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9 months post op LASIK

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Well-known member
Dec 3, 2001
Went in for my flight physical yesterday and tested 20/20 after being worse than 20/200 for 25 years prior to LASIK. Even though I test at 20/20, I finally talked my eye doc into a perscription for a super weak pair of glasses just for night flying. My acuity has dropped slightly since I had the LASIK...which is normal....but I can see sooooooo much better than before. With the glasses on, I'm almost 20/10, which is nice for flying at night.

I had the halo effect for the first few weeks at night....didn't cause any problems but I noticed it. No problems at all, now.

I highly recommend the procedure. My doc is in Spokane, WA and is also a private pilot...super nice guy.

In retrospect...it's funny how I can hardly remember the days I had to wear corrective lenses. It was most of my life and yet now it seems like I've had good vision for ever....funny how the mind can block out bad experiences...hehe.
Is this an FAA approved procedure yet? Also, I know that some airlines used to be pretty thorough on their (applicant prescreening) eye exams as far as having surgical correction done.
I would love to get rid of my contacts so if anyone know for sure, I'd appreciate the info. Thanks.
Vision correction surgery

It doesn't always work out so well. A lot of people indeed have their vision corrected to 20/20, but they also experience unexpected complications they didn't have before the surgery. Some people have to have the surgery again and again, and their vision never is normal again.

Try reading these articles:


Ten years ago, you were sent home as soon as airline physicians detected that you had eye surgery. I hear the proscription against it has been relaxed in recent years.

Good luck with your plans.
FAA approved?

Well....I just passed a second class physical with it. I could have passed a first class fine, but I found out the new guy I went to can't do first classes yet. I thought about not telling him I had the surgery, but figured I'd see how things went. He didn't catch that it said "corrective lenses required" on all my previous medicals. Perhaps this would have been caught down the road. In any case, as we were winding up the physical I brought up the subject of my "vision enhancement"...I didn't use the word "surgery". He was impressed with my "new" vision but had me note on the FAA medical form that I had done the procedure.....which was correct....I had not done that. I told him (he wasn't sure) that there might be another form to be filled out and sent in to the FAA with my paper work. He left to check his files and came back with a bad copy of a form to take to my eye doc. It was very basic....asking if there were any complications from the LASIK procedue and my current visual acuity. Eye doc filled out the form and I'm going back to the FAA docs office today to give it to him and get my medical. I'll let you all know if I get grounded....hehe....but I'm not worried about it in the least.

To answer your question more specifically, though, the FAA has approved LASIK. The question is....what are the physical requirements of the airlines you may want to work for in the future. Most just say "must meet FAA 1st class physical standards". I checked with my pilots association (union) to be sure that our loss of license insurance would still be effective in case something went wrong with this elective procedure. I was told the insurance coverage was not a problem.
I had LASIK about 2.5 years ago. Still loving it ever since. Getting a First Class Med after the surgery is no problem, you just have to have your opthalmologist fill out a "Report of Eye Evaluation". Basically, all it is is a form that says you can see fine and have no problems.

PRK is surgery on the surface of the cornea, whereas LASIK makes an incision in the cornea, and cuts at a deeper level. The biggest difference is that LASIK can correct higher degrees of myopia, and has less post-operative pain and checkups. Also less risk of infection.

Not sure about all airlines policies on it, but I passed the thorough AMR AA/AE physical. The only requirement they wanted was that I have my eyesight checked by an opthalmologist on 3 consecutive days, both in the morning and evening, to make sure my vision was stable.
Thanks for the great info everyone! I guess I need to get loss of license insurance first.
I was driving thru Chicago last week and heard on the radio that there is a local doctor who is advertising that he's FDA approved for a CK procedure.

From what I recall, its a procedure involving NO surgery whatsoever, but uses radio waves (somehow) to do the procedure. I've been interested in LASIK, but the thought of sharp objects and my eyes, and well, I just dont feel warm-n-fuzzy about that yet.

Someone who is in chicago regularly care to comment, I heard the ad on either WLS AM or WBBM.
Sharp objects?

LASIK uses a laser beam. They do use an anesthetic in your eye, you don't feel a thing. All you have to do is keep your eye focused on a pinpoint of light. The laser makes a clicking noise, and it's all over in about 15 minutes. I drove home....wasn't supposed to....the brightness of the daylight hurts your eyes and you need to wear sunglass. Not really any trouble with driving....just eyes that were super sensitive to light. The next day your eyes are fine and you can see great without glasses.

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