but when I had my consultation with Ultralase about some form of Laser surgery, they vetoed the option of correcting up to a certain level (like 4 diopters).

So I'm going to wait to see if its a viable and acceptable operation before I shell out and undertake the risk.
 
#14
My oh had laser surgery on both eyes to join. He had to wait 12 months from when he had the surgery to re apply but he got in no problems.

He claims that his night vision has improved a lot but he did spend an insane amount of money.

Pm me if you have any questions that you'd like me to ask him, when I/if I get hold of him sometime :D
 
#15
cascabel said:
Pm me if you have any questions that you'd like me to ask him, when I/if I get hold of him sometime :D
If you could find out the details on what his prescription was, and what he had his eyes corrected to that would be interesting to know thanks.

Hopefully if I can get a medical, I will be able to have a chat with a Medical Officer and see what he says about having Laser eye surgery, and my eyes in general. If its just a simple 'No' in being able to join up as my eyes are now, surgery would obviously be the only option left for me.

Its overwhelmingly gutting though that I miss the minimum requirements by just 0.25! Pretty sure thats the smallest margin you can miss it by :roll:

What prescription are you Monkey_wench?

To be fair, I never realised that having laser eye surgery hindered your night vision. I understand how it would now though, in regard to what you said Gobbyidiot. Would it kind of be your periphiral vision at night time affected?
 
#16
Mborgia said:
cascabel said:
To be fair, I never realised that having laser eye surgery hindered your night vision. I understand how it would now though, in regard to what you said Gobbyidiot. Would it kind of be your periphiral vision at night time affected?
It's general quality of vision, contrast sensitivity....they used to think that the problem was only light leaking from the untreated area but now they think that mainly what happens is that small imperfections on the surface in the centre also become more evident at night. A very smooth central zone minimizes the problem, which is why you want to be treated with a decent laser and an experienced surgeon. Most contact lenses only correct a small zone so if they get the laser treatment right your night vision should be similar to what you have with contact lenses. If you see haloes around street lights you'll still have them. If they get it right.....
 
#17
Mborgia said:
Going down to the 3rd Battalion Royal Welsh in Pontypridd next week to have a chat. Hopefully I'll be able to have a medical after that and see what they say about it.

As one of you suggested, I want to find out what they would think of me having laser eye surgery but only corrected by 6 diopters. Which would leave me with a prescription of -1.25, which is well within the minimum requirements. I'd probably consider having that done if I got in as it is aswell.

Out of interest, anyone on here worn glasses/contacts in the infantry. How did/do you find it?
so did you get down to see the guys at the Royal Welsh then?
:D :?:
 

acl

Old-Salt
#18
My prescription was -2.25 per eye, myopia. My corneas were thick and all pre-op tests were fine. I had Lasik on both eyes last tuesday. This is the procedure where they cut a flap and then laser your eyes. I wanted PRK (which is the laser on the surface) but the doctor insisted there could be high risk of scarring, recovery was at least 3 months and also the pain was horrendous for at least a couple of days. The scarring and recovery time put me off. Everybody scars differently, so the Epi-Lasek or PRK could actually leave you with a scar on the surface of your eyes, which treated or not would certainly affect your vision after the surgery anyway. Due to this I opted for the flap cut, Lasik. I understand I must wait 12 months for my eyes to heal properly before joining, that is if they'll accept me considering I've had the flap surgery they're so against.
Well, you do get night halos (mild though), and I was told they'll go away as my eyes heal overtime. Your eyes get dry every 30 mins for which you need lubricant on them at all times. Apart from that, it has changed me life.
After needing glasses for over 10 years I'm chuffed to bits that I can finally see. It's expensive, so either start saving or find out a plan through the NHS.
I agree with the comments here, your eyes are not something to take on lightly when thinking on having surgery on them. You must find a pretty decent surgeon, do your research from previous patients, and well, cough up the cash. Good ophthalmologist are quite pricey but then again, it's your vision we're talking about.
In your case, they won't do a PRK or surface laser surgery, because your prescription is too high. So they'll do Lasik but because your pre-op diopters are high anyway, it's likely the army won't accept you after the op.
Go to your ACIO and find out for sure, before you take any decisions.
Good luck.
 
#19
acl1981 said:
In your case, they won't do a PRK or surface laser surgery, because your prescription is too high. So they'll do Lasik but because your pre-op diopters are high anyway, it's likely the army won't accept you after the op.
Go to your ACIO and find out for sure, before you take any decisions.
Good luck.
PRK is fine if they use mitomycin-c, which is dangerous stuff - you need a surgical team and someone who knows what they are doing. But trust me, surface treatments are generally just fine. Type mitomycin-c and LASEK into google.
 
#20
Hi guys, sorry for thread necromancy but i'm kinda stuck here.
I don't know my prescription because here in SA a trip to the optometrist is about 400 Rand a pop(roughly 40 pounds),
which for us is quite alot of cash for my family at the moment.

Anyway, I was just wondering if anyone can give me any descriptions about how far I'd be able to see/and the detail id see with the lowest allowable eyesight.

As you can probably see I'm going for RM but iv been on arrse for ages.
I'm sorry for the weird post but I have had my heart set on this for a long time, and I would like to either know that I have a chance, or to be told that I have no chance so I can get over it.

Cheers guys
FB
 

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