Years ago, I wanted to be a pilot, in the air force. I've worn glasses since I was ~11 so obviously that wasn't an option given that stated requirements were 20/20 uncorrected vision, and laser refractive surgery was categorically excluded, even if it did correct vision to 20/20.
Now, I'm 30, and facing a future job-loss. I work for the government, so the chances that I'll actually have to find a job are fairly slim - they'll shuffle me somewhere else, and life will go on. However, under the government's work-force adjustment policies there might be an incentive to get out - if things line up, I could be paid a lump-sum of ~$30,000.00 to resign. And it just so happens that the Air Force recently changed their policy, they now accept candidates for pilot who have had laser refractive surgery to 20/20 vision. As such, I put in my application and was found suitable, acceptable, and competitive for pilot. That means that as long as I pass aircrew selection, and aircrew medical, which are a subject for a whole other thread, I stand a good chance of being offered a position, doing something I always wanted to do, and possibly get a once-in-a-lifetime payout to go do it.
However, in order to be eligible to be sent to aircrew selection, I have to get laser refractive surgery, and I'm beginning to understand that it's a bit of a risk.
I had my assessment at our local clinic who found me to be a good-candidate for surgery. My prescription is OD -2.25 OS -2.25, or OD -2.25 OS -2.00 with no astigmatism. I ordered my last pair of glasses as -2.25/-2.25, and they haven't given me any problems, my vision is corrected to 20/20 or better with glasses. I have thick corneas, 528 +/- 5 microns, but I'm leaning towards PRK and not LASIK to avoid any complications with a flap. I think I can deal with the downtime for healing without too much trouble. The clinic is recommending an Advanced Custom Wavefront treatment, and they've been very good about answering my questions so far. They haven't tried to hide the possibility of side-effects, or possible complications, it's all been detailed in the literature they've provided. The clinic has even offered a 20/20 vision guarantee so long as I get an ACW treatment.
The snag here is that my pupils dilate out to 8.4mm each under low-light conditions. If I go ahead with the surgery, it'd be done on the Bausch & Lomb Zyoptix Z100 laser, and under the care of a world-renknown, and very-well respected surgeon. I've decided that if I do go ahead with the surgery, I'll get ACW.
I'm worried about halos, star-bursts, and ghosting. I'm seeking advice from the clinic, and I understand that the internet is not necessarily the best place for information or advice.
So there it is USAEyes. I have a chance to do something I've always wanted to do, something I gave up on years ago, and has suddenly, and unexpectedly become a possibility, if, and only if, I gamble on getting laser refractive surgery, which is by no means a sure thing. Or continue to be a government bureaucrat, and wait for an ax which will eventually come, even if I'm spared this time around. What should I do?