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Non-surgical Vision Improvement

From CFR 14 Part 67: The requirements for first and second class airman medical certificates are:

“(a) Distant visual acuity of 20/20 or better in each eye separately, with or without corrective lenses. If corrective lenses (spectacles or contact lenses) are necessary for 20/20 vision, the person may be eligible only on the condition that corrective lenses are worn while exercising the privileges of an airman certificate.
(b) Near vision of 20/40 or better, Snellen equivalent, at 16 inches in each eye separately, with or without corrective lenses. If age 50 or older, near vision of 20/40 or better, Snellen equivalent, at both 16 inches and 32 inches in each eye separately, with or without corrective lenses.

Less restrictive standards apply to a third class certificate.

One of the anxieties pilots experience when taking the periodical medical exam is: “Will I be required to wear glasses from now on?” Traditionally, for a pilot who fails to meet FAR 67 standards, the options are limited to wear glasses or contact lenses while flying or go through a risky operation.
Wearing glasses is a nuisance in itself. A corrective lens for distant impairs the reading and intermediate and vice versa. The situation worsens if one needs an independent lens for all three, reading, distance and intermediate. Progressive glasses would be most appropriate for such condition. But is there another option? I did some research and came across a holistic approach for improving Natural Vision. Help can be obtained through specialists or audiovisual programs. Since this article does not endorse any product, I suggest for pilots, who are interested in finding such specialists or products, to conduct an Internet search using the following keywords: “natural vision” “non surgical vision therapy” and similar terms.

It is a fact that natural vision can be improved. The US Air Force and many commercial airlines have programs of training pilots with normal vision to super normal sight. Olympic athletes including the US volleyball and field hockey teams frequently work to improve their sight to beyond normal. Other athletes that do so include tennis champion Virginia Wade, the Dallas Cowboys, New York Yankees, Val Skinner a professional golfer. Connecticut state police have regular vision improvement training.
The list is endless. Defective vision can also improve. In the majority of cases improvements are possible.
Conditions like myopia, astigmatism and hypermetropia can often be corrected fully or better than normal or at least significantly, depending on the individual condition, motivation and the inherent flexibility of the visual systems. Natural vision therapy is primarily a matter of developing good visual habits and integrating them throughout your normal day to replace bad visual habits. Vision therapy is not a matter of doing half an hour of exercises a day, and then ten hours of sight aversive activities.
Successful vision therapy is about bringing to consciousness bad habits, modifying them to become good habits and repeating them till they become unconscious. In other words vision therapy is about converting the continuous use of your natural vision to be an ongoing beneficial activity and extending or building new neurological pathways in the mind.
I found this site, Natural Vision FAQ , as an excellent source of information.

Disclaimer: This article’s sole purpose is to offer information about the existence of holistic methods to improve vision. The Pilot’s Web assumes no responsibility to the accuracy of the information included in this article, nor shell it be held responsible for any action of any individual practicing Natural Vision Improvement.

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Last update May 17, 2005
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