Laser Eye Surgery - 12 month deferral

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by U_K_22, Aug 21, 2006.

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  1. Hello,

    Went to my AFCO today to discuss career options as an Officer. On discussing medical issues with the civilian employee (of which I have no permanent issues such as diabetes/asthma etc) I mentioned that I am having laser eye surgery performed in September to free myself from the constraints of contacts/glasses. My vision isn't bad in civilian terms but for the military is just out. However, my standard is easily good enough to be corrected and thus be accepted into the forces. Whilst I was thanked for my 'honesty and integrity' in revealing my intentions, she informed me that I would need to wait for 12 months before I could re-apply. Whilst she thought I was doing the right thing 'off the record' she said that there is little my AFCO can do in the meantime to puruse a career within the army. As I'd like a career in the armed forces for 22 years (as of now anyway) so I don't see a year as being a long time in the big picture - but would like to get cracking on furthering myself physically and mentally.

    So here's why I am writing here - for both advice and opinion.

    1) The AFCO admitted they couldn't help me out for 12 months, but did not dissuade me from contacting forces personnel for advice elsehwere. Does anybody have any advice on where or who I can speak to for advice on the issue of laser eye surgery and the armed forces.

    2) Anything I can do in the 12 months to help boost my chances of getting through the selection process? I see the deferral not as a punishment but as a chance and a challenge to improve myself.

    3) Anybody else had/having to overcome a similar situation.

    Any other suggestions/advice would be welcome. Feel free to pm me if you wish.

    Thank you for your time and co-operation.
  2. Stand by for a pm.
  3. Morty got deferred recently, only bloke i can think of that you could talk to.
    On the plus side you have a year to max out your fitness. If you keep it up then after a year you should start training a step above the rest.
    Good luck fella.
  4. hey brad
    mate, your getting soft, a whole year and he will be on a completely different floor!
  5. I had laser eye surgery last september, so my year of waiting is nearly over.

    I like you just saw it as a chance to get fit, that is what I did.
    Also you get to make any mistakes training wise without any dire consequences (I injured myself and had to have 3 months of rest).
    It's been a hard slog keeping my motivation up, but I just kept repeating to myself why I wanted to join the army.

    Join a gym and go twice a week for 12 months - You will see a real difference.

    There is absolutely no reason why you cant get your 1.5 mile down to 8 minutes.

    You should be able to push out 60 or so pushups and situps.

    If you attend the RCS with that level of fittness, I can't see them turning you away.

    On a side note the side effects from the surgery didn't wear off till at least 6 - 8 months so it was a good idea to wait 12 months.

    By the way how is your vision with glasses or contacts? - Will save 12 months of waiting if you don't mind wearing them.
  6. My vision is in that annoying grey area. Bad enough to be a problem in the armed forces, but no way near bad enough for them to turn me down after surgery (I think if you have -6.00 then you still can't join after surgery). It'll be better for everyone anyway with my eyes corrected, won't have to worry about flapping around with specs or contacts.

    I'm only just 22, so still have time and side, at least they can't question my determination!

    Thanks for the solid advice by the way, you guys are great!
  7. chrisg46

    chrisg46 LE Book Reviewer

    You thought about going travelling? apparently that is regarded as a good thing by the army...
  8. Yup.

    Only thing to say is don't let it get you down, use the time wisely, improve your fitness, prep yourself. One bloke on here told me to 'do as many un - military things as possible (in the time between now and then) because once enlisted i may not get the chance'. That struck a chord.
  9. Maybe not relevant to this thread but i've just joined a TA RE regiment. Its a specialist unit and i'm 41 years old. The eye test we did was basic in the extreme. I couldn't even see which wall the chart was on without my glasses! I could have had lenses in or laser surgey and they would never have known.
    I guess the its a bit more in depth for the regular army?
  10. Sorry to bring this topic back up, but I am desperate to know where you heard this -6.00 thing?

    My eyesight is -5.75, so close enough to that apparant rejection line to worry about it.

    IIRC, I can still be admitted to the army with -5.75 so long as I wear glasses, but glasses do not seem overly practical..

    Thanks to all who reply
  11. When I stuck my application in you were allowed up to -7.00 for your eyesight, which by anyones standard is not great, as long as it was correctable. I've had laser surgery too though my eyesight was -3.00 at the time (which was more than bad enough for me) and is now perfect.

    As for your eyes being close to the line, I wouldn't worry too much about it as as far as I can work out as long as your on the right side of the line you've made it. I.e your eyesight either falls within the acceptable range or it does not, close does not appear to matter, in this instance good enough is good enough.

    The decision to take laser surgery is up to you but I would imagine that if your eyes are better than the required standard now and came out worse after the surgey then something has gone very wrong and you've got bigger things to worry about than your application.

    I don't know if you've spoken to the eye surgeon yet but I remember them saying that the worse your eyesight the less likely you are to end up with 20:20 vision at the end - that said they're getting better all the time and as far as I am aware do people with much worse sight than yours. Plus, if your like me, simply being able to get around without my glasses was incentive enough even if it was possible that I'd still need some lower powered ones.

    Worked well for me though.

    Good Luck whatever you decide.

    (By the way, I'm only a trainee nurse ( a mental health one at that) and none of the above is medical advice - see a Doctor first) Phew almost forgot that.
  12. last time i wrote anything on here about laser eye surgery - i got severe grief from one bloke.

    Yes you (and military personnel) can go off and have corrective laser eye surgery - but beware, there can be problems. It , as well as other procedures, is not 100% safe.

    The Surgeon General still does not support corrective laser eye surgery due to the possibilities of problems such as damage to the retina. This is the main underlying reason for the 12 month deferral - to allow al potential problems to settle down.

    If you are determined to go ahead - pay yer money - but just be aware of the possibilities

    p.s I am a qualified general nurse with 20 years experience before anyone (old-dear-hunter et al) piles in
  13. what are the armys views on soldiers getting it done who are already in the army?

    mine is -2.25 in both eyes... but i'm thinking of getting lazer surgery in the next year or 2 as i;m getting pissed off with contact lenses.
  14. What is the eyesight standard for the Army?

    Eyesight Standards The standard personal weapon is the SA80 and this requires vision in the right eye to be correctable to no less than 6/9. Vision in the left eye must be correctable to no less than 6/36. Spectacle correction must be no greater than -7diopters or +8 in any meridian. Certain types of surgery or laser treatment to correct visual defects are unacceptable and clarification should be sought prior to application.

    taken from the army FAQ
  15. as an individual - a serving soldier/officer should seek advice from his/her MO

    the army cannot really stop anyone having laser treatment - but if things go wrong, it may be classed as 'self inflicted injury' therefore the individual has an injury that prevents them from carrying out their role/ tasking.