Back to News

LASIK Surgery's Link to the US Military

LASIK Surgery’s Link to the US Military

If you’re tired of glasses and frustrated with contact lenses, freedom from the restrictions they impose on your life makes LASIK laser eye surgery an attractive proposition.

The chances are that you’ll investigate the procedure in depth to make sure that it’s right for you. You’ll trawl the internet and speak to friends who’ve had the procedure to find out all you can.

What you may not discover, though, is that the US military has conducted extensive research into LASIK.

The Army, Navy and Air Force are operating in environments where glasses are more than an irritation – they’re such a hindrance that they’re positively dangerous. It’s not an option to remove or replace contact lenses, either. In dry, wet, dusty, muddy or smoky conditions, great vision is a must.

Analysing LASIK meant that the military could be sure that it was the best visual option for its personnel. They needed to be sure that in combat situations their service members were able to give their optimum performance every day, and in all environments. 

The LASIK studies conducted* were very interesting indeed. In one, the military readiness of personnel on active duty before their LASIK surgery, and after it, was evaluated. Factors examined included their ability to function at night and their weapons sighting ability.

In every one of the 360 personnel evaluated in the study, performance improved after LASIK laser eye surgery. The results were impressive - 86% had improved results on their ability to utilise night vision goggles, 57% had improved their performance scores relating to overall individual readiness, and more than 98% of the participants said that they would be happy to have LASIK surgery again.

So impressed was the military that it is now one of the largest providers of laser eye surgery in the United States of America.

Optical Express is the UK’s leading provider of LASIK laser eye surgery, and you can find out more about this exciting treatment here https://www.opticalexpress.co.uk/laser-eye-surgery/lasik. Its International Medical Advisory Board includes several global leaders in ophthalmology, including Dr Steve Schallhorn, who was the first surgeon in the United States Department of Defense to perform LASIK. He has worked with each of the five units of the United States Armed Forces, and has been a consultant to NASA and NATO as well as a number of US Government executive agencies.

While you may not require the same visual standards as serving military personnel, isn’t it still comforting to know that the LASIK surgery you’re considering has been successfully tried and tested in one of the world’s leading military nations?

*Source:Vision-Related Quality of Life and Perception of Military Readiness and Capabilities Following Refractive Surgery Among Active Duty U.S. Military Service Managers:

Rose K. Sia, MD; Denise S. Ryan, MS; Bruce A. Rivers, MD; Lorie A. Logan, OD; Jennifer B. Eaddy, OD; Lamarr Peppers, MPA; Samantha B. Rodgers, MD. Journal of Refractive Surgery. 2018;34(9):597-603

Rose K. Sia, MD; Denise S. Ryan, MS; Bruce A. Rivers, MD; Lorie A. Logan, OD; Jennifer B. Eaddy, OD; Lamarr Peppers, MPA; Samantha B. Rodgers, MD. Journal of Refractive Surgery. 2018;34(9):597-603