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PRK Waiver Denied

#16
****UPDATE****

I just got off the phone with a NAMI Ophthalmologist and he had some very good news for me. The denial form I had that my recruiter told me disqualified me from aviation, was in fact an acceptance letter of sorts. It apparently is a standard form sent up after the Naval Recruiting Command reviews my case BEFORE they send the PRK info to NAMI for the PRK waiver.

In short, Naval Recruiting Command does not approve PRK waivers. They send a form to your recruiter saying aviation not allowed due to PRK and then send your medical information down to NAMI for the PRK waiver. NAMI then sends the denies/approves the waiver and sends the final information back to your recruiter. That *should* be the only information you receive. This being my recruiter's first time, he saw that form and told me I was done for aviation.

This is good gouge for the inner workings of the waiver process. Sticky so people don't stroke out like myself?
 

feddoc

Really old guy
Super Moderator
Contributor
#17
Makes perfect sense. The wording in your letter, paragraph 4, tells me that they leave it, fit for aviation duty, up to NOMI.

Glad to see this one turn out ok.
 

Junkball

"I believe in ammunition"
pilot
#18
Kind of a big "oops" by your recruiter. Damn, that's cold that he'd drop you like that, especially based off a mistaken interpretation. Nice work following it up.
 

McBuff

Sees the light
#19
Since we're talking about PRK waivers, maybe someone can help me. I'm a little anxious about mine because I'm getting conflicing signals from my recruter and what I've read from NAMI.

I went to MEPS prior to PRK. Obviously that paperwork says 20/100 or whatever. Got PRK Aug 20, have recovered fully and am seeing 20/15 both eyes. No complications etc. I'm pro-rec SNA and my recruiter seems to believe that all I need to do is submit the paperwork from my civilian doc and I'll get the waiver. I asked if I needed to be seen by a Navy optometrist and he says that is only if I were prior enlisted.

The NAMI reference and waiver guide lists the things required:

  1. Complete applicant physical exam
  2. A detailed history, review of systems, and physical findings associated with the defect shall be recorded on the physical exam
  3. All supporting documentation required by the appropriate section of the ARWG (i.e. laboratory, radiology, consultant reports...)
  4. Flight Surgeon’s recommended disposition
  5. An Aeromedical Summary (AMS) is encouraged but not required
Any thoughts? Same situation as exo. My recruiter is a great guy and very knowledgable, however I'm his first PRK waiver.
 
#20
McBuff,

I'll defer to someone else, I knwo nothing about obtaining PRK AFTER MEPS. I know the NAMI waiver guide is extremely helpful, but there should really be a step by step guide written by someone really in the know. It seems like a lot of us are just making guesses based off of our experiences.
 

nugget61

Active Member
pilot
#22
...

The NAMI reference and waiver guide lists the things required:

  1. Complete applicant physical exam
  2. A detailed history, review of systems, and physical findings associated with the defect shall be recorded on the physical exam
  3. All supporting documentation required by the appropriate section of the ARWG (i.e. laboratory, radiology, consultant reports...)
  4. Flight Surgeon’s recommended disposition
  5. An Aeromedical Summary (AMS) is encouraged but not required
Any thoughts? Same situation as exo. My recruiter is a great guy and very knowledgable, however I'm his first PRK waiver.
I think we have 2 different versions of the guide; this is what the most recent one says:

PRK:
General guidelines:
1. A waiver may be submitted no earlier than:
a. 3 months for myopia less than -6.00 diopters spherical equivalent (SE)
b. 6 months for myopia greater than or equal to -6.00 diopters SE
c. 6 months for hyperopia (SE) measured under cycloplegia
2. Visual Acuity - each eye with or without corrective lenses must be:
a. Class I - 20/20-0/10 letters
b. Class II and III - 20/20-3/10 letters or better
c. Corrective lenses must be worn while flying if needed to achieve the VA standard
3. A normal postoperative slit lamp exam
4. There must be no symptoms that would be cause for concern when considering the performance of the member’s usual flight duties
5. If topical medication is still required (other than artificial tears), then restriction of flight activities to the local area would be prudent.
6. An enhancement or “touch-up” must meet the same guidelines.

Additional guidelines:
Applicants:
1. May obtain PRK at their expense from civilian sources of care.
2. Pre-operative refractive error measured under cycloplegia must not exceed - 8.00 to + 3.00 (SE) and 3.00 diopters of cylinder.
3. Anisometropia should not exceed 3.50 diopters (using SE for each eye).
4. SNA applicants must meet refractive, cycloplegic, and vision standards postoperatively.


To me it just says meet the pre-op guidelines, meet the post-op vision guidelines, wait your healing time and send in the paperwork. Shouldn't need to see a Navy doc.
 

McBuff

Sees the light
#23
Nuggs, what I quoted was the NAMI generic "how to apply for a waiver" guide. I think I'm just gonna go with what the recruiter says. He hasn't let me down yet. Thanks
 
#24
i don't know the whole process because I was NROTC. however, when I had PRK my eye pressure also started to rise. as soon as the doc saw me he put me on different steroid prescription ($50 co-payment! wtf!??) and it dropped to normal. it seems odd since you seem normal.

HOWEVER, i just had my NAMI whammy today. NAMI is a peculiar process. It is the first time I have had to submit my medical records in advance to be pre-screened. They look for things to NPQ people. Follow the advice other people have put forth and I wish you the best of luck.
 
#25
Something my doc told me on the pressure tests. If you hold your breath as some people do during the test, it causes a slight pressure increase.
 

spitfiremkxiv

Pepe's sandwich
Contributor
#26
Since we're talking about PRK waivers, maybe someone can help me. I'm a little anxious about mine because I'm getting conflicing signals from my recruter and what I've read from NAMI.

I went to MEPS prior to PRK. Obviously that paperwork says 20/100 or whatever. Got PRK Aug 20, have recovered fully and am seeing 20/15 both eyes. No complications etc. I'm pro-rec SNA and my recruiter seems to believe that all I need to do is submit the paperwork from my civilian doc and I'll get the waiver. I asked if I needed to be seen by a Navy optometrist and he says that is only if I were prior enlisted.

The NAMI reference and waiver guide lists the things required:

  1. Complete applicant physical exam
  2. A detailed history, review of systems, and physical findings associated with the defect shall be recorded on the physical exam
  3. All supporting documentation required by the appropriate section of the ARWG (i.e. laboratory, radiology, consultant reports...)
  4. Flight Surgeon’s recommended disposition
  5. An Aeromedical Summary (AMS) is encouraged but not required
Any thoughts? Same situation as exo. My recruiter is a great guy and very knowledgable, however I'm his first PRK waiver.
You probably won't officially get waivers until you've seen the mil docs and they recommend you for them, but for now you'll keep your SNA slot as long as your current MEPS and civ paperwork checks out alright. I don't know what your flight physical timeline is for your commissioning source but that's generally how things go.
 

McBuff

Sees the light
#27
My recruiter seems pretty confident that this is how it works. We submitted all of the fin-docs including my pre-op, operative and post-op reports so we'll see. My biggest fear was losing the pro-rec which according to a doc at NAMI, shouldn't happen. If they're missing something, they'll just tell us.
 

nugget61

Active Member
pilot
#28
Thread revival for a similar situation (I hope)

****UPDATE****

I just got off the phone with a NAMI Ophthalmologist and he had some very good news for me. The denial form I had that my recruiter told me disqualified me from aviation, was in fact an acceptance letter of sorts. It apparently is a standard form sent up after the Naval Recruiting Command reviews my case BEFORE they send the PRK info to NAMI for the PRK waiver.

In short, Naval Recruiting Command does not approve PRK waivers. They send a form to your recruiter saying aviation not allowed due to PRK and then send your medical information down to NAMI for the PRK waiver. NAMI then sends the denies/approves the waiver and sends the final information back to your recruiter. That *should* be the only information you receive. This being my recruiter's first time, he saw that form and told me I was done for aviation.

This is good gouge for the inner workings of the waiver process. Sticky so people don't stroke out like myself?
Can you PM me the number and doc you talked to? I'd like to see if we're the same.

Makes perfect sense. The wording in your letter, paragraph 4, tells me that they leave it, fit for aviation duty, up to NOMI.

Glad to see this one turn out ok.
Could you look at mine letter and tell if its the same thing? I'm thrown off by the blunt #3 if this isn't the real deal (not NAMI). Thanks.


My letter:


My name & SSN and his name are the blacked out stuff

Addtl Info: I failed Depth at MEPS, but submitted a passed Randot test - would they not accept this or something? Why is #6 listed? Also, I was -1.0diopters pre-op, no current problems/meds/halos or anything so I think I qualify for the 3 month waiver.
For #4: http://www.brooksidepress.org/Products/ManMed/Changes/manmed%20change%20126.pdf page 30
Thanks
 

nugget61

Active Member
pilot
#29
For future reference, I just got off the phone with a NAMI eye doc that processes the PRK waivers and he cleared up my situation for me.
What he said is that the 3 month waiver is only for currently designated aviators. The waiver guide is kinda misleading, and that it is to be fixed whenever they update it, but that if you have Wavefront Guided PRK (apparently the only one to get now adays) then you HAVE to wait 6 months before you can submit your waiver paperwork. Then he told me that (this is where the story differs from Exo's - dunno which doc is right) Navy recruiting command (see above letter) will then give a recommendation for a waiver and allow you to get a FS date and that NAMI will never see any of that data. What they do see is your flight physical taken from your first few days at OCS and they will give/not give a waiver at that point.
Just FYI for those that get similar letters and are confused about it.
 
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