Lasik in Military Personnel

Laser vision correction has quietly become one of our nation’s most important military weapons! By maximizing the vision of our fighters, we gain a substantial edge over our adversaries. Soldiers are often asked to perform their tasks in very difficult situations — dry, dusty, foggy, dark, windy, wet, underwater, muggy, etc. These situations make vision correction with glasses or contact lenses very difficult. Laser vision is often sharper than vision with glasses and contact lenses; this improved vision after laser vision correction can be lifesaving to our soldiers.

In order to qualify for military flight training, 20/20 vision without glasses or contacts is required. In the past, this meant that over 70% of potential pilots were disqualified because their vision was not good enough. Now, with Lasik and PRK, the pool of applicants to fly our military jets is much, much larger, enabling us to train more qualified pilots. Fully 25% of Air Force personnel entering pilot training have undergone laser vision correction, and they graduate pilot training at a higher rate than those who have not had this treatment.

Since the military began performing laser vision correction in 2000, approximately 600,000 treatments have been performed on our military personnel.

Because Lasik and PRK are now so commonly used in the military, the Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marines have very carefully studied the vision after laser treatment in military personnel. The vision is tested under the most extreme conditions: glare, dryness, low oxygen, low pressure, aircraft ejection, and other high-stress environments. Naval aviators are tested in the most extreme test: landing a jet on a moving aircraft carrier at night. And what has the military found?  “This treatment is enhancing the soldier’s ability to do his or her job,” explains Colonel Scott Barnes, MD chief, U.S. Army Warfighter Refractive Eye Clinic, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Lt. Colonel Charles Reilly, MD, chief of U.S. Air Force Ophthalmology says: “Refractive surgery takes healthy individuals and helps them do their jobs better with a significant safety benefit — and as a byproduct, there’s a huge quality of life benefit.” Better soldiers, and happier soldiers!

Contact Dr. Caster, the best Lasik surgeon in Los Angeles for more information on your pain-free eye surgery options.