Vision is something we tend to take for granted in our everyday lives. It’s not something that really affects us. If we start having vision problems, we can easily just get eyeglasses, contact lenses, or LASIK eye surgery, and things will be right as rain again.
However, some occupations have strict requirements when it comes to vision. For example, you’re not exactly the best lifeguard around if you can’t even see a person drowning from a distance. And surgeons and paramedics need steady vision as well as steady hands to save the lives of their patients.
Another one of these occupations is that of an airline pilot. These people need to have excellent vision to safely navigate through the skies. They need to have great spatial intelligence to safely transport people from one point to another. In fact, many airline pilots have to go through arduous vision tests before even being granted a license!
What are Vision Requirements for Pilots?
Vision requirements will depend on what kind of pilot you are. Military pilots, in general, tend to have stricter rules for vision acuity. For example, Air Force pilots need uncorrected near visual acuity of 20/30 or better, uncorrected distance visual acuity of 20/70 or better, and corrected distance visual acuity of 20/20 or better. Plus, they need to have normal color vision and minimal chronic eye conditions such as astigmatism.
Additionally, you will be disqualified from certain roles in the Air Force if you do not fit the vision requirements, even with perfect corrected vision. It might seem sad, but having a perfect vision can make all the difference between life and death on the battlefield.
Airline pilots, on the other hand, get more leeway. You need to have distance visual acuity of 20/20 or better, corrected or uncorrected; intermediate visual acuity of 20/40 or better, corrected or uncorrected; near visual acuity of 20/40, corrected or uncorrected; satisfactory color vision.
And, unlike the Air Force, having corrective gadgets or getting the best LASIK eye surgery won’t disqualify you from the position.
Can Airline Pilots Get LASIK?
Sure, you can! In fact, many patients at our LASIK eye clinic near Anaheim have either been airline pilots or aspiring airline pilots. As you can see in the section above, as long as you meet the minimal vision requirements, whether corrected or uncorrected, you can become an airline pilot.
And, while eyeglasses or contacts have become more acceptable as of late, you should still consider getting LASIK. There are many good reasons why!
Firstly, you’ll get the perfect vision for years to come. Say goodbye to eyeglasses or contact lenses for the next few decades. Secondly, having freedom from eyeglasses or contact lenses is just much better when you’re flying—you won’t have to worry about contact lens hygiene on long-distance flights or clean eyeglasses when you’re trying to find the runway.
Lastly, it’ll be cheaper in the long run. LASIK is a one-time investment while eyeglasses and contact lenses are ongoing.
How Can I Get LASIK?
Well, the first thing you’ll need to do is find a LASIK eye professional. This person should preferably have lots of experience in the field—the more successful surgeries they’ve performed, the better equipped they are to perform your surgery! They should also have the latest technology on hand—LASIK is an ever-changing field that needs top-of-the-line equipment to perform the best surgeries possible.
Besides finding a good LASIK eye surgeon, you need to be qualified for corrective eye surgery. You’ll need to be at least 18 years old or older, have a stable prescription for at least two years, be free of eye conditions that can hinder recovery, like dry eye syndrome, and have a thick cornea. So, before you jump the gun and get surgery, it’s important to learn as much as you can about the procedure.
Just remember that if you do plan on taking LASIK before applying as an airline pilot that airlines require a few months’ recovery and stabilization. Continental Airlines, for example, requires a six-week healing period, while American Airlines requires twelve. Please check the requirements before applying!
As you can see, there are many benefits to getting LASIK as an airline pilot. Not only will you fit the vision requirements, but you will also perform the job much more adequately. You can rest assured that there will be one less thing to worry about (i.e., imperfect vision) when you’re taking off to the skies.
So, contact a LASIK eye professional today to see what the procedure can do for you as an airline pilot or any other career that requires perfect vision. Luckily for you, many LASIK eye clinics, such as the Excel Laser Vision Institute in Orange County, offer free consultations. Here, you can ask as many questions as you can and get expert advice from board-certified surgeons such as Dr. Ferzaad Moosa.
You can reach Excel Laser Vision Institute by calling (310) 905-8622 or filling out an online form here.