Joining the military is a selfless and noble deed. Regardless of the reasons for joining (which are many and they vary between individuals), the single constant factor here lies in the fact that there are strict requirements that you have to meet if you want to be able to enlist.
With technology as prevalent and as available to consumers nowadays, it is a common occurrence for many people in the current and succeeding generations to have poor eyesight. But does this also follow that there will be less people who will be qualified to join the military? Well, that would be an over-generalisation that would not be accurate as it would be unfair. There are a multitude of other factors that would determine whether an applicant is qualified or not.
Poor eyesight is not necessarily a disqualifying condition as long as it can be corrected to 20/20 vision. So, the short answer to this article’s question is no – even as poor eyesight is more common than ever, there are new measures that allow us to restore eyesight to perfect vision. However, despite this, it should be noted that if a candidate’s eyesight cannot be restored, then they are (generally) disqualified from military service.
Now, what are the options available to would-be recruits who want to get their eyesight restored?
LASIK, or Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis, is an operation on the eyes that corrects the shape of the cornea so that it bends light properly and therefore allows light to focus onto the retina correctly. This is achieved through the use of a laser that makes microscopic cuts to the cornea. It is used to treat:
- Myopia (nearsightedness);
- Hyperopia (far-sightedness); and
- Astigmatism (an imperfection in the curvature of the eye’s cornea).
On average, the procedure only takes 15 minutes per eye and results are immediate. Patients have improved vision that stabilises over the course of a few days. However, it is also important to note that not everyone is a good candidate for LASIK. Fortunately, there are other corrective measures that they can opt for.
PRK, or Photorefractive Keratectomy, much like LASIK, is a laser-assisted procedure that is performed on the eyes. The prime difference between LASIK and PRK is that the epithelium (the outermost layer of the cornea) is completely discarded whereas in LASIK, micro cuts are made. Complete removal of the epithelium triggers it to grow back over the cornea within a few days post-surgery.
Results take longer to see (pun not intended) with PRK as it takes time for the regeneration process to begin.
Cataract surgery is performed by removing the lens of your eyes and, in most instances, replacing them with an artificial lens. This is because a clouded lens impedes vision.
Cataract removal surgeries can be performed through the use of ultrasound or by lasers. This is a fairly common procedure and there are many good clinics like Canton Ophthalmology that perform it well.
Military service is as much a privilege as it is a duty. You need to ensure that if you do decide to enlist, that you are qualified. You should not enlist thinking of the benefits that you are going to get, but rather, think of what you can do to serve your country.