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Military Regulations for Eye Diseases and Vision
Thursday, 26 February 2009 23:40

 

What are the military entrance regulation for one’s eyes and vision? I have an eye condition or disease, do I qualify for the military?

 

 

The military standards for vision and eye diseases are found in AR 40-501. The document thoroughly states all eye conditions that are disqualifying as well as the minimum visual acuity standards. These conditions must be met in order for one to enter the military.

 

There are exceptions to every rule. Some conditions that are not serious or progressive can be waivered at MEPS. If you have questions your recruiter or military healthcare provider can help. Remember at your MEPS physical tell the doctor about any eye conditions you have, DO NOT LIE. Yes, you will have to go get an eye examination by an optometrist or ophthalmologist but it is much better to resolve any eye issues prior to entering the military and basic training. If you lie and try to "sneak by", the condition will be caught during medical inprocessing a couple days before you start basic training. Before you start basic training you will have another eye examination and if the condition is found you can be separated or delayed in training. It is far better to resolve any eye conditions at your first MEPS physical then to try to resolve them before basic training.

 

For your conveniences, below is the section of AR 40-501 that deals with ocular diseases and visual acuity for civilians that are interested entering the military or army.

 

AR 40-501 Standards of Medical Fitness

 

 

2–12. Eyes

 

a. EyeLids.

(1) Current blepharitis (373), chronic or acute, until cured (373.00), is disqualifying.

(2) Current blepharospasm (333.81) is disqualifying.

(3) Current dacryocystitis, acute or chronic (375.30) is disqualifying.

(4) Deformity of the lids (374.4), complete or extensive lid deformity, sufficient to interfere with vision or impair protection of the eye from exposure is disqualifying.

(5) Current growths or tumors of the eyelid, other than small, non-progressive, asymptomatic, benign lesions, are

disqualifying.

Click here for more information about Eyelid Regulations.

 

b. Conjunctiva.

(1) Current chronic conjunctivitis (372.1), including, but not limited to trachoma (076) and chronic allergic conjunctivitis (372.14), is disqualifying.

(2) Current or recurrent pterygium, (372.4), if condition encroaches on the cornea in excess of 3 mm, or interferes with vision, or is a progressive peripheral pterygium (372.42), or recurring pterygium after two operative procedures (372.45), is disqualifying.

(3) Current xerophthalmia (372.53) is disqualifying.

Click here for more information about Conjunctiva Regulations.

 

c. Cornea.

(1) Current or history of corneal dystrophy of any type (371.5), including but not limited to keratoconus (371.6) of any degree is disqualifying.

(2) History of refractive surgery including, but not limited to: Lamellar (P11.7) and/or penetrating keratoplasty (P11.6). Radial Keratotomy and Astigmatic Keratotomy is disqualifying. Refractive surgery performed with an Excimer laser, including but not limited to, PRK (photorefractive Keratectomy), LASEK (laser epithelial Keratomileusis) and Laser-Assisted in situ Keratomileusis (commonly known as LASIK) (P11.7) is disqualifying if any of the following conditions are met:

(a) Pre-surgical refractive error in either eye exceeds + 8.00 to - 8.00 diopters.

(b) At least 6 months recovery period has not occurred between last refractive surgery or augmenting procedure and accession medical examination.

(c) There have been complications, and/or medications or ophthalmic solutions are required.

(d) Post-surgical refraction in each eye is not stable as demonstrated by—

1. At least two separate refractions at least one month apart, the most recent of which demonstrates more than +/- 0.50 diopters difference for spherical vision and/or more than +/- 0.25 diopters for cylinder vision; and

2. At least 3 months recovery has not occurred between the last refractive surgery or augmenting procedure and one of the comparison refractions.

(e) Pre-surgical and post-surgical refractive error does not meet the standards for the Military Service to which the candidate is applying.

(3) Current keratitis (370), acute or chronic, including, but not limited to recurrent corneal ulcers (370.0), erosions (abrasions), or herpetic ulcers (054.42) is disqualifying.

(4) Current corneal vascularization (370.6) or corneal opacification (371) from any cause that is progressive or reduces vision below the standards prescribed in paragraph 2–13 is disqualifying.

Click here for more information about Corneal Regulations.

 

d. Uveitis or iridocyclitis.

Current or history of uveitis or iridocyclitis (364.3) is disqualifying.

Click here for more information about Uveitis Regulations.

 

e. Retina.

(1) Current or history of retinal defects and dystrophies, angiomatoses (759.6), retinoschisis and retinal cysts (361.1), phakomas (362.89), and other congenito-retinal hereditary conditions (362.7) that impair visual function or are progressive, are disqualifying.

(2) Current or history of any chorioretinal or retinal inflammatory conditions, including, but not limited to conditions leading to neovascularization, chorioretinitis, histoplasmosis, toxoplasmosis, or vascular conditions of the eye to include Coats’ disease, or Eales’ disease (363) is disqualifying.

(3) Current or history of degenerative changes of any part of the retina (362) is disqualifying.

(4) Current or history of detachment of the retina (361), history of surgery for same, or peripheral retinal injury, defect (361.3), or degeneration that may cause retinal detachment is disqualifying.

Click here for more information about Retinal Regulations.

 

f. Optic nerve.

(1) Current or history of optic neuritis (377.3), including, but not limited to neuroretinitis, secondary optic atrophy, or documented history of retrobulbar neuritis is disqualifying.

(2) Current or history of optic atrophy (377.1), or cortical blindness (377.75) is disqualifying.

(3) Current or history of papilledema (377.0) is disqualifying.

Click here for more information about Optic Nerve Regulations.

 

g. Lens.

(1) Current aphakia (379.31), history of lens implant, or current or history of dislocation of a lens is disqualifying.

(2) Current or history of opacities of the lens (366) that interfere with vision or that are considered to be progressive, including cataract (366.9), are disqualifying.

Click here for more information about Lens Regulations.

 

h. Ocular mobility and motility.

(1) Current diplopia (386.2) is disqualifying.

(2) Current nystagmus (379.50) other than physiologic “end-point nystagmus” is disqualifying.

(3) Esotropia (378.0), and hypertropia (378.31). For entrance into the USMA or ROTC programs, the following conditions are also disqualifying: esotropia of over 15 prism diopters; exotropia of over 10 prism diopters; hypertropia of over 5 prism diopters.

Click here for more information about Mobility Regulations.

 

i. Miscellaneous defects and conditions.

(1) Current or history of abnormal visual fields due to disease of the eye or central nervous system (368.4), or trauma (368.9) is disqualifying.

(2) Absence of an eye, clinical anophthalmos, unspecified congenital (743.00) or acquired, or current or history of other disorders of globe (360.8) is disqualifying.

(3) Current asthenopia (368.13), is disqualifying.

(4) Current unilateral or bilateral non-familial exophthalmos (376) is disqualifying.

(5) Current or history of glaucoma (365), including, but not limited to primary, secondary, or pre-glaucoma as evidenced by intraocular pressure above 21 millimeters of mercury (mmHg), or changes in the optic disc or visual field loss associated with glaucoma, is disqualifying.

(6) Current loss of normal pupillary reflex reactions to accommodation (367.5) or light (379.4), including Adie’s syndrome, is disqualifying.

(7) Current night blindness (368.6) is disqualifying.

(8) Current or history of retained intraocular foreign body (360) is disqualifying.

(9) Current or history of any organic disease of the eye (360) or adnexa (376) not specified above, which threatens

vision or visual function, is disqualifying.

Click here for more information about Misc. Regulations.

 

 

2–13. Vision

a. Current distant visual acuity of any degree that does not correct with spectacle lenses to at least one of the following (367) is disqualifying:

(1) 20/40 in one eye and 20/70 in the other eye.

(2) 20/30 in one eye and 20/100 in the other eye.

(3) 20/20 in one eye and 20/400 in the other eye.

 

b. However, for entrance into USMA or ROTC, distant visual acuity that does not correct to 20/20 in one eye and 20/40 in the other eye is disqualifying. For entrance into OCS, distant visual acuity that does not correct to 20/20 in one eye and 20/100 in the other eye is disqualifying.

 

c. Current near visual acuity (367) of any degree that does not correct to 20/40 in the better eye is disqualifying.

 

d. Current refractive error (hyperopia (367.0), myopia (367.1), astigmatism (367.2)), or history of refractive error prior to any refractive surgery manifest by any refractive error in spherical equivalent of worse than -8.00 or +8.00 diopters is disqualifying. However, for entrance into USMA or Army ROTC programs, the following conditions are

disqualifying:

 

(1) Astigmatism, all types over 3 diopters.

(2) Hyperopia over 8.00 diopters spherical equivalent.

(3) Myopia over 8 diopters spherical equivalent.

(4) Refractive error corrected by orthokeratology or keratorefractive surgery.

 

e. Contact lenses. Current complicated cases requiring contact lenses for adequate correction of vision, such as corneal scars (371) and irregular astigmatism (367.2), are disqualifying.

 

f. Color vision (368.5). Failure to pass a color vision test is not an automatic disqualification. Although there is no standard, color vision will be tested because adequate color vision is a prerequisite for entry into many military specialties. However, for entrance into the USMA or Army ROTC or OCS programs, the inability to distinguish and identify without confusion the color of an object, substance, material, or light that is uniformly colored a vivid red or vivid green is disqualifying.

 

Click here for more information about Vision Regulations.

 

Last Updated on Monday, 14 January 2013 00:42
 

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