Home My Military Vision RETINA – Military Entrance Standards for Medical Fitness
RETINA – Military Entrance Standards for Medical Fitness
Friday, 27 March 2009 23:00

 

These are the Army military regulations used at MEPS and military processing centers for the entrance vision standards for eye diseases and visual acuity.

 

This is an extrapolated version of AR 40-501 2-12.  This section describes eye diseases and visual acuity standards for entrance into the United States military.  Included here are the disqualifying conditions, a brief description of the condition, and what challenges a condition or disease may create for a new soldier.

 

This section relates to eye conditions and diseases of the RETINA that are disqualifying.

 

I am interested in joining the military.  What are the military regulations and standards  regarding retinal (retina) conditions?

 

 

E. Retina.

 

The retina is located in the back/inside of the eye.  It is primarily responsible for vision.  A healthy retina is very important to the military.  The retinal is basically like the film in a camera.  The image is captured on the retina and sent to the brain for interpretation.  There are many diseases and inflammatory conditions that can affect the retina.  The retina can also be damage by trauma.

In general, MOST retinal conditions will disqualify one from the military.  Why is this?  Retinal conditions are often very difficult to treat and can be progressive and have a poor outcome.  These conditions will often limit a soldier’s ability to train in basic.  If a retinal condition is recurrent or can be progressive it is disqualifying.  If one’s visual acuity is affected then the condition will be disqualifying.  If a retinal condition affects one’s peripheral vision it is disqualifying. If the condition was caused by trauma it is disqualifying.

 

Make sure you tell MEPS about any retinal conditions prior to entering basic training.  Often, if there is evidence the retinal condition is stable and non-progressive a waiver can be granted.

 

 

Disqualifying Conditions:

 

1.  Retinal defects or dystrophies that impair vision or are progressive
Angiomatoses
Retinoschisis
Retinal cysts
Phakomas
Congenito-retinal hereditary conditions

 

Why is this disqualifying?

 

These retinal conditions are typically progressive and can lead to significant vision loss.  These conditions may also require extensive surgery. These conditions can limit the ability of a soldier to train, deploy, successfully complete basic training and/or can cause significant vision loss.

 

2.  Chorioretinal or retinal inflammatory conditions
Neovascularization
Chorioretinitis
Histoplasmosis
Toxoplasmosis
Coats’ disease
Eales’ disease

 

Why is this disqualifying?

 

These retinal conditions are typically progressive and can lead to significant vision loss.  These conditions may also require extensive surgery and medical treatment to control. These conditions can limit the ability of a soldier to train, deploy, successfully complete basic training and/or can cause significant vision loss.

 

3.  Degenerative changes of any part of the retina

 

Why is this disqualifying?

 

Degenerative changes of the retina is a very general statement.  This will encompass many conditions not already mentioned.  Degenerative retinal conditions are typically progressive and can lead to significant vision loss.  These conditions may also require extensive surgery and medical treatment to control. These conditions can limit the ability of a soldier to train, successfully complete basic training and/or can cause significant vision loss.


4.  Detachment of the retina
Surgery for detachment of the retina
Peripheral retinal injury
Degeneration that may cause retinal detachment

 

Why is this disqualifying?

 

A retinal detachment is a condition where the retina inside one’s eye is peeling off .  This condition is very serious and can lead to blindness.  Retinal detachments can  be progressive and can lead to significant vision loss.  These conditions may also require extensive surgery and medical treatment to control. Risk of progressing a retinal detachment would be increase at basic training by any impact activity.  The retinal can re-detach at anytime even if one has had surgery to re-attach the retina. Retinal detachments can limit the ability of a soldier to train, deploy, successfully complete basic training and/or can cause significant vision loss.

 

 


Below is the exact AR 40-501 military army regulation for this section of eye disease and vision.

AR 40-501 2–12. Eyes


e. Retina.


(1) Current or history of retinal defects and dystrophies, angiomatoses (759.6), retinoschisis and retinal cysts (361.1), phakomas (362.89), and other congenito-retinal hereditary conditions (362.7) that impair visual function or are progressive, are disqualifying.
(2) Current or history of any chorioretinal or retinal inflammatory conditions, including, but not limited to conditions leading to neovascularization, chorioretinitis, histoplasmosis, toxoplasmosis, or vascular conditions of the eye to include Coats’ disease, or Eales’ disease (363) is disqualifying.
(3) Current or history of degenerative changes of any part of the retina (362) is disqualifying.
(4) Current or history of detachment of the retina (361), history of surgery for same, or peripheral retinal injury, defect (361.3), or degeneration that may cause retinal detachment is disqualifying.

Last Updated on Monday, 14 January 2013 00:44
 

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