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Navy SEALs PRK or Lasik Requirements

Lasik and PRK are allowed for US Navy SEALs, however special waivers may be required.


Image of Navy ophthalmologits performing Bladeless Lasik  
US military allows PRK and Lasik, however there are some limitations.
Image courtesy US Navy.
 
   

SEALs are required to perform a variety of tasks that require a high vision aptitude. SEAL candidates may qualify for PRK Refractive Surgery to correct their vision. You can read more about the PRK policy on the BUMED PRK Refractive Surgery web site http://navymedicine.med.navy.mil.

Eyesight Requirements

Uncorrected vision can be no worse than 20/200 in each eye. Both eyes must be correctable to 20/20 (Reference; Manual of the Medical Department, P-117, Chapter 15-105, Paragraph 7a(c)). No waivers for deficiencies. (Reference; Manual of the Medical Department, P-117, Chapter 15-105, Paragraph 7a(c).

BUMED waiver request: Reference Manual of the Medical Department, P-117, Chapter 15-102, Paragraph 3 and 3a. For more information on current requirements, contact your local recruiter or reference Manual of the Medical Department, P-117, Chapter 15-102, Paragraph 3 and 3a, or http://navymedicine.med.navy.mil.

Eye Waivers

Ref: (a) COMNAVCRUITCOMINST 1130.8 (SERIES) (b) Manual of the Medical Department P-117 I.

Eye Sight waivers (Active Duty/Reservist)

a. Per the references, Eyesight Requirements: Uncorrected vision can be no worse than 20/200 in each eye. Both eyes must be correctable to 20/20.

b. BUMED waiver request: Reference Manual of the Medical Department, P-117, Chapter 15-102, Paragraph 3 and 3a.

c. The eyesight waiver must be included with the medical package per reference (a) to the SPECWAR Assignments (PERS 401D) for review. d. The eyesight waiver request must be included with the completed BUD/S package for final approval from the SPECWAR Assignments (PERS-401D).

II. Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) or In-Situ Keratomileusis (Lasik) surgery (Active Duty/Reservist)

a. IAW reference (b) PRK or Lasik surgery waivers are granted case by case by BUMED.

b. An approved PRK or Lasik surgery waiver must be included with your medical package per reference (a) to the Naval Special Warfare Center Medical Department for review.

c. The PRK or Lasik surgery waiver must also be included with the completed BUD/S package for final approval from the SPECWAR Assignments (PERS-401D).

NOTES

Navy personnel or prospective recruits to the Navy who choose to have surgery performed by a civilian surgeon, they should complete the following checklist items: Review the Navy message that outlines refractive surgery policy for the Navy and Marine Corps (R 101331Z APR 00).

If planning to apply for BUD/S training, review the Navy message that outlines the requirements for new accessions into training (BUMED/30MAR2000/SER 25/NOTAL; refractive surgery policy in the Navy and Marine Corps for new accessions) and as specified by approved LASIK study protocols. Complete the pre-op counseling form for active duty service members prior to getting PRK from a civilian provider (This document is posted as a link on the BUMED home page: http://www-nmcp.mar.med.navy.mil/Ophthal/PRKSurgery.asp (Appendix 3).

Complete the post-op medical clearance for return to duty form after having PRK. (This document is posted as a link on the BUMED home page: http://www-nmcp.mar.med.navy.mil/Ophthal/PRKSurgery.asp

Clearance for return to full and unrestricted duty.

Questions regarding corrective eye surgery can be directed to the following department: Deputy Research Director, Navy Refractive Surgery Center Ophthalmology, NMCSD 2650 Stockton Road San Diego, CA 92106 (619)524-6733, FAX (619)524-1731 Clinic (619)524-5515

Looking For Best Lasik Surgeon?

If you are ready to choose a doctor to be evaluated for conventional or custom wavefront Lasik, Bladeless Lasik, PRK, or any refractive surgery procedure, we recommend you consider a doctor who has been evaluated and certified by the USAEyes nonprofit organization. Locate a USAEyes Evaluated & Certified Lasik Doctor.

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Recent Military and Refractive Surgery Medical Journal Articles...

Related Articles

Refractive surgery policy and its effect on visual acuity qualification rates for the 2004 and 2011 Army ROTC flight applicant pools.

Mil Med. 2014 Jan;179(1):76-80

Authors: McClellan SF, McGhee JS, Boden JH, Davis RW, Young PE, Torres MF

Abstract
OBJECTIVES: The goal of this study was to ascertain the effect of recent U.S. Army Aviation corneal refractive surgery (CRS) policy changes on the size of flight school applicant pools by comparing statistics from the 2004 and 2011 Warrior Forge Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps training camps.
METHODS: A retrospective chart review was performed using the United States Army Aeromedical Activity's Aeromedical Electronic Resource Online database.
RESULTS: Of the 607 applicants from 2004, 100 (16%) were disqualified for decreased visual acuity and had refractive errors correctable by CRS. Thirty-four cadets (6%) had prior CRS, and 21 qualified for flight school in 2004. Of the 625 applicants from 2011, 105 (17%) were disqualified for decreased visual acuity and had correctable refractive errors. Sixty-four applicants (10%) had prior CRS, and 54 subsequently qualified in 2011.
CONCLUSIONS: Changes to Army Aviation CRS policy over the last decade have been associated with an increased number of initial flight applicants who now meet visual acuity standards. However, only a small percentage is using this resource. Army Aviation has the potential to significantly widen its applicant pool if more candidates are made aware of accepted CRS techniques that can help them to meet rigorous vision standards.

PMID: 24402989 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

 


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