Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

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...

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 | TBI Education and 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

NICoE Education Webinar Series: July Poster

Publication
6/25/2021

Service Members and TBI: The Not So Invisible Wound

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury | TBI Education and Training Events | Centers of Excellence

Vision Care Service Coordinators Support Ocular Care Management

Article
6/24/2021
Military health personnel giving an eye appointment

Vision care service coordinators support eye injury and vision loss patient recovery.

Recommended Content:

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

Retinopathy of Prematurity, Important Focus for Military Eye Doctors

Article
6/23/2021
Health personnel conducting a morning assessment on an infant

Retinopathy of Prematurity is a little-known disease with big risks.

Recommended Content:

Children's Health | Electronic Health Record: MHS GENESIS | Centers of Excellence

Patients Contribute to Shape Future Hearing Loss Treatment

Article
6/21/2021
Barbara Kelly from the Hearing Loss Association of America hosting a meeting

Patient-focused meeting could lead to improved hearing loss therapies

Recommended Content:

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

Cataracts Concern Battle Fighters, the Aging

Article
6/21/2021
A doctor performing cataract surgery

Traumatic cataracts can occur during battlefield injuries, but they are largely avoidable in non-combat situations.

Recommended Content:

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

Start the Conversation

Video
6/18/2021
Start the Conversation

It’s not always obvious when someone is experiencing depression or thinking about suicide. In this video, learn how you can identify signs of distress and take action by starting the conversation about getting help.

Recommended Content:

Centers of Excellence | Psychological Fitness | Suicide Prevention

MHS and MOS: "To Your Health" Town Hall

Video
6/8/2021
MHS and MOS: "To Your Health" Town Hall

For Vision and Hearing Loss Protection and Prevention Month, we welcome Dr. Theresa Schulz and Colonel Mark Reynolds to talk to us about the important topics of vision and hearing health.

Recommended Content:

Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention | Hearing and Balance Injuries | | Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention

MHS Town Hall June 8 2021

Photo
6/8/2021
MHS Town Hall June 8 2021

MHS and Military OneSource presents a discussion with experts from the Hearing Center of Excellence and the Vision Center of Excellence.

Recommended Content:

Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention | Hearing and Balance Injuries | | Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention

Researchers find key senses impact readiness, survival

Article
6/8/2021
Military personnel in driver and casualty evacuation training

Sound localization is a critical component of situational awareness, or to put it in layman’s terms, knowing what is going on around you

Recommended Content:

Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention | Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention | Hearing and Balance Injuries

MHS and MOS Town Hall: "To Your Health"

Article
6/8/2021
Images of Dr. Theresa Schulz and Colonel Mark Reynolds

MHS and Military OneSource: To Your Health: A Discussion with experts from the Hearing Center of Excellence and the Vision Center of Excellence

Recommended Content:

Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention | Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention | Hearing and Balance Injuries |
<< < 1 2 3 4 5 > >> 
Showing results 31 - 45 Page 3 of 5
Refine your search
Last Updated: April 28, 2022

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.