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Navy PRK Waiver Concern

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Well-known member
Dec 2, 2001
I am currently a SNA that just finished API and am getting ready to start Primary. I have gotten my upchit for pilot and waiver for the PRK surgery I have had on my eyes.

Here is the problem: I had 2 eye surgeries and the Navy knows about it. The reason is after the 1st surgery, my astigmatism went from -0.25 to -0.75 in about 6 months. I know that Navy limit is -1.00 and that is why I got an enhancement surgery last March. After the enhancement surgery, My astigmatism went down to -0.25 again in both eyes. This is the concern:
My NOMI physical was in early July and they measured an astigmatism of -0.50 in both eyes. Looking at my medical record and my record of refractive instability(it looks to me), I am concened that in a year my astigmatism will be greater than -1.00 like it was after my first surgery and I will be physically disqualified from naval aviation. My great fear is that I will be a few months from winging (it takes 2 or so year for wings) and if my eyes get worse, it would really really SUCK to be NPQed after a year or so of working my ass off in primary. So far I am doing very well - I ranked **CENSORED****CENSORED****CENSORED****CENSORED** good in API.

Any advice? What should I do if they do find that my astigmatism has exceeded the protocols of the PRK waiver? Can i get a waiver for that? I know the air force allows -1.50... is it hard to do a transfer? It can be frustrating if you are about to bust your butt in Primary knowing that there is a good chance that you might be NPQed in next year's NOMI exam.
Thanks for any advice,
-Fly Navy-
Not being a flight doc, but having done my share of flt physicals I would say you probably don't have too much to worry about once you start training. A long as you don't have a serious physical defect the medical folks would probably get you an additional waiver while you're in training. The Navy is not going to kick you out after spending a ton of money training you for something that's not going to greatly affect you. A concern would be if you couldn't correct to 20/20 down the line. Usually corrected by glasses or contacts, there are some who have had PRK that cannot correct to 20/20 even with corrective eyewear. I would talk to a flt doc at Branch Medical anonymously to get all the skinny on your medical concerns.

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