Pilots and LASEK

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I'm a pilot, can I have LASEK?

Pilots and LASEK

You want to get rid of glasses because it doesn't fit with your lifestyle. Maybe you're a commercial pilot and have developed thin corneas as well as myopia. Can you have LASEK to save your career?

All aviation professionals would argue that, LASEK vs. LASIK debates aside, you need to fully heal before you can fly. Also, if you're hoping for 20/20 vision, aim higher: Pilots need 20/16 or 20/10 vision. Fortunately, with custom LASIK, LASEK and the new Wavefront-guided lasers, you have a good chance of achieving 20/16 or even 20/10 vision.

Some LASEK eye surgery patients, or pilots who have had PRK, complain of reduced vision in low light conditions. Still, if you hope to pilot an F-16, you're better off having LASEK eye surgery than LASIK, since Uncle Sam won't allow LASIK patients to fly--the exception is Wavefront LASIK.

Remember, healing takes longer with LASEK and PRK than LASIK. The military and the airlines won't let you fly until you've been fully healed, so you may just have to watch "Top Gun" while your eyes are healing for several months--you have to submit an FAA form after three months. For more information, contact your recruiter or the FAA, www.faa.gov.



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