The lack of peripheral vision in glasses; the lack of contacts replacements in the field and the difficulties in their application just won't cut the mustard when the going gets tough. Refractive surgery treats far-sightedness, near-sightedness and astigmatism so you no longer have to rely on glasses or contacts.
The Australian Defence Force (ADF) recognises the benefits of eye surgery and offers funding for refractive surgery to certain personnel. They approve and recognise the following procedures performed by Laser Sight Australia:
- PRK: removes the top layer of the cornea, and then reshapes its surface to resolve refractive errors.
- LASEK: gently separates the top layer of the cornea, reshapes its surface with laser, then replaces the top layer for healing.
- LASIK AND CUSTOMEYES™ LASIK: Creates a flap of the top layer of the cornea, lifts it to reshape the surface with a laser then uses the flap as a natural 'own-body-bandage'. CustomEyes™ additionally analyses the way your eye focuses light and treats the unique imperfections detected in the analysis.
Our surgeons know ADF
The strong team of world-renowned surgeons at Laser Sight, headed by founding director Dr Peter Stewart have been providing Laser procedures to ADF personnel for the past 8 years. Dr Stewart pioneered LASIK in Australia in 1995. Since then the group has performed over 66,000 successful procedures.
Prior to undertaking refractive surgery ADF members are to complete the 'Counselling and approval for refractive surgery' form to indicate their informed consent to the surgery. The decision to undergo laser refractive surgery is wholly that of the patient. To make an informed decision they should first fully understand the associated risks and benefits.
At the present time, two visual standards are in use in the ADF. Please check applicable standards for your particular job. All serving members must obtain the written approval of their CO before any procedure is to occur, regardless of the funding arrangements.
ADF medical officers and ophthalmologists / refractive surgeons are to inform members that there is a small but real risk that their post-operative best corrected spectacle vision will be worse than pre-operatively. In the worst case, they may become medically unfit for their current duties.
How soon can you resume your duties?
Return to restricted duty
ADF directives allow ADF members to return to restricted duties at the discretion of the ADF medical officer. In general, members who have undergone uncomplicated PRK or LASEK will be fit for restricted duties within a week of treatment, and patients who have had LASIK will be able to return to duties after 2 days.
Return to operational duty
Correction of myopia (short sightedness): For most members, approx. 6 weeks after surgery. Aircrew are unfit to return to flying duty for a minimum of six weeks following PRK and LASEK. Divers are unfit to return to duty for three months following LASIK.
Correction of hyperopia (long sightedness): Recovery time to achieve stable vision may take up to six months and may require further surgery to achieve the desired outcome.
What are ADF's funding eligibility requirements?
Refractive surgery is permissible for serving ADF personnel and applicants for entry to the ADF.
Currently, funding for refractive surgery by the Defence Health Service (DHS) is limited those personnel whose military duties, without question, require them to work frequently in extreme physical environments that preclude the safe use of spectacles or contact lenses, or where their use has a high probability of compromising mission performance.
At present there is no provision for personnel not included in the elected groups to be provided funding for refractive surgery but the situation is being closely monitored to determine if there are compelling operational, capability improvement and economic reasons to fund these procedures for a broader range of ADF personnel.
Should you or a family member have Health Insurance through Defence Health with 'Top Extras' Health cover, a contribution for Laser Eye Surgery should be included. Please contact Defence Health to confirm eligibility.
The Right Choice
A qualified ophthalmologist can test your suitability for laser eye surgery and fully explain the benefits, risks and costs. Book your free assessment* with Laser Sight and rest assured you have the best team looking after your most important asset ?your eyes.
Our leading expertise and the most advanced equipment available in the world offer reliability and results. You are backed by our unique promise to give you 'Vision for Life'.
* Free assessments are only available if you book online.
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