Apparently multifocal contacts are a no no

Discussion in 'Medical Topics' started by saddletramp, Dec 16, 2017.

  1. saddletramp

    saddletramp Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I was surprised to stumble upon this information last night.

    I've been using multifocal contacts for over five years & love them. I feel like a teenager again being able to see both near & far vision. They also allow me to wear my favorite pair of Oakley sunglasses when I fly.

    For those that do not know multifocal contacts have both near & distance correction in them. No need for bifocals. When I wear them people are amazed that I don't need bifocals at my age. I don't tell them about my contacts.

    It appears you have to get a SODA to wear them while flying. My question is how would anyone ever know that you're not wearing regular contacts? I can't believe the FAA has an issue with them.

    I guess legally I'm stuck wearing my prescription glasses while exercising the privileges of my pilots certificate. With the FAA there's always something.
     
  2. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Final Approach

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    The FAA has always taken a strong position when it comes to protecting pilots from advances in medical science.
     
  3. X3 Skier

    X3 Skier En-Route

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    Same silly logic that bans monovision contacts but allows monovision LASIK.

    Cheers
     
  4. Anymouse

    Anymouse Pattern Altitude

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    I've always known that you couldn't use contacts with far in one eye and near in the other, but didn't know that multi-focal contacts were verboten.

    Several years ago I just happened to use an AME that was also an Ophthalmologist shortly after hearing about the multi-focal contacts. I asked him specifically about them fully intending to give him some business. He said that as a professional pilot I wouldn't like them and suggested that I stay away from them. Apparently most of his pilot customers end up using glasses eventually anyway. He didn't mention anything about legalities and the FAA.
     
  5. Van Johnston

    Van Johnston Line Up and Wait

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  6. Larry in TN

    Larry in TN Line Up and Wait

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  7. Hank S

    Hank S En-Route

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    That is monovision contacts, one eye for near vision and one eye for distant vision. Multifocal contacts alllw near, far and in-between focal lengths in both eyes. The contacts have three focal zones; I used to make multifocal lens implants with 12-14 focal zones depending on prescription.
     
  8. FORANE

    FORANE Pattern Altitude

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    I think the concern is this phrase:

    freedom from any glare, flares or other visual phenomena that could affect visual performance and impact aviation safety

    in this guide:
    https://www.faa.gov/about/office_or...am/ame/guide/dec_cons/disease_prot/binocular/

    combined with the increased incidence of halos and stars in folks with multifocal IOL's. I have been told by a guy I worked with who implants them that the multifocal IOL's have an almost 100% incidence of halos and stars initially post implant.
     
  9. kyleb

    kyleb En-Route

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    I've worn multifocals on and off for several years with good results. The upside is you have good vision through most of the range, but don't have great vision at any point. Never had any problems with halos and the like. The thing I like about the multifocals is they are all I need. When I wear normal contacts, I also need to carry readers, and when I don't wear contacts, I need glasses to drive.

    I guess there is no magic solution...
     
  10. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Final Approach

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    "This misperception occurred because of visual illusions produced by the approach over water in limited light conditions, the absence of visible ground features, the rain and fog, and the irregular spacing of the runway lights. Contributing to the accident was the lack of instantaneous vertical speed information available to the pilot not flying,"

    Yea, it was the contacts.
     
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  11. bbchien

    bbchien Touchdown! Greaser!

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    No, monovision is prohibited. identical multifocal correction, equal in both eyes, is permitted. Read CAREFULLY. You too, Geoff.... :)
     
  12. timwinters

    timwinters Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Well...there ya go!
     
  13. X3 Skier

    X3 Skier En-Route

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    I thought permanent monovision, via lens implants, was permitted after a period of adaptation while monovision contacts are never permitted. Makes no sense to me but that’s the rule as I understand it.

    Cheers
     
  14. bbchien

    bbchien Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Monovision contacts are prohibited.
    Monovision per Lasik requires: 90 day standdown and then a contact in the near vision eye to bring it out to a far vision match to the other eye. Granny eyeglasses are then needed to read close in.
     
  15. X3 Skier

    X3 Skier En-Route

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    Thanks, I didn’t know about the need to wear a contact lens in the near vision eye.

    Cheers
     
  16. Hank S

    Hank S En-Route

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    I'm doomed--most eye doctors do not recommend multifocal lenses (contacts or implants) to two groups of people: pilots and engineers. I am both . . . . . Seems our expectations are too high.
     
  17. saddletramp

    saddletramp Pre-takeoff checklist

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    After additional research it appears I was looking at some out-dated info from the FAA. Thanks Dr Chien for the clarification.

    Move along...nothing to see here.
     
  18. Anymouse

    Anymouse Pattern Altitude

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    I'm surprised that as an engineer you don't see the loop hole. Not recommending multi-focal lenses is a negative. You've been not recommended for two different reasons. Two negatives make a positive, so go ahead and get those lenses!!
     
  19. Lachlan

    Lachlan Pattern Altitude

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    The problem with engineers is too many options. If you give an engineer more than one option she/he will spend the next several years shooting holes in every option, combination and permutation thereof. Give them multifocal contact lenses and they’d never get anything done because they would have to see every option from every distance. ;)
     
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  20. X3 Skier

    X3 Skier En-Route

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    You’re confusing Scientists with Engineers.

    Cheers
     
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  21. Lachlan

    Lachlan Pattern Altitude

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    So you’re saying engineering is an art? ;) I work in a hard science field and I’ve got to insist that there are not a lot of times when there is any hemming or hawing over what to do or how to do it. I have engineer friends that can’t agree on the best or correct way to torque a bolt. Newton/meters vs foot/lbs; anti-seize = excessive slip = overtorque; dry threads = excessive friction = erroneous torque readings, tap/die cut threads vs. machined... my scientist coworkers and I all agree: screw it. :D

    Anyway, can multifocal contacts also correct for astigmatism?
     
  22. BillTIZ

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    I flew with contacts for distance correction for years, both AIr Force and civilian. As I aged I needed the readers for near vision. I was ok with the panel, but could not read the charts without the granny glasses.

    I tried the multi focal contacts for a short time. I did not like them. I felt that I was missing things. They were not that great at the extremes. Plus standing on the ground watching my students solo it felt like I was getting a double image. My eye doc said that you lose about 10% at each end. Granted that was years ago and technology has improved.

    I gave up on them and went to lineless bifocal glasses.
     
  23. Hank S

    Hank S En-Route

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    Multifocal implants have had astigmatism correction for a handful of years. Never made contacts, nit sure what they offer . . . . But I know which one costs more!
     
  24. comanchepilot

    comanchepilot En-Route

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    which means no pilot will likely do it because part of monovision requires training your brain to work the difference - and if you don't do it all the time - your brain gets confused and your vision is just blurry. defeating the purpose entirely.
     
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  25. X3 Skier

    X3 Skier En-Route

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    I can certainly attest to that. I’ve had monovision contacts for years. When I switch to bifocals, I’m disoriented for a whle until I readapt. Even then, my vision is worse than with the contacts.

    Cheers