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upgrade and LASIK

mayoplane

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Hey guys. ....don't mean to repeat LASIK thread but I am seriously considering it because my upgrade class is coming up. I work for a regional and I wanted opinions from big brothers! I figure this will be a good opportunity for me because I will not fly for over a month. I didn't necessarily want to have a LASIK in my six days off. I have brown eyes, about -4.0 in both eyes with some astigmatism. My corrected vision is good, but I just don't want to have to worry about whether I am going to have a good contacts day or not any more.
Some of my concerns are
-my night vision...what if it's ruined for the rest of my life?
-I hear a few people saying how their vision is starting to come down after LASIK, will I be one of them?

Any encouragement and personal stories are appreciated. Mayoplane
 

⌐⌐⌐⌐⌐

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A while ago I checked with an FAA doc about this and he gave me some handouts and also asked me to check into a couple FAA websites for more info.


The info I got was very generic but the way I understand it - you must notify the FAA about the surgery (even though no one does because "it cannot be detected") and an eye doctor must certify that your eyes have healed and your vision is stable.


From what I’ve heard, majority of folks who had lasik are happy with the results.

Good luck to you

This is from an FAA website (I think) http://www.cami.jccbi.gov/AAM-400A/FASMB/FAS200101/lasik.htm

FAA Aeromedical Certification Guidelines

The FAA expects that airmen will not resume piloting aircraft until their treating health care professional determines that their post-operative condition has stabilized, there are no significant adverse effects or complications, and the appropriate vision standards are met. When this determination is made, the airman should have the treating health care professional document this in the health care record, a copy of which should be forwarded as soon as possible to the Aeromedical Certification Division. If the health care professional's determination is favorable, the airman may resume flight duties, unless informed otherwise by the FAA.

If the procedure was done between regularly scheduled FAA physical exams, the airman must provide a report to the FAA from the treating health care professional to document the date of surgery, any adverse effects or complications, and when the airman returned to flying duties. If the report is favorable and the airman meets the appropriate vision standards, the airman may resume flight duties, unless informed otherwise by the FAA.

If the procedure was done two years ago, or longer, the FAA may accept the aviation medical examiner's eye evaluation.

A complete ophthalmologic evaluation (with a written report) is required to demonstrate stable visual acuity and lack of deleterious sequelae. The evaluation must include tests of visual acuity, field of vision, night glare, and haziness of vision. There should be no other pathology of the affected eye(s).

A Checklist for LASIK Surgery Candidates

• Career impact — does your job prohibit refractive surgery?

• Eye conditions — do you have or have you ever had any problems with your eyes other than needing glasses or contacts?

• Medications — do you take steroids or other drugs that might prevent healing?

• Stable refraction — has your prescription changed in the last year?

• High or low refractive error — do you use glasses/contacts only some of the time? Do you need an unusually strong prescription?

• Pupil size — are your pupils extra large in dim conditions?

• Corneal thickness — do you have thin corneas? (not everyone has sufficient corneal thickness)

Some Risks and Procedure Limitations

• Overtreatment or undertreatment — are you willing and able to have more than one surgery to get the desired result?

• After treatment, you may still need reading glasses — do you have presbyopia?

• Results may not be lasting — do you think this is the last correction you will ever need? Do you realize that long-term results are not known?

• You may permanently lose vision —some patients may lose some or all vision, experience blindness.

• Development of visual symptoms — glare, halos, starbursts, etc.; night driving might be difficult.

• Contrast sensitivity — vision could be significantly reduced in dim light conditions.

• Bilateral treatment — there are additional risks of having both eyes treated at the same time.

• Patient information — read the patient information booklet about the laser being used for your procedure.

And this is from yet another aviation link: http://www.aviationmedicine.com/lasik.htm#lasik


FAA Policy on Vision Correction Surgery
The FAA will allow pilots to fly following these procedures. Once the vision is stabilized, the pilot should have the ophthalmologist complete FAA Form 8500-7, Report of Eye Evaluation. If the vision corrects to 20/20 and there are no complications from the procedure (corneal scarring, night glare, haziness of vision, fluctuating visual acuity), pilots may return to flying and report the surgery at the time of their next FAA physical. This is a recent change in the FAA policy of having to report the surgery to the FAA and obtaining written clearance prior to flying.

A potential problem is the pilot’s original medical certificate still bears the limitation "Must wear corrective lenses." A ramp check by an FAA inspector may be awkward, even though the pilot meets the FAA standards for vision without correction. The inspector has no way of verifying that fact and may issue a violation. Although the chances are the situation may ultimately be resolved in favor of the pilot, avoiding these administrative hassles is better. Please see the Spring 1999 Federal Air Surgeon's Medical Bulletin article on the subject. Also, Dr. Warren Silberman, Manager of the FAA Aeromedical Certification Division, states the current FAA policy on refractive surgery.

Two options exist in this situation. First the pilot can continue to carry glasses when flying until the next medical certificate issued without any vision limitations. The other solution is to complete the FAA Form 8500-7 and mail it to the FAA. The FAA will respond with a letter acknowledging that the vision limitation is no longer required on the medical certificate. This may take several weeks, but will make the next physical exam much more straightforward with the AME. The pilot will be able to present the letter from the FAA to the AME removing any doubts about whether the AME can issue a medical certificate. The AME who is not certain may defer the medical to the FAA and leave the pilot without a medical for several months while awaiting a decision and processing by the FAA. For the professional pilot, this may have disastrous financial implications.



The completed FAA Form 8500-7, Report of Eye Evaluation, may be mailed to the FAA at:

Federal Aviation Administration

Aeromedical Certification Division

CAMI Bldg./ AAM-300

P.O. Box 26080

Oklahoma City, OK73126-9922
 
Last edited:

tz800ca

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Lasik

Here are my LASIK general rules of thumb:

1. You get what you pay for.

2. No LASIK from 18 wheelers or at airports!

3. See several surgeons before making your decision.

4. Allow 1 month per diopter for complete healing (4 months in your case). Your vision should be fine within a week or so of surgery, but you will be using quite a bit of eye drops (moisturizing and medicated) for a few weeks.

5. Night vision is VERY dependant on pupil size in dim light, prescription, and type of laser being used. At the time I had my procedure, the Bausch and Lomb lasers were the best (that may or may not have changed by now) If your pupils are large (>7 mm in dim light) use caution; most lasers when I had surgery were only capable of 5 -6 mm of full correction and a blended prescription beyond that.

6. Corneal thickness is VERY important. Ask how thick your corneas are, how much tissue is going to be sacrificed, and how much of a corneal bed you will have left. This is important if you were to ever need a touch up; if they use all the useable tissue on the first try, you are hosed later.

7. If you have worn soft contact lenses and have dry eyes, stay away from LASIK.

8. Good surgeons will gladly supply you with statistics on their outcomes.

Now that you are sufficiently scared, I had the procedure about 4 years ago and do not regret it one bit. They key is to educate yourself of the risks and decide if it is for you. The only other disclaimer is that some of the information may be outdated since it has been awhile since I researched this procedure.

Good Luck.
 

de727ups

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Huh?
I did Lasik and my night vision has been fine since after the first day, not a factor at all.

I have regressed from 20/20 to 20/40 in two years. Corrective lenses is now on my medical, again, but I consider Lasik the best 2K I ever spent. Even at 20/40, I much better off than the 20/400 I used to be. I'd do it again in a heartbeat, knowing what I know now.
 

⌐⌐⌐⌐⌐

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I have regressed from 20/20 to 20/40 in two years. Corrective lenses is now on my medical, again, but I consider Lasik the best 2K I ever spent.

Are you able to wear contacts lenses now, or do you have to use glasses only because of the surgery?
 

de727ups

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Huh?
I wear glasses to correct. Not sure if contacts are unable or not, post LASIK. I've never worried about it.
 

Fly2Scuba

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tz800ca said:
Here are my LASIK general rules of thumb:

1. You get what you pay for.

2. No LASIK from 18 wheelers or at airports!

3. See several surgeons before making your decision.

4. Allow 1 month per diopter for complete healing (4 months in your case). Your vision should be fine within a week or so of surgery, but you will be using quite a bit of eye drops (moisturizing and medicated) for a few weeks.

5. Night vision is VERY dependant on pupil size in dim light, prescription, and type of laser being used. At the time I had my procedure, the Bausch and Lomb lasers were the best (that may or may not have changed by now) If your pupils are large (>7 mm in dim light) use caution; most lasers when I had surgery were only capable of 5 -6 mm of full correction and a blended prescription beyond that.

6. Corneal thickness is VERY important. Ask how thick your corneas are, how much tissue is going to be sacrificed, and how much of a corneal bed you will have left. This is important if you were to ever need a touch up; if they use all the useable tissue on the first try, you are hosed later.

7. If you have worn soft contact lenses and have dry eyes, stay away from LASIK.

8. Good surgeons will gladly supply you with statistics on their outcomes.

Now that you are sufficiently scared, I had the procedure about 4 years ago and do not regret it one bit. They key is to educate yourself of the risks and decide if it is for you. The only other disclaimer is that some of the information may be outdated since it has been awhile since I researched this procedure.

Good Luck.
I'd have to agree with most of this with a couple things to add. I don't think you'll need a month to recover; I had -2.75 in one eye and flew a week after my procedure this past February. My night vision had some glare, but that was less glare than I experienced while wearing contacts. Definitely visit multiple facilities to get different perspectives. I visited 3 seperate places and have to give a plug in for my surgery at www.lasikplus.com. They were the busiest of any surgeons I visited and their technology was top notch as they had every different laser manufacture. After a complete analysis of your eye, they'll match up the best laser for your specific eye type. There's always a small risk yet good maintenance goes along way. I have been taking daily doses of lutein and beta carotene, use eye drops on occasion, and wear sports googles for pick up basketball (LASIK flaps take 2 years to fully heal without becoming dislodged by extreme contact.) Good luck!
 
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