Laser treatment???

Can somebody please tell me the eyesight standard for qaranc, and do they accept people who have had laser treatment on their eyes?

Its just im considering transfering over, but im not sure if my eyesight would be upto scratch, as its deteriated a bit since ive been in (understatement!).
Hello amazing_lobster and welcome to ARRSE. :D

Being a civvy nurse I can't answer your query about eyesight standards, however, I can't see (excuse the pun) a reason why someone who has has successful laser traetment would be excluded from doing a job.

Maybe someone else will be able to help????????


Anyone?? :D
Should be no problems with post laser eyes being up to snuff. I wear contacts, and have never had a problem.

I looked into the laser treatment, but didnt go ahead as I didnt like the chances of looking through scratched perspex for the rest of my life.

Get the medical standards from your local recruiting office and then see an optometrist to see how far you are of the mark.
There are various rules and regs regarding Laser ops. I think at one time you weren't allowed to be an AFV crewman or go overseas. This may have changed. Anyway I had it years ago and just didn't tell them.
Lifesaver said:
....I can't see (excuse the pun) a reason why someone who has has successful laser traetment would be excluded from doing a job. Maybe someone else will be able to help????????


Anyone?? :D
Yaarp, that be me then....AFAIK, the MOD has had a bag-on about Laser surgery because following a 'blow to the head' the retina could revert to it's pre-op shape / burst / detach / spontaneously combust / detonate...something like that.....

That being the case then, why do we still employ folk with pins in their legs? Hmm?

The MOD know it's all a load of bollocks....just like Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq...
Similar response can often be received from civilian police regarding recruitment. Mist however, now just require a 12 month gap between treatment and subsequent application.
This topic has come up before although I can't find the posts.........

At the time laser therapy was still banned for members of the Armed Forces - I havent see any changes to this rule but I haven't been in the office for a while.

Reasons for this included the risk of damage to the retina in the case of a bang to the head. Also considered a problem was the risk of the peripheral 'halo' effect associated with the op (I asked an optician about this risk - it is higher in patients that have stronger prescriptions). Clearly this has implications with regards to patrolling/recce/weapons etc. There were also concerns that the long term effects of the op are not well known and there could be as yet unforesen complications.

I think the Americans let their troops have the op- read into that as you will..... doesn't inspire me to run off and have it done!

I have no idea what the party line is if you have already had it done though......... At least you'll know if you suffer from the halo effect or not, but the retina issue and long term concerns are still potentially dodgy.

I get back to my office (Med Cen) at the beginning of Sept. If you want me to look into it in more detail please PM me after the 8th and remind me to do so!
Cheers for the info on laser treatment, I think ill just get it done when i come back from telic in May(as ill have the money saved up!), and just not tell them.

As for the halo effect, i suffer from that wearing spec's anyway, so surely the gain in eyesight 8O is worth it for a condition that glasses produce anyway!?! :roll:
Have you considered contact lenses? Much cheaper and no risk.
After using for a couple of weeks you can pop em in and out in less time than it takes to burn a slice of toast, no halo until they've been in up to c12hrs (then just pop out, rinse, pop back). Can walk into pubs in winter without steaming up, read in bath etc. No annoying reflections, choice of cool sunspecs etc etc.
Downside? Bit of a bugger in dusty conditions if grit gets in eye.
Don't get pissed & fall asleep in em, eyes dry out & feel sore
Keep spare pair handy for when one goes down plughole (it will).
Au Contraire mon ami.

The idea that Contact Lenses carry no risk is a myth. The reason I eventually went for the Wavefront option as featured in the Moorfields blurb is that a mate who is an eye surgeon (but doesn't do Lasik) told me that he reckoned it was less risky to have the surgery than to wear your contacts 7 days a week 52 weeks a year (as squaddies generally have to).

I'm not sure this isn't a bit of hyperbole, but the number of times I shoved a grubby mit into my eye when putting in/removing contacts or wore them solidly for 7/8 days on ex. I guess I thought it would be worth the risk.


I looked into this in quite a lot of detail last year, when I was seriously considering having it done.

Firstly, the regulations for Service personnel - it used to be the case that you were forbidden from having laser surgery, and couldn't join if you had. My understanding from investigating this last year was that for LASIK (rather than PRK) the rules have been relaxed. Now if you have it, you are automatically downgraded for 6 months and then reviewed. One of the main issues is night vision, which is commonly very poor after surgery.

I looked into it when I discovered that not only did the American, New Zealand and Canadian militaries now permit laser surgery, but the NZ military even allow pilots, divers and special forces to have it done.

HOWEVER, what stopped me from having it done (I was very close) were two things.

Firstly, when I went for a checkup and eye test at a laser surgery clinic, I was told that because I am very short-sighted the chances of me suffering some form of noticeable effect to my night vision was very high. They were completely unable to quantify what it might be, or how bad (it is very unpredictable), only that the chances of something were very high (the worse your eyes to begin with, the higher the chance of side effects). Later, I was out at night looking at the stars, and the thought of never seeing them so clearly again for the rest of my life really concerned me.

Secondly, I was recommended to look at a website called:

I would thoroughly recommend that anyone considering surgery first read this site in detail. It is set up by and for people who have had surgery go wrong. It has testimony and stories from people who’s eyesight (and lives) have been utterly destroyed by poor laser surgery. It also has pictures that have been created to try to demonstrate the effects of the most common side effects look like for the sufferers.

Now I am aware that this could give a false impression of the odds of such problems occurring. Firstly it is self-selecting, in that you don’t hear the thousands of stories of people who are delighted with their new vision. Secondly, most of the stories come from America, where regulation appears to be weaker, and there are more cowboys operating.

That said, when considering risk there are two factors you need to consider: the likelihood of something happening, and the consequences of it happening. High likelihood and high consequences – don’t do it. Low likelihood and low consequences – crack on. High likelihood and low consequences – well, you need to decide whether the consequences are low enough for you to take the risk. However, the hardest is what I believe that we have here with laser surgery: low likelihood of complications, but very high consequences if there are. To my mind, even if the likelihood of having night vision so poor that I cannot ever again drive my own car at night is less than one percent, the massive impact that would have on my life is unacceptable to me. Therefore, I decided that I would stick with contact lenses.

As for contact lenses – I agree that they are not a zero risk option, but I do believe that if properly looked after, they are a lower risk option. You can buy contact lenses now that are actually designed to be slept in. I would only sleep in them when I absolutely had to (on ex for example), but at least they are designed to be breathable enough to allow it. Plus, disposable contact lenses don’t build up as much crap on them as permanent ones.

Each to their own – just do your research. And read
Good informative postings. Thanks guys. I was thinking of having it done a couple of years ago when in South Africa. It is much cheaper there (less than half price) and the surgery is top notch...however, I too found it difficult to discover the party line, although I think that there is now a DCI (or something similar) out on it.

Currently, I am sticking with disposable soft contacts (Acuvue) which, although not cheap, are brilliant, interspersed with the occasional set of bins - which, surprisingly, still attract les girls - contrary to opular belief - and I didn't even go to Specsaver!
Hope i can be of some help here, if you go onto the RAF and the ROYAL NAVY recruiting sites it actually tells you what trades you can apply for after having lazer treatment would have thought it would be the same for the Army.
Thats just from a mere NHS direct person :D :D :D :D :D :D
Opthalmics is not area of specialism on my part, however..

In the US it is national eye care week.

Anyone who feels they may need an eye test, or needs to validate their perscription after laser treatment, should submit to this simple to use, on-line test:
if youre serving military you can have yourself an eye test at any spec saver etc.. pay for it yourself and then claim it back as long as you have the reciept.
With reference to the contact lens option, there is a lot of choice out there.

The contact lens' discussed above typically need to be taken in and out every day, hence leading to an increased chance of an infection.

After getting just such an infection on an exercise, i had a look at what was available to overcome this problem.

There are now gas permeable contact lenses that can be left in for extended periods without pain or increased risk of infection.

I now wear contact lenses that can be worn for a month at a time and can honestly say they are the most comfortable i have ever worn. They are widely available in high street opticians, and are not as expensive as you would expect. Mine cost me £20 per month, are delivered by post, and i get free eye checks.

A new contact lens has recently been released in the US that can be worn a year at a time, though i understand that it will be some time before it reaches the UK.

With such advances in contact lenses, is laser surgery really worth the risk?

Similar threads

New Posts

Latest Threads