20/30 in left eye 20/20 in right eye

Discussion in 'Medical Topics' started by Mattmac553, Feb 6, 2020.

  1. Mattmac553

    Mattmac553 Guest

    I currently am working towards helicopter private pilot. I have a third class medical. I’m looking at going to atp. They require 1st class medical. My vision can only be corrected to 20/30 in my left eye, but my right eye is 20/20 with out correction. How can I get my first class medical as soon as possible?
     
  2. Benw

    Benw Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2019
    Messages:
    43
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Benw
    I thought there was a SODA or a waiver or something if one eye is correctable to 20/20
     
  3. mattmac553

    mattmac553 Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2020
    Messages:
    6
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Mattmac553
    I’ve been getting the run around trying to find out what exactly I need to do. I’m trying to get the medical as soon as possible too.

    What is the best and fastest way to do this?

    I have the 8500-7 form filled out from my optometrist.
     
  4. lsaway

    lsaway Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2019
    Messages:
    80
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    lsaway
    There is not much difference between 20/20 & 20/30. What test methods have you tried? FAA standard in visual acuity is using Snellen equivalent. Lighting alone can make the difference of seeing 20/20 vs 20/30. If you really try hard in a well lit room & are able to see 20/20 at your ophthalmologist office, he can fill out FAA 8500-7 stating you have 20/20. You can take the form to your next FAA physical.

    I had 20/40 best corrected in 1 eye until I saw a new ophthalmologist who really took his time tuning in the the best correction until I could see 20/20 with the new prescription using the Snellen wall chart.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2020
  5. mattmac553

    mattmac553 Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2020
    Messages:
    6
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Mattmac553
    It goes between 20/40 and 20/30 depending on where I take the test. The ame I’ve talked to don’t seem to know the process.
     
  6. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2010
    Messages:
    17,841
    Location:
    Denton, TX
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    Advise us of your location. Maybe a PoA member in the same region can suggest a higher quality AME.

    If you are anywhere near Pensacola, we know a really good one.
     
  7. mattmac553

    mattmac553 Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2020
    Messages:
    6
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Mattmac553
    Philadelphia area
     
  8. dans2992

    dans2992 En-Route

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    Messages:
    3,385
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Dans2992
    Some AMEs barely care.
     
  9. mattmac553

    mattmac553 Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2020
    Messages:
    6
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Mattmac553
    I have an ame who is helping me, but isn’t clear on the process. I have contacted the regional office, but they weren’t really clear what I needed to do.
     
  10. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2010
    Messages:
    17,841
    Location:
    Denton, TX
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    Try AOPA's Pilot Information Center. Bonus if you get to talk to Gary Crump.
     
    PeterNSteinmetz and mattmac553 like this.
  11. mattmac553

    mattmac553 Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2020
    Messages:
    6
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Mattmac553
    Thank you! I’ll be calling the AOPA tomorrow when they are open.
     
  12. Jim_CAK

    Jim_CAK Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    521
    Location:
    Akron, Ohio
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jim_CAK
    I’m in a similar situation. I can see 20:20 out of one eye uncorrected and the other I struggle to get 20:20 My ophthalmologist insists I don’t need glasses. I need to find an ophthalmologist that is a pilot or understands this and willing really help tune a prescription so I can keep a class 2.
     
  13. lsaway

    lsaway Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2019
    Messages:
    80
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    lsaway
    How much struggling are you talking about? Even if you miss one or two letters on the smallest line you can read, you are still considered to have vision equal to that line.

    If your ophthalmologist says you are 20/20 uncorrected in both eyes, bring him an 8500-7 to fill out. Bring the form to your next class 2 physical. I did this at every physical. I think your ophthalmologist is trying to save you the hassle of having to wear glasses or a single contact lens. I think your correction would be so slight that you would not even notice a difference with correction. You may even find that at times, you will see worse with glasses when your correction is so slight. Until you have experienced having to wear glasses or contacts, I don't think you realize how much more superior your natural vision is.
     
  14. bbchien

    bbchien Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2005
    Messages:
    10,739
    Location:
    Bolingbrook, IL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Bruce C
    If this was amblyopic in origin, we need to get you to the one eyed waiver. We have easily 1500 ATPs flying on the waiver. But the standards eye has to have acuity-perfect vision and a totally normal visual field, to get it.
     
  15. Jim_CAK

    Jim_CAK Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Messages:
    521
    Location:
    Akron, Ohio
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jim_CAK
    I thought you had to be 20/20 minus -0.
    I do have the ophthalmologist fill out the 8500-7. Last medical the AME still had me take the vision test with the microscope style machine and I don’t do well with that. He eventually issued the class 2 based on the form.
    By the way- I wore glasses most of my life. Cataracts eventually caused me to have corrective surgery. I see distance better now than i did 30 years ago. I still need the readers. Overall, I’m thrilled with the results of the surgery- I just can’t see well through the machine the AME uses.
     
  16. lsaway

    lsaway Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2019
    Messages:
    80
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    lsaway
    Sounds very similar to my situation. I had cataract with IOL in 1 eye. That eye would not pass the machine the AME uses. I could pass at the ophthalmologist with the Snellen chart. The good thing is that the FAA standard is visual acuity using a Snellen equivalent. As long as I had a new 8500-7 filled out stating 20/20 every time, I was good to go for First Class. Each time it was a trip to ophthalmologist for 8500-7 first, then the visit to the AME with 8500-7 in hand.
     
    Jim_CAK likes this.
  17. falconkidding

    falconkidding Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2014
    Messages:
    609
    Location:
    great white north
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Falcon Kidding
    All the AME's offices i've gone to have all but gone wink wink nudge nudge heres the eyechart the nurse will be in in a few min to run the test. Might not help but if they use an old school paper/poster get a glance at it and just memorize it.
     
  18. Larry Vrooman

    Larry Vrooman Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2020
    Messages:
    8
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    N5168T
    I fully understand the vision issue.

    I learned to fly in 1982 with uncorrected vision of 20/400 corrected to 20/10. At the time I still needed a demonstrated ability waiver and that 38 year old waiver still gets entered with each FAA medical. I ALWAYS schedule my annual eye exam a few weeks before my FAA medical. It lets me:
    a) get documentation from my opthamologist that my distance, near and intermediate vision is corrected to 20/20 or better; and
    b) it let's me show up for the medical with contacts and progressive readers that have my current prescription, in the event the AME still wants me to demonstrate it on his vision test. The distance correction in my contacts has been stable for decades, however, the progressive reader prescription changes every few years.

    In my case, eye doctors have over the years tried to get me to:
    1) switch to a contact in one eye for distance and a contact in the other eye for near vision; and/or
    2) switch to contacts that correct for both distance and near vision; and/or
    3) back off on the distance vision to 20/30 to improve the near and intermediate vision; and/or
    4) Just wear glasses that correct for distance in addition to the progressive reader prescription (I do have a pair of glasses that does all this, but my acuity is just not quite as sharp, and peripheral vision suffers).

    None of those approaches work for me when it comes to passing the FAA's vision requirements and/or going all day without eye strain. Numbers 1 and 2 are not allowed by the FAA (because they work poorly). Number 3 is a non starter as well as 20/20 distance vision plays a key role in traffic separation and the FAA is rather big on that for noise abatement purposes. Number 4 is just less optimal for me.

    What works is what works. The eye doctor I have now is very good at listening to what I need and working with me to make it happen. You need to find an eye doctor willing to do the same for you.

    ----

    As noted by someone above, missing 1 or 2 letters on the 20/20 line should not be disqualifying. If your AME is disqualifying you on that basis, find a better/more amenable AME. Not all AMEs have the same attitude and it comes into play when the FAA has a "guideline" rather than a "standard". For example, I ride my bicycle 15 miles per day and at 55 I'm still in great cardiovascular health with no history of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc. EXCEPT, I've had a life long history of white coat syndrome. My BP will be 120/70 with a resting pulse of 67 the day before my FAA physical and then I'll have something like 145/90 with a 90 bpm pulse during the FAA physical. It's high stakes and my BP and pulse rise to the occasion. It becomes a self full filling prophecy as I start stressing about it this time, because it happened last time.

    The FAA "guideline" is 155/95. That's really high and it would probably prompt a cardiologist to want to admit you to the hospital and put you on a boat load of meds, some of which might be disqualifying and most of which would require a couple months to show they resolve the issue, without resulting in periods of excessively low blood pressure.

    However, a good AME will look at the total picture and if it's really a white coat issue, will pass you as fit for flight. However since it is a guideline and not a standard an AME doesn't have to pass someone tests 145/90 during the physical. He or she could require a cardiac workup and a whole bunch of hoops to jump through before you are able to be issued a medical certificate.

    Some AMEs also look for things that are just not even requirements. For example, an ATP in the area went to one of the local AMEs for his first class medical and he was denied by the AME as one leg was 1/2" longer than the other. He would not issue a medical unless the pilot got corrective shoes to even out his leg length. This was an ATP with plenty of time who'd learned to fly, passed all his check rides and successfully flew for a major airline with the leg difference never being an issue. Apparently the AME felt it would impede his ability to use the rudder pedals or something similarly stupid. Basically it was a very picky AME going way out of his or her way for a reason to deny applicants. It took the ATP six months to get the decision overruled, and it almost cost him his job as it was 6 months of being unable to fly. Most of the pilots I know avoid that AME like the plague.

    At the other extreme, 35 years ago a local AME (a rural doctor in a big flat state out west) would pretty much fill out the paperwork for a second class medical on the tail gate of his pickup truck while the applicant filled out the check. I suspect he kept some long in the tooth crop dusters in business a few years longer than they should have been. I'm not advocating that approach either, but there is a reasonable, happy medium. It's helps if you can find an AME who is both interested in your health and is just as interested in keeping you flying, rather than just denying an application.
     
    Jim_CAK likes this.
  19. mattmac553

    mattmac553 Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2020
    Messages:
    6
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Mattmac553
    I sent in the 8500-7 form after my AME deferred it. the problem now is how ever long this process will take. This is the only thing I’m waiting on. I plan on taking my private pilot test sooner than the medical test. Any way to get the letter of authorization for the medical flight test fast/as soon as possible. FYI The was AOPA extremely helpful with this, knew exactly what to do when I asked!