Pilots often fly at night or during bad weather conditions. They also spend long hours inside the cockpit. This makes them vulnerable to eye problems.
Are they allowed to wear glasses?
Glasses are worn to correct vision problems such as myopia (nearsightedness), hypermetropia (farsightedness), and astigmatism. Pilots who suffer from these conditions may require corrective lenses to improve their vision.
There is no clear answer to whether pilots should wear glasses, but they certainly can.
The FAA has issued regulations regarding pilot safety, but does not specify whether pilots should wear glasses while flying. In addition, there are some airlines that do allow pilots to wear glasses.
In this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at some of the physical requirements that pilots have to adhere to in order to dot heir job safely and effectively.
FAA Standards For Pilot’s Vision
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is responsible for ensuring that all pilots are fit to do their jobs safely and effectively. This includes making sure their eyes work well enough.
According to their regulations, a pilot must have 20/20 or better eyesight to fly.
Near vision is required to be 20/40 or better, and far vision is required to be at least 20/40. Third-class medical certificates are issued for pilots who are over 50 years old.
Nearsighted individuals should wear corrective lenses at all times while flying. Farsighted individuals or presbyopes should have corrective lenses available during the flight.
Cataract patients should have surgery to replace the natural lens with an artificial intraocular lens before being allowed to fly.
Air traffic controllers must also meet certain vision requirements. Controllers over 50 years old must demonstrate 20/20 vision in each eye separately.
Controllers under 50 years old must demonstrate 40/40 vision at 16 inches distance. Likewise, controllers must also demonstrate 20/40 vision at 32 inches distance.
Furthermore, controllers who wear glasses or contacts may do so as long as they are corrected for astigmatism.
And, controllers with unilateral vision or visual field defects may be eligible for center operations on a per-case basis.
Pilots Who Don’t Wear Glasses Can Still Fly Safely
While wearing glasses isn’t mandatory, it definitely helps when flying. If you’re nearsighted or farsighted, your prescription will help you see things more clearly.
If you don’t wear glasses, you might still be able to fly safely. You just need to make sure that you get your prescriptions checked regularly by an ophthalmologist.
If you’ve been diagnosed with cataracts, you’ll probably want to wait until after you’ve had the operation before getting your license back. It could take up to six months for your vision to return to normal after the surgery.
How To Get A Medical Certificate Without Glasses
It’s important to note that if you’re trying to obtain a third-class medical certificate without glasses, you won’t be able to use them once you receive your certificate.
You’ll need to go through a special process to get a medical certificate without glasses. First, you’ll need to visit an optometrist and get your prescription checked.
Then, you’ll need to get a letter from your doctor stating why you shouldn’t fly with glasses. Finally, you’ll need to submit this letter along with your current eyeglasses prescription to the FAA.
What About Pilots With Astigmatism?
Astigmatism can affect how light enters your eyes. As a result, some people experience blurry vision. In order to fly safely, you’ll need to have your prescription checked every year.
If you have astigmatism, you’ll need to wear a contact lens or bifocals instead of glasses. Contact lenses and bifocals provide clear vision for most people.
However, there are cases where contact lenses aren’t suitable. For example, people with dry eyes may not be able to wear contact lenses.
People who have corneal disease may not be able to tolerate bifocals because they cause irritation.
Contact lenses and bifocals are only approved for use by pilots who have 20/20 vision in both eyes.
People who have severe astigmatism may require surgery to correct their vision. This is usually done in conjunction with cataract removal.
Are There Any Other Physical Requirements For Pilots?
Pilots have to undergo medical examinations before they will be considered eligible to fly commercial aircraft.
This medical exam is known to take a few hours but is not too physically strenuous or painful.
Also, the medical certificate for those who pass the examination is often awarded on the same day.
The kinds of things the doctors check in this physical exam include:
- Personal medical history
- Heartbeat rhythm
- Lung capacity
- Blood tests
- Urine tests
- General physical checks
In addition to these requirements, all pilots must meet certain minimum standards. These standards include having a valid driver’s license, being at least 21 years old, and passing a flight test.
A pilot who has passed his or her private pilot training course should also have a medical certificate issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
How Do I Become A Pilot?
There are many ways to become a pilot. Some people choose to earn their pilot’s license through flight school while others decide to pursue it as a career.
Flight schools offer courses that teach students about the basics of flying, including aerodynamics, navigation, meteorology, and more.
The curriculum varies depending on what type of pilot certification you wish to achieve.
There are two types of flight schools: traditional flight schools and charter schools. Traditional flight schools typically focus on teaching students how to fly airplanes.
Charter schools, however, specialize in teaching students how to operate helicopters, fixed-wing planes, and other types of aircraft.
Charter schools tend to be less expensive than traditional flight schools. They also allow students to learn more about aviation and gain hands-on experience.
Some flight schools also offer part-time programs that let students work full time while earning their pilot’s license.
Once you’ve completed your flight training, you’ll need to complete an FAA written exam. You’ll then receive a medical certificate from the FAA.
Becoming a pilot can be a rewarding career if you’re passionate about flying.
It requires patience, dedication, and hard work. But don’t give up! With proper preparation and guidance, you can reach your goals.
Don’t let yourself worry too much about your eyesight holding you back, too.
Sure, if your eyes have some serious issues, then you might not be able to fly commercially, but there are still plenty of professions in the aviation industry for you!