Question: I am interested in having LASIK but I am joining the military. Do you know if LASIK is allowed if I was to be joining the military?
Answer: The types if environments and tasks military personnel are exposed to can make the wearing of eyeglasses and contact lenses somewhat of a challenge. LASIK can be a good alternative for military personnel exposed to dusty or muddy environments as well as eliminate any concern about losing glasses or contacts in combat conditions. The Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force all accept personnel who have had LASIK but there may be some restrictions in the types of training and services that are allowable for certain military service members who have already had LASIK.
Some things to consider are that the Navy and Marines will routinely grant a waiver for pilots or student naval aviators to fly after PRK, assuming preoperative standards are met, no complications in the healing process were encountered and passing their standard vision tests. Candidates who have had PRK can get a blanket waiver for the Special Forces Qualification, Combat Diving Qualification and Military Free Fall courses. PRK and LASIK are both waived for Airborne, Air Assault and Ranger schools. However, those who have had LASIK must enroll in an observational study, if a slot is available, to undergo training in Special Forces qualification. LASIK is disqualifying/non-waiverable for several United States Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) schools (HALO, SCUBA, SERE) according to Army Regulation 40-501. THE BEST THING TO DO IS CHECK FOR THE CURRENT REGULATIONS, REQUIREMENTS AND WAIVERS WITH A RECRUITER AND/OR COMMANDING OFFICER AS THEY ARE REGULARLY MODIFIED.
Important Note: The information presented on the See With LASIK Blog or provided in response to a request for information in the Ask LASIK Surgeons section on www.seewithlasik.com is not intended to diagnose or treat eye problems, eye conditions or eye diseases including appropriateness of treatment, risks, complications or side effects as related to LASIK. In particular a response to an inquiry made on the Ask LASIK Surgeons section of www.seewithlasik.com is not meant to take the place of the professional medical care provided by your eye doctor, ophthalmologist and LASIK surgeon. Contacting us via e-mail or any other means is not a substitute for medical care.