Vision problem

I recently noticed that i do not have 20/20 vision in my right eye; Therefore, i wanted to know if i could take the FAA first class medical certificate with glasses?

Finally an easy one! Yes Mendgy, as long as your vision can be corrected to 20/20 (glasses or contacts) you’re fine.



Yes, as long as your vision is correctable to 20/20 with corrective lenses (glasses or contacts). I have worn glasses for almost my entire career.

Piggy back on this thread!

I have keratoconus in my right eye. I had a corneal crosslink procedure performed 2 months ago which stabilized the shape of my eye and should allow 20/20 with special contacts (fingers crossed for my contact fitting a month from now). However, it’s unlikely it will be correctable to 20/20 with glasses in my right eye. Left eye is 20/20 corrected, no issues.

Question: Is the first class medical vision requirement dependent on 20/20 vision corrected with BOTH glasses and contacts or is it an either/or requirement? I know the previous replies above were either/or, but wanted to specifically ask.

Thanks in advance! This page has been a great source of information.


To be more exact: If you wear contacts to have 20/20 vision, is there a requirement stating your backup vision correction has to be glasses, or would another pair of contacts suffice. Sorry if it wasn’t clear above.


I honestly do not know the answer to your question. For all medical related questions, you will need to consult with an FAA Medical Examiner.


Do polarized prescription sunglasses cause any issues in the cockpit with seeing the glass displays?


You’re making this more complicated than it need be. The regs state your vision must be correctable to 20/20. Nothing more, nothing less.



Yes. Yes many of the displays and even some of the windshields are polarized and wearing polarized sunglasses can make them difficult to see.


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Yes they do cause issues. I buy non polarized sunglasses.


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Hey Andrew,

I just had my eye exam done last week and found out I have Keratoconus in my right eye as well. Currently my right eye is 20/25 with glasses so I’m just off for my first class medical which I had gotten before previously… but I’m doing the cross linking procedure next month and will be getting contacts as well. I just wanted to ask if you were able to achieve 20/20 in your right eye and what contacts your doctor recommended? Also how was the recovery process?

Thank you!

Hey Troy -

I’m still in the recovery phase of the cross linking. I had the procedure performed mid-April and my vision has only recently returned to “normal”. After the procedure and during recovery, your vision will be extremely blurry and the best way to describe it is when a lens/contact falls out from one eye and you still have the lens/contact in the other. Pain varies from patient to patient. I had minor pain in the eye and headaches for 2-3 days after the procedure.

About 20-25% of patients have better vision after the procedure, and this was the case with me. If yours is 20/25 right now, there’s a chance you may get to 20/20 with glasses post-procedure, but I recommend at least 3 months recovery to go back for the first class medical. I’m currently at 20/30 but I’m giving my eye another couple months to “settle” before getting fitted with the specialty contact. My doctor is confident it’ll be 20/20 afterwards.

Hope this helps, and hang in there!

Andrew McL

Thanks for the response Andrew! My doctor said he’s also very confident in 20/20 with contacts but he said depending on how the procedure goes I may be able to get it with glasses. Awesome to hear that your procedure went well, wishing you all the best!

Troy E

I have this issue and wanted to know the update on this.


It’s been four years since the last post. They may or may not still be monitoring the forum. The first thing you should do is consult an AME and see if your condition prevents you from getting a first class medical. If it does, like these guys had, then you could follow up with an optometrist to talk about your options.



As Hannah mentioned, you should consult with an AME as you may get a quicker response and better direction on what to do: