FAA Medical Monocular/Stereopsis

Discussion in 'Medical Topics' started by kane.kasem, Nov 3, 2017.

  1. kane.kasem

    kane.kasem Filing Flight Plan

    Nov 1, 2017
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    Hi I've been recommended to voice my concern here from the Flight following topic.

    So a short introduction. My name is Kane I am a 15 year old boy form Sydney Australia in the process of obtaining my CASA Class 1 medical (Equivalent to FAA 1st class i think). I have basically been told that I have problems with my depth perception. I did have lazy eyes when I was a kid and got that surgery corrected at 6 years old but from then to now I had no problems with my eye at all and had no clue whatsoever that I had problems with depth perception.

    Which means I will have to go for a flight check to obtain my Medical. Even if I pass my medical there would still be a restriction of me not being able to fly out of Australia which basically limits me being an Airline pilot.

    My medical condition as described by CASA
    "In simple terms this means that your left eye dominates your vision, and because of that your right eye tends to be lazy and tends to drift outwards when not focussing in tandem with the left eye; and when the left eye tends to be lazy with the right eye focussing, the left tends to drift away. This in turn denies the both eyes to provide appropriate binocular vision.

    Binocular vision is essential in aviation for distance estimation and depth perception. The latter is paramount when coming in to land as well as during low level or close formation flying. Some of the conditions like relative lack of oxygen or fatigue may worsen this, which are known aviation stressors."

    These are my conditions as described by my Opth

    "Condition= AlternatingXT, Monocular, Lacking depth perception 200ms at arc of 15"

    Later on when I went for my Second and Third opinion (Yes I'm that desperate) they told me I had problems with my eye alignment and thats the reason for my head turn. The third one i went to who also is a Vision therapist also said to train the eye I need my vision level.

    I was either thinking of two options getting my vision fixed in Australia and try to appeal to CASA. Second option being later on in life go obtain a FAA medical and just get a FAA ATPL. Or even both who knows.

    So this brings me on to the Questions
    Regarding the Australian part of things (Now)

    Would it be worth the Pain, Money, Risk to get my vision levelled and after go to vision therapy not knowing if that would even help me or not?

    Does Vision Therapy even work?

    Regarding The American part of things (Later)
    How strict are the FAA on my condition?

    Are monocularities/Depth perception even tested?

    If this does go on how hard is it for a person without a citizenship to get a FAA medical and how long will it take?

    Thanks :)

  2. Rushie

    Rushie Pattern Altitude

    Jun 21, 2006
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    Wow. Good questions!! This is indeed the right place to come to get answers about FAA certification although I'm not the one who knows, the AMEs who know should be along soon.

    But about the pain, money and risk of undergoing treatment in an attempt to correct your (alleged) deficit, right now you say you have no functional problems with your vision and did not even know you had a depth perception problem. If the treatment involves any kind of surgery, under these circumstances personally I would be extremely hesitant to interfere with your current vision system. But if they're talking about non-invasive treatments (wearing an eye patch?) it might be worth a try.

    Do these treatments work? I'm not a doctor and don't know much about it but I do know of one case where surgery made it worse, but there are others who say it helped. I would certainly do a whole lot of research before going under a knife. Risk of complications and making things worse would give me great pause especially since there is no guarantee of CASA acceptance.

    You are not wrong or too desperate to seek three opinions. Your vision is something where the stakes are extremely high and it is very proper to keep seeking the best professional if you are going to consider invasive treatments.
  3. AuntPeggy

    AuntPeggy Final Approach

    May 23, 2006
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    Rushie likes this.