Skip to main content

Military Health System

For Thousands of Troops, Eye Surgery is Key to Vision Readiness

Image of A surgical team with the Warfighter Refractive Eye Surgery Program at Womack Army Medical Center at Fort Bragg monitors the progress of a patient's surgery inside the Ophthalmology Clinic's Refractive Surgery suite. A surgical team with the Warfighter Refractive Eye Surgery Program at Womack Army Medical Center at Fort Bragg monitors the progress of a patient's surgery inside the Ophthalmology Clinic's Refractive Surgery suite. (Photo by Jerome Mapp)

Recommended Content:

Centers of Excellence | Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention | Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention | Vision Center of Excellence

For military eye doctors and eye surgeons, one of their top priorities is to preserve and enhance vision for the service members who need it most, including those in career fields like aviation, special operations and the security forces. 

The core of this effort is the Warfighter Refractive Eye Surgery Program, which has supported more than 750,000 surgical procedures during the past 20 years.  The surgical procedures, which include Lasik and PRK surgery, often aim to eliminate service members’ dependence on glasses or contact lenses in austere environments. 

“Our goal is to enable our warfighters to qualify and continue in professions that might require excellent uncorrected vision,” said Navy Lt. Cmdr. (Dr.) Tyler Miles, an aerospace optometrist at the Navy Refractive Surgery Center at Naval Medical Center San Diego. 

To help the military’s vision care community stay up to date on the latest technology and research, the 2022 Military Refractive Surgery Safety and Strategy Symposium (MRSSSS) convened in late January.  This year’s symposium was conducted virtually due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19. 

The symposium focused attention on how to enhance vision on the battlefield, to make headgear and goggles less burdensome and to improve standardization and optimization across the Military Health System.  Refractive surgery is a model in the Defense Health Agency for standardization and optimization of procedures across 26 military warfighter eye centers. 

Laser eye surgery is available to all active duty service members who are medically and administratively qualified. While it is classified as an elective surgery, patients are often extremely happy with the outcome and their decision to have a Lasik or PRK procedure. 

“For most military members, the enhanced readiness and safety they find after their surgery is often cited as one of the best decisions they have made in their military career,” Miles said. 

The Warfighter Refractive Eye Surgery Program was initially designed to provide a combat-vision edge to Navy SEALS, Special Forces and other warfighters through a variety of corrective surgery options. 

Since its inception in 2001, the research, technology and experience have allowed the program to expand and include all active duty service members, including aviators.

You also may be interested in...

Ringing in Your Ears Might Be a Sign of Hearing Loss

Article
3/10/2022
Army Col. Randy Lau fires a 120 mm mortar during a live-fire exercise at Camp Roberts, California, June 15, 2021.

Tinnitus can affect your concentration, reaction time, and short-term memory. It can be linked to anxiety, depression and sleep disorders. Some people turn to substance abuse to try to block the sounds.

Recommended Content:

Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention | Hearing Center of Excellence | Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention

It’s True – Carrots (and Other Vegetables) Can Help You See in the Dark

Article
3/4/2022
Each color in fruits and vegetables indicates an abundance of specific nutrients.

Have you ever heard that carrots are good for your eyes, or that they can help you see in the dark? It’s true – carrots are rich in the compound beta carotene, which your body uses to make a form of vitamin A that helps your eyes adjust in the dark. A shortage of vitamin A can cause a host of health problems, including blindness.

Recommended Content:

Nutritional Fitness | Centers of Excellence | Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention | Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention | Vision Center of Excellence

BIAM Vision and Hearing

Infographic
2/17/2022
BIAM Vision and Hearing

Vision and hearing are vital senses for effective communication and situational awareness. To defend yourself against injury and maintain mission readiness, wear the proper vision and hearing protection while on and off duty. Find the latest vision and hearing protection recommendations here: • Vision: https://vce.health.mil/Eye-Injury-Prevention-and-Response/Eye-Protection • Hearing: https://hearing.health.mil/Prevention/Evaluated-Hearing-Protection-Devices #BIAMonth #BeTBIReady

Recommended Content:

Brain Injury Awareness | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention

World Hearing Day

Infographic
2/15/2022
World Hearing Day

Noise-induced hearing loss from exposure to hazardous noise on and off duty is the most common type of hearing injury for service members. You can protect your hearing for a lifetime by wearing hearing protection. #WorldHearingDay #HearingHealth #SafeListening https://hearing.health.mil/Prevention/Hearing-Protection-Devices

Recommended Content:

March | Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention

Researchers Connect with Warfighters to Guide Tech Development

Article
1/25/2022
Military personnel trying an immersive training device

Researchers ‘get out of the clinic’ to learn warfighter challenges

Recommended Content:

Research & Innovation | Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention | Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention | Vision Center of Excellence

The Military is Reporting Far Fewer Hearing Problems

Article
12/14/2021
Soldiers wear hearing protection while firing an M3 multi-role anti-armor antipersonnel weapon system during live-fire training at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, Sept. 15, 2021.

Hearing loss in the Department of Defense continues to decrease for service members and civilians enrolled in hearing conservation programs, according to a recent report from the Defense Health Agency Hearing Center of Excellence.

Recommended Content:

Public Health | Hearing Center of Excellence | Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention | Hearing and Balance Injuries

Hearing Center of Excellence: Ear Protection

Video
10/26/2021
Hearing Center of Excellence: Ear Protection

Tips for protecting your hearing using the proper protection.

Recommended Content:

Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention | Centers of Excellence | Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention

Assessment and Management of Dizziness and Visual Disturbances Following Concussion/Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

Publication
10/22/2021

This clinical recommendation provides medical staff with a single, comprehensive reference for the assessment and management of dizziness and visual disturbances following mild TBI/concussion. Dizziness and visual disturbances often present with overlapping symptoms and should prompt a provider to perform a visual and dizziness—or vestibular—assessment.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | TBI Provider Resources | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Centers of Excellence

Improving Relationships after TBI

Publication
10/21/2021

Flier for the Interactive Relationship Building Workshop for Active-Duty Military and Veteran TBI Caregivers and Families: This flier provides information on TBICoE's educational session for caregivers of active-duty service members and veterans who have sustained a TBI. In addition to sharing caregiver resources and current research initiatives, webinar topics will also include relationship building strategies, improving communication and addressing intimacy after TBI.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Patient and Family Resources | TBI Provider Resources | Centers of Excellence | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence

2000-Q2 2021 DOD Worldwide Numbers for TBI

Publication
10/14/2021

TBICoE is the Defense Department’s office of responsibility for tracking traumatic brain injury data in the U.S. military. Here you’ll find data on the number of active-duty service members—anywhere U.S. forces are located—with a first-time TBI diagnosis from calendar year 2000 through the second quarter of 2021. The data is also broken down by each branch of the armed services.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | DOD TBI Worldwide Numbers | Centers of Excellence | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence

Caregiver Guide supports service members and veterans with TBI

Article
7/22/2021
Military family posing for a picture

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence’s 2021 Caregiver Guide provides specific tools to help caregivers manage TBI patient recovery.

Recommended Content:

Centers of Excellence | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Education & Training Events

Military Laser Eye Surgery: Enhancing Vision Readiness

Article
7/12/2021
Military health personnel looking at wavescan results

Enhancing vision readiness through laser eye surgery is now available at 26 military medical treatment facilities.

Recommended Content:

Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention | Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention | Vision Center of Excellence

Ask the Doc: Eye Need Answers

Article
7/8/2021
Senior Airman Mitchel Delfosse, 22nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron electrical environmental system journeyman, attends an eye exam appointment Jan. 30, 2020, at McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas. Maj. (Dr.) Gerardo Robles-Morales, 22nd Operational Medical Readiness Squadron optometry flight commander, recommends an eye exam a minimum of every two years to ensure overall eye health and correct vision. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexi Bosarge)

Dear Doc: I consider myself pretty lucky. I'm in my late 20s and I've never had any eye problems to speak of. I have 20/20 vision and I've never worn glasses. But...the Air Force tells me to protect my eyes and I'm not exactly sure what that means. Do you know anyone who can give me some solid advice on the best options for eye protection? What should I be wearing at work or on the flight line? What should I be wearing out in the sun? I know I have a lot of questions, but I just want to protect myself as best as possible. Thanks in advance, Doc! -Eye Need Answers

Recommended Content:

Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention | Ask The Doc

Mobile hearing test system enables quicker diagnosis, treatment

Article
7/8/2021
Military personnel during a hearing test

Portable device can detect hearing loss in remote areas, clinic settings and beyond.

Recommended Content:

Centers of Excellence | Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention

Aphasia, Caused by Stroke or TBI, is Frustrating and Little Known

Article
6/29/2021
A doctor looking at brain scans

Aphasia is an incurable disease usually caused by stroke that affects all forms of communication.

Recommended Content:

Total Force Fitness | Heart Health | Centers of Excellence | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence
<< < 1 2 3 4 5 > >> 
Showing results 31 - 45 Page 3 of 5
Refine your search
Last Updated: January 31, 2023
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery