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Eyeballs, Lasers, and Airplanes
One year ago I had PRK on both eyes and for the most part the outcome has been excellent--I have 20/15 vision in both eyes (that is, slightly better than 20/20). This is true in bright light and dim light, but there does seem to be one small defect--I can see some distortion around bright objects under certain lighting conditions (sort of a weak halo). This is only noticeable in my right eye. Further, the effect seems dependent on how hard I'm focusing, and I believe I understand why--focusing on an object (as well as the local lighting conditions) affect pupil dilation, and with considerably larger-than-average pupils to begin with the ablation zone for my right eye is smaller than my pupil diameter under some conditions. Focusing on a distant object contracts the pupil and reduces or removes this effect.
I don't have any problems with this (other than minor annoyance at having asymmetric vision--again, this is one eye only), and I can drive at night just fine (in fact headlights are bright enough that when looking at them my pupils contract and I notice no distortion). However, I didn't get PRK done for shits and giggles--I want to be a pilot one day, or at least I want to keep the option open.
The problem I have is this--I don't know whether this would be disqualifying for a military pilot. PRK is waiverable for the USAF, NASA, and (I think) the USN depending on a good outcome, but I have no idea where that line is drawn. Worse, I don't even know if it's possible to measure this beyond the vague description I can give. I have no baseline for what "normal vision" is like, nor any idea how different my vision is from that standard.
I need to decide whether to try to have another procedure done to correct this (widening the ablation zone might remove this kind of artifact) or not, and I'm not sure where to start. First, is there any way to measure this kind of thing? I feel singularly unqualified to judge this as I have no "baseline" to compare to and I've been going nuts over every tiny change in my vision through the whole PRK healing process. I imagine some of you must have some experience in part of this, at least. Second, how can I find out exactly how much this is going to impede any future career I might have involving flying? There are mathematical standards for refractive error, astigmatism, etc. and I can easily pass all of those (I can still read the 20/15 line of the chart with either eye, even when the distortion is visibly present), but I don't know how to analyze this into a "yes" or "no" and the uncertainty is really starting to get to me.
MWO User Name: Gorn Arming
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