Question: I am seeking information about LASIK surgery and being in the Marines (USMC). I am looking to enlist in the marine corps maybe 5 years from now. I am currently 17 and was wondering what time would be best to get LASIK, if at all. I've read there are many restrictions and waivers to be signed and I wouldn't want to disqualify myself from deployment if this surgery is prohibited. I've heard as well that age plays a major role in determining this operation's safety (21 seems to be the popular vote amongst forum frequenters). I wear currently wear contacts, -3.00 in my left and -2.5 in my right and would certainly not want to deal with glasses during BT. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Answer: Performing the duties of a Marine can indeed be a real hassle wearing contacts or glasses. The various environments, weather conditions, need to use night vision goggles, aiming devices and on and on make it tough to wear contact lenses or glaases. Having LASIK and being in the Marines (USMC) is generally not a problem. However there are several things to consider. People who are involved in activities where there is a great deal of facial contact-such as kick boxing, wrestling, possibly basketball-are often counseled to opt for PRK Laser Eye Surgery rather than LASIK in order to correct their vision. Depending on your role in the Marines (USMC) this may be something to consider.
The reason the age of 21 is regarded as a starting point is to allow for the prescription to be stable. Most people require until 21 for their prescriptions to stop changing. Some actually require that they wait until a later age to allow for their prescriptions to stop changing. You should note that certain schools such as Special Forces, HALO and SCUBA may have unique requirements and require waivers if you will have LASIK. You should also note that virtually any active-duty and activated National Guard and Reserve soldiers-Army, Navy, Air Force or Marines-are eligible for Laser Eye Surgery under the Warfighter Refractive Eye Surgery Program (WRESP) if they meet certain criteria. Your best course of action is to fully discuss the situation with the recruiter and a WRESP LASIK Surgeon.
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 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 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.