Medical Eye Exam

I'm going into the army pending a medical, just a question during the medical where they test for colour blindness and test your eyes do they actually look in your eyes with the machines and what not, I say this because I haven't told them I wear contact lenses because my eye sight doesn't meet the requirments so I will need to wear them through the medical, I'm having laser eye surgery in a couple of months (they wont find out about that either)



War Hero
Do you not think it may be a good idea to be honest? Why put yourself and others at risk?

And why should the army go to the expense of training you, to have to let you go when they find out?
It's complete bullshit, I fail on my left eye by -0.04, the percription limit is -6.00 and my left eye is -6.04, wouldn't put anybody more in danger if my contact lenses fell out with them being -6.00 but some how I'm allowed in?

The laser eye surgery will fix it anyway, anybody willing to answer the question?


War Hero
Ok, I believe you are requested not to wear contact lenses for 7 days prior to the medical, and if you do, they can defer you. I have also been led to believe that the minimum uncorrected vision is -7. However, that is likely to be trade specific.

I just think you are starting out very badly by hiding your poor vision and also the fact of laser treatment - there is only one type that is accepted but I don't know what it is!
Don't lie, it's not big or clever, you will be found out, and the Army will be displeased. Be honest. Find out what laser treatment the army accept (and make sure it doesn't effect your specific trade!) and, as you say you're getting it in a few months, hold off until you have it.

Above all, don't bother lieing to get it.
Get caught (which is highly probable) and its 'defect on enlistment', goodbye, don't let the door hit your arrse on the way out. Your eyes will be examined closely enough to detect contacts.

I'm not certain on the current policy on laser eye treatment.
well I've wanted to go into the army for years and really dont want this to get in the way but I guess what will be will be.
The scarring from laser surgery is obvious up to 6 months post op, and the examiner will notice it when he checks them even without machines so you will come a cropper and your integritywill certainly be in question.

Any further info on Laser surgery can is illustrated by Geoff Hoon hearya!

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."

Geoff Hoon
Ministry of Defence
You will have a Dr look into your eyes using an opthalmascope as well as reading from a chart, this is a minimum. Some people are referred to specialists depending on previous/present conditions.

edited to add that also they will do the colour blindness test.
At the selection centre it is just a case of reading from a board, but they do also have a peek at your eyes, and they will notice that they look different.

Pino, it's not worth the hassle. Go through the proper channels and don't jeopardise future chances.
well by that quote from the minstry of defence...the proper channels wont work for me either because it says I will still be barred from entry if the laser eye sugery corrected the vision worse than -6.00

ah well
Pino. They are in the process of reviewing the policy on eye surgery and they do approach each person on a case to case basis when making a decision, so there may be some hope for you there?!?

But unless you have it done and defer entry for a year and simply neglect to tell them (still a risky approach) they will notice the ruddy great scars on your eyes when they shine that light in em!
They might. If you're right in saying you're only out by an extra .04 you might just pull it off.

The military isn't always as draconian as you might think. I've had to appeal twice for two completely unrelated medical issues to get into the Army, i've seen specialists, and now i'm just waiting for Sandhurst in January.

If you really want it, pursue it. Just do it through the correct channels.
I was rejected from joining the prison service because of this, they said I had no grounds of appeal because this was standard and apparently it's the same with the armed forces, police, fire brigade etc.

I wasn't planning on having laser eye surgery and doing the medical exam, I was going to wear my contact lenses through them and have laser eye surgery done before I started basic training as I was told I would have to wait about 6 months anyway.

But I dont know what to do now.
If your eyesight is -6.00 & -6.04 I would suggest that the margin is so small that if you could get a eye exam where it stated you were -6.00 in both eyes then you would qualify for the surgery option but you will still get deferred 12 months like me 8O seems an awful long time but at least you can beast your fitness.

I have had some opticains say i'm 0.25 in my right eye and others say i'm 0.00 so 0.04 must be easy to blag... just squint!

I was supposed to go to RMAS in May but I'm now off in Jan but all it means is I have to stick out my current job a bit longer a years nothing!

Go for it!
thanks for the advice Keano, but un-fortunately my medical exam is this week and I doubt I could get an opticians appoint before hand, not too mention they dont think I wear contact lenses so will know I was lieing, looks like I will just have to go with my origional plan and try it with the contact lenses and dice with death with my luck and then get the laser surgery afterwards.

how much did your laser eye surgery cost out of interest?
Pino said:
thanks for the advice Keano, but un-fortunately my medical exam is this week and I doubt I could get an opticians appoint before hand, not too mention they dont think I wear contact lenses so will know I was lieing, looks like I will just have to go with my origional plan and try it with the contact lenses and dice with death with my luck and then get the laser surgery afterwards.

how much did your laser eye surgery cost out of interest?
Currently waiting to enlist into the army myself post-surgery (6 months now). I paid £3000 for my treatment at Optical Express. I would disclose the information to recruiters / MO myself; there is - positively thinking - a small chance I'll be barred from entry, like yourself, though better than having the specialist see the laser incisions (which they will) and getting barred regardless for lack of integrity.

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