Vision Question

Hey all,

I am planning start ATP this coming fall. I got my First Class Medical, but needed to have my ophthalmologist send some forms to the AME to get my vision signed off on.

The issue I have is that my left eye is 20/20 or better, but my right eye is between 20/20 or 20/30 corrected, depending on lighting and the chart I read. Together, my eyesight is about 20/15. I had a traumatic eye injury in my childhood that messed up that eye and it’s uncorrectable beyond what I currently am prescribed.

Has anyone experience something similar to this and been able to overcome it? My concern is that at some point I may have a difficult time passing a First Class with my right eye independently and then I will be $100,000 in debt for a career I can’t pursue.

Thanks in advance!


I understand your concern. You need to do whatever you can to preserve your vision. I do know pilots who have less than 20/20 corrected in one eye but EVERY case is different.

That said there’s really no way around it. Lose your medical and you will lose your job.



The only individuals I could foresee answering any sort of medical question are doctors and Aviation Medical Examiners. If you can wear sunglasses, that will help a lot with the strain of white/hue/exposure on your eyes. Especially when you’re on top of the layer and the sun is brighter than what you have seen below the clouds before departure, the light reflection is BRIGHT.

I hear carrots are good to help preserve your vision… :man_shrugging:t2:



I have had quite a bit of eye trouble and very much share your concern. Of course I defer fully to your AME, but it sounds like you will have to get a Special Issuance to your medical. I met an airline pilot who only had one eye, so I suspect this will be possible in your case.

You are right, the real concerns your right eye. My understanding of the rules is that one eye always needs to be correctable to 20/20. If for some reason that eye slipped to even 20/30, you would not be eligible for a medical. If you were at the airlines at that point, you would go on long term disability, but if you were not yet, you would be out of a job. This is simply a risk that you will have to decide if you want to take or not. I will be honest, I would be hesitant to take that chance.

All of this being said, consult with your AME and eye doctor to help make an informed decision.