Good vision is essential for the military men and women who protect our country. The use of laser vision correction such as LASIK and PRK has had a significant positive impact on our troops. In this post, the team at The 20/20 Institute discusses how refractive surgery has improved our troops’ and nation’s safety.
The Importance of Clear Vision
Military personnel need to be able to operate at a high level, even in hazardous conditions. This requires being able to see clearly at night and during any type of weather conditions. A service member may need to read complex instruments using near vision and then scan the horizon far away looking for potential threats.
Eyeglasses and contacts may be used in some cases, but they have several drawbacks for our military members:
• Eyeglasses may not fit properly under certain headgear
• Eyeglasses may break during active duty, leaving a service member with impaired eyesight in a hostile environment
• Contact lenses can fall out and may become unsanitary
Each branch of the military has its own vision requirements. Specialized positions — such as pilots — may also have their own vision standards to ensure the safety of our military men and women.
How Laser Vision Correction Helps the Military
The advancements made in laser vision correction have been an invaluable asset to the military. In the past, some excellent candidates may have been passed over simply because of their vision impairment. Now, waivers may be given to some candidates who receive either LASIK or PRK. This allows the military to select their personnel from a wider pool of candidates and give important positions to the best and brightest.
Both types of laser vision correction have been proven to be safe and effective. LASIK offers a faster recovery time, and you’ll generally be able to see clearly within a few days after surgery. PRK has a little longer recovery period; however, studies have shown this procedure to have just as good of results long term.
According to the Warfighter Refractive Eye Surgery Program at Womack Army Medical Center, service members of every military occupational specialty can have LASIK or PRK surgery and surgery does not necessarily disqualify a service member from attending special military schools such as Ranger, Special Forces and HALO. All service members who are eligible for refractive surgery are encouraged to have the procedure.
Some people may be better candidates for LASIK, while others are more suitable for PRK. Either type of surgery can improve your vision and reduce your reliance on eyeglasses and contacts.
Learn more about laser vision correction by contacting The 20/20 Institute today.