Eyesight - the facts

Ninja_Stoker

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I've never heard of a medical waiver for those with a pre-operative prescription outside of the minimum standard for entry.

A definitive answer can only be given by the RN Medical Manager - it may be worth a letter (enclosing your current prescription) but if you have a job offer from the USMC with a medical waiver 'in your pocket already', I'd be inclined to grab it with both hands.

The RN Medical Manager postal address is:

RM MMSO3
Captain Naval Recruiting
Jago Road
Building 1/080
HM Naval base
Portsmouth
Hants
PO1 3LU

Good luck.
 

Joebro747

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Thank you so much! I was having a hard time trying to figure out were to go with this!!
 

Flying Pig

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@Ninja_Stoker

Hey, this thread is rather old - do you know if those eye sight statistics are up to date?


RM Other Ranks VA III, CP4

Except

Aircrew VA I, CP1
Snipers VA I*, CP3
Landing Craft VA I*text deleted*, CP2
Swimmer Canoeists VA III*text deleted*text deleted* CP3*

(*Contact lenses not permitted)




My eyesight falls under VA 2, CP1 uncorrected / VA1 CP1 corrected. So if the above information is still current, it means I would be eligible to apply for Swimmer Canoeists and any other role bar landing, sniping or aircrew?


Would appreciate clarification, thank you :)
 

OriginalHobo

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You aren't downgraded for laser eye surgery whilst serving. Most people get it done on leave.

The only reason you are downgraded prior to joining is to establish the op is a success & has stabilised. If it isn't a success and you no longer meet the minimal eye standards whilst serving, you will be medically discharged.
This may be a stupid question but if I was to pass out and then decide to get laser eye surgery whilst on leave, will I still need to 22 years old?
 

Ninja_Stoker

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This may be a stupid question but if I was to pass out and then decide to get laser eye surgery whilst on leave, will I still need to 22 years old?
Yep. Those under age 22 would make themselves P8 (Permanently Medically Unfit) and face medical discharge.

In all cases those serving and contemplating private surgery must do so in consultation with the unit Medical Officer. There is no doubt in my mind that there will be those who haven't but it would be unwise in the extreme to jeopardise your career unnecessarily.
 

DBenn01

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Another stupid, slightly embarrassing one actually, I haven't seen it spoken about anywhere. Dental hygiene, its obviously a big thing right? And you'd expect a guy to have really good dental hygiene or at least all of his teeth intact by the time he applies, because it doesn't look like you are committed if you cant be bothered fixing whatever problems you might have. How strict is the medical about it? It hasn't seemed to come up anywhere and I've always been told that they check your teeth too. Would damaged gums due to an over bite be an issue? And if so how long after having braces can one apply? Thank you.
 

Ninja_Stoker

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If the Doc looks in your mouth and sees you are clearly in need of dental treatment, then you can be made TMU. In any event, whilst dental treatment is free after you join, you really don't want to be spending hours in the dentists chair then having to play catch-up with the rest of your troop.

My understanding is the Navy now has an orthodontist but you need to be at the removable retainer stage of treatment rather than in the fixed brace stage in order to be passed fit to enter.
 

DBenn01

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If the Doc looks in your mouth and sees you are clearly in need of dental treatment, then you can be made TMU. In any event, whilst dental treatment is free after you join, you really don't want to be spending hours in the dentists chair then having to play catch-up with the rest of your troop.

My understanding is the Navy now has an orthodontist but you need to be at the removable retainer stage of treatment rather than in the fixed brace stage in order to be passed fit to enter.
Thank you so much for that, it's been bugging me for ages.
 

Massive85

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Hi. New to this forum. I am 30 years old and was looking to join the RMR. I have been training really hard before i apply and have lost 14lbs in the process. I have been gathering all the info i need and spoke to one of the guys at the Commando centre at Tyne branch.

I was all set to apply when i suddenly remembered i have a weak left eye :(.
Found this forum and relised my right eye is 6/6 VA but unfortunately my left eye is 6/30 VA. My missus is an optician so she asked her optometrists friend to try and get me to a 6/24 VA so i could qualify but no matter how hard i tried i just couldn't read the line of letters. Its so frustrating because if i close my right eye i can see and could go for a jog around the park no probs but i just cant see the poxy letters.

The guy at the Commando centre told me to apply anyway but dont think theres much point, is there?
Thanks for putting this subject together Ninja. Its been a huge help even though i am absolutely devastated.
 

Ninja_Stoker

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Hi. New to this forum. I am 30 years old and was looking to join the RMR. I have been training really hard before i apply and have lost 14lbs in the process. I have been gathering all the info i need and spoke to one of the guys at the Commando centre at Tyne branch.

I was all set to apply when i suddenly remembered i have a weak left eye :(.
Found this forum and relised my right eye is 6/6 VA but unfortunately my left eye is 6/30 VA. My missus is an optician so she asked her optometrists friend to try and get me to a 6/24 VA so i could qualify but no matter how hard i tried i just couldn't read the line of letters. Its so frustrating because if i close my right eye i can see and could go for a jog around the park no probs but i just cant see the poxy letters.

The guy at the Commando centre told me to apply anyway but dont think theres much point, is there?
Thanks for putting this subject together Ninja. Its been a huge help even though i am absolutely devastated.
Sorry to hear of your circumstances, I really wish there was some magic bullet for this issue. As a careers adviser we are not permitted to advise applicants to undergo surgery, but in any case, the recovery periods, if it were feasible, may well rule you out with regard the age constraints.

My advice? Ask your AFCO if they would permit you to undergo an eyetest via Boots Opticians (our contracted optician) prior to undergoing further stages of selection. It may seem pointless but often different opticians reach different conclusions. If it works in your favour, you've cracked-it. If not, you'll only have confirmed irrefutably what you already know.

Best of luck.
 

Massive85

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Sorry to hear of your circumstances, I really wish there was some magic bullet for this issue. As a careers adviser we are not permitted to advise applicants to undergo surgery, but in any case, the recovery periods, if it were feasible, may well rule you out with regard the age constraints.

My advice? Ask your AFCO if they would permit you to undergo an eyetest via Boots Opticians (our contracted optician) prior to undergoing further stages of selection. It may seem pointless but often different opticians reach different conclusions. If it works in your favour, you've cracked-it. If not, you'll only have confirmed irrefutably what you already know.

Best of luck.
Thanks Ninja. Laser eye surgery would work with my eye unfortunately. The missus explained to me a few days ago why it wouldnt work but i cant really remember what she said. I have had it since birth so its never stopped me from doing anything before and this is why i forgot about it. *text deleted*. But yeah i will do one with boots to see what they say. Nothing to lose.
 

MrILoveRoyalMarines

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The following disorders maybe a temporary or permanent bar to service as advised by the AFCO Medical Examiner:

Eye Disorders

Eye disease e.g. glaucoma, keratoconus, retinitis pigmentosa. Double vision. Visual field defects. Corneal grafts or recurrent comeal ulcers. Cataract or cataract surgery. Detached retina. Vision only in one eye. Squint surgery in the previous 6 months. Laser eye surgery in the previous 12 months.

Current Visual Acuity Standards

Standard I (VA1)
Visual acuity to be achieved without correcting lenses Right 6/12N5, Left 6/12N5

Visual acuity to be achieved with correcting lenses Right 6/6N5, Left 6/6N5

Refraction limit:
Total hypermetropia +3.00 sphere
Astigmatism +1.25 cyl
Myopia (in any meridian) -0.75 sphere or cyl +3.00 sphere



Standard 2 (VA2)

Visual acuity to be achieved without correcting lenses Right 6/60, Left 6/60 or worse.

Visual acuity to be achieved with correcting lenses Right 6/6N5, Left 6/9N5

Refraction limit
Spectacle correction (in any meridian)
+/-6.00 sphere or cyl both.


Standard 3 (VA3)

Visual acuity to be achieved without correcting lenses Right 6/60, Left <6/60

Visual acuity to be achieved with correcting lenses EITHER Right 6/6N5, Left 6/24N10 OR Right 6/9N5, Left 6/18N10 OR Right 6/12N5, 6/12N10.

Refraction limit
Spectacle correction (in any meridian)
+/- 6.00 sphere or cyl

Below VA3, unacceptable for RM or RN service.

VA3 is the minimum acceptable standard for entry as a RM Commando.

Optician Report (CHG31 dated 04/01/2008)

Following an in-Service issue where a person was unable to pass the Annual Personal Weapons Test (AWPT) due to the inability to close their left eye independently, all entrants to the Royal Navy and Royal Marines, including their Reserve counterparts, must now have this physical ability checked during the entrance medical.

Annual Personal Weapon Test

It is a mandate that all personnel deploying to an operational theatre must have passed the Annual Personal Weapon Test (APWT). To fire an SA80 rifle effectively the user must be able to independently close the LEFT eye. As part of the Entry Medical Examiners are to test for the ability to close the LEFT eye independently. Those unable to do so are unfit for entry.

RM Other Ranks VA III, CP4

Except

Aircrew VA I, CP1
Snipers VA I*, CP3
Landing Craft VA I*text deleted*, CP2
Swimmer Canoeists VA III*text deleted*text deleted* CP3*

(*Contact lenses not permitted)

Colour Perception (CP)

There are four standards of colour perception graded as follows:

Standard Test Specification. CP4 is the minimum acceptable entry standard for RM Commandos and is the standard required because of the seagoing role. For most individuals, this will simply be undertaken using the Ishihara (coloured dots) test to grade you CP2 or CP4. Other services may well have lower acceptable colour perception standards worthy of further investigation. Certain specialisations need higher Colour Perception standards than the basic entry level, CP4.

Standard Test Specification

CP1

The correct recognition of coloured lights shown through the small paired apertures of the Holmes Wright lantern at LOW brightness at 6 metres distance in complete darkness.

CP 2

The correct recognition of the first 17 plates of the ISHIHARA test (24 plate abridged Edition 1995 or later) shown at random sequence at a distance of 50 - 100 cm under standard fluorescent lighting supplied by an artificial daylight fluorescent lamp (British Standard 950:1967).

CP3

The correct recognition of coloured lights shown through the paired apertures on the Holmes Wright lantern at HIGH brightness at 6 metres distance in complete darkness.

CP4

The correct recognition of 13 out of the first 15 Ishihara plates or the correct recognition of colours used in relevant trade situations, and assessed by simple tests with coloured wires, resistors, stationery tabs etc.

CP5

Unable to pass any of the above tests. Personnel who fail to reach the minimum standard of colour perception are to be graded CP5 - failed trade test and colour
expanses.

Methods of testing colour perception

Ishihara test

1. Ishihara plates are used as a screening for all entries.

2. Candidates who pass the Ishihara test are graded CP2 and require no further testing (except for those whose critical visual task requires a categorisation of CP1). Those who score 13 out of 15 correct are graded CP4.

3.Candidates who fail the Ishihara test are further tested for CP3 or CP4 according to specific trade requirement.


CP 5 Unable to pass any of the above tests.

1. Ishihara plates are to be used as screening for all entries.

2. Candidates who pass the Ishihara test are graded CP2 and require no further testing except for those whose critical visual task requires a categorisation of CP1.

3. Candidates who fail the Ishihara test are further tested for CP3 or CP4 according to requirement.

4. The Holmes Wright Lantern is to be used to discriminate CP1 and CP3. Appropriate trade testing (normally using a wire board and stationary tabs) will discriminate between CP4 and CP5.

Ishihara Book Test

1. Examination Method:

a. The test is conducted using only good diffused daylight directly onto the test plates or the alternative illuminant, all other light being excluded.

b. The test plates are presented to the examinee at a distance of 50-100cm
(20-40 inches) for not more than 5 seconds. The examinee may wear spectacles if appropriate. The winding line plates for illiterates normally need not be presented.

c. Each number is read *text deleted*text deleted*text deleted*text deleted* by the examinee. They are not allowed to trace or handle the plates.

d. The number of plates miscalled is recorded in the box on the examination form.

2. Assessment: If no error is made the examinee is graded CP2, but it should be noted that certain numbers might be miscalled by colour normals particularly when under stress. If not more than 3 plates are miscalled, the miscalled plates are shown again. If no errors are made on the second presentation, a grading of CP2 may be given.

Those failing the test will require further assessment with lanterns or trade testing to determine if their colour vision is CP3, 4 or 5.

Lantern Test

3. The Holmes-Wright Lantern Test is constructed to simulate in controlled conditions, the critical visual task of seamen. The test is usually performed by approved persons. The lantern is regarded as a form of trade test displaying pairs of vertically arranged lights in a combination of red, green and white. These are viewed at a distance of 6m (20 feet) either by direct vision or mirror reversal, in light surroundings or in total darkness as laid down in current instructions.

LASER EYE SURGERY

Anyone who is within the minimum required eyesight standards for entry is STRONGLY advised not to contemplate Laser Eye Surgery if under the age of 22 as they cannot be passed fit for entry, regardless of the fact 12 months have elapsed after surgery. Those undergoing Laser Surgery under the age of 22 can only be passed fit after 12 months have elapsed after surgery AND after reaching age 22.

The reason for this is because your eyes are considered immature under age 22, so the long-term effects of the surgery cannot be considered stable until after this age.

Below: Standard reply sent to all persons considering laser surgery, it's worth reading in depth:

Thank you for your enquiry regarding eyesight corrective laser surgery (corneal refractive surgery) and the relevant Royal Navy Policy. The Naval Service does not endorse the use of laser surgery as a method to gain entry and there is no guarantee that such treatment will improve vision to an acceptable standard.

The Naval Service requires individuals to serve anywhere in the world, in extremes of climate and operational situations, which are remote from primary and secondary care. Therefore, even minor conditions such as the use of correcting lenses can take on much greater significance when even basic support is limited. As a consequence, medical screening is stringent and to a higher standard than might be expected for normal civilian employment.

In general, any defect or weakness of sight will be a bar to entry if these defects render an individual incapable of, or likely to be incapable of performing general duties in the Naval Service. The tri-Service standard for uncorrected visual acuity is right eye 6/60 and left eye> 6/60.

With regard to surgical correction of myopia or hypermetropia, it is acknowledged that the following methods are now considered suitable for entry on an individual case by case basis for non-specialist employment groups and subject to single Service requirements:

(a) Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)

(b) Laser Epithelial Keratomileusis (LASEK)

(c) Laser in-situ Keratomileusis

(d) Intrastromal Corneal Rings (ICRs), otherwise known as Intrastromal
Segments (ICS).


Entry will not be considered for Radical Keratotomy (RK), or Astigmatic Keratotomy (AK), or any other form of incisional refractive surgery, other than those procedures listed above. All invasive intraocular surgical procedures will remain a bar to entry.

In order to be considered a candidate must fulfil the following criteria and provide documentary evidence to support that:

(a) The pre-operative refractive error was not more than +6.00 or 6.00diopter (spherical equivalent) in either eye and;

(b) The best spectacle corrected visual acuity is 6/9 or better in each eye and;

(c) At least 12 months have elapsed since the date of the last surgery or enhancement procedure and;

(d) There has been no significant visual side effects secondary to the surgery affecting daily activities and;

(e) Refraction is stable; as defined by two refractions performed on each eye at least 6 months apart, with no more than 0.50 diopter difference in the spherical equivalent in each eye.

(f) Specialist visual function testing has been carried out with satisfactory results at least 12 months following surgery, including assessment of refraction, symmetry of visual acuity, high and low contrast sensitivity (with and without glare sources), astigmatism, glare, corneal clarity, masked mild hypermetropia and night vision.

An applicant who has undergone eyesight corrective laser surgery must supply evidence of the above and may be subject to evaluation by a Service Ophthalmic Consultant. Each case is considered on an individual basis and if all the criteria are met it may be possible to consider an application to enter the Naval Service.

Decisions regarding any kind of ophthalmic surgery should be discussed with an Ophthalmic Consultant. This letter should be taken to ophthalmic consultations where eyesight corrective laser surgery is to be discussed with a view to achieving the necessary eyesight standards for entry.
What does e) mean?
 
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