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eyesight measurements: Sphere? Cylinder? Axis?

heavyhitterheavyhitter Registered User Posts: 21 New Member
Hello All,

Just had my eye test... Could someone please tell me how to interpret Sphere, Cylinder and Axis measurements? What is the Academy requirements and are there different levels depending on type of plane you fly (fighters versus cargo)???

Many thanks!
Post edited by heavyhitter on

Replies to: eyesight measurements: Sphere? Cylinder? Axis?

  • eyeball11eyeball11 Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    In short, those are the three numbers that define a glasses prescription.

    The sphere measurement is a measurement of lens power for myopia (nearsightedness) or hyperopia (farsightedness). For nearsightedness, the number is a negative number. For farsightedness it's a positive number.

    Cylinder refers to lens power for astigmatism. Cylinder is a type of lens power that is set at an angle. The axis measurement denotes what orientation the power is set at in degrees.

    The units for both sphere and cylinder are diopters; the units for axis are degrees.

    So if you are two diopters nearsighed with one diopter of astigmatism oriented vertically, your perscription would read: -2.00 -1.00 x 090.

    I do not know if flight requirements are determined by prescription or visual acuity. The Academy may have requirements for both.
  • eyeball11eyeball11 Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    From the Academy admissions site:

    Vision Requirements

    All candidates admitted to the Air Force Academy must meet the vision requirements for commissioning in the United States Air Force. However, there are three levels of qualification determined by DoDMERB. Those levels of qualification status are; “Commission” Qualified, “Potential Pilot” Qualified, and “Potential Navigator” Qualified. As a reference to those that are interested in an Air Force aviation career, a table has been created so vision, height, and hearing values can be compared to see if you fall into the potential pilot or navigator category. This table is a personal clarification only. To use this table, you must simply compare the DoDMERB medical examination results to the values found in the flying class standards table.

    This table does not include standards for aviation, but it does include the standards which most often lead to medical disqualification. Please note that the DoDMERB medical examination is not the official flying class examination. The flying class examination will be performed during the third academic year at the United States Air Force Academy and will encompass more in-depth testing than was used during the DoDMERB physical exam. Any question regarding interpretation of this table can be addressed by calling Cadet Standards at 719-333-0533.


  • heavyhitterheavyhitter Registered User Posts: 21 New Member
    It looks like I am pilot qualified per the web page you sent!
  • TayselTaysel Registered User Posts: 74 Junior Member
    I had my Dodmerb test done yesterday, but the doctor didn't really share any information with me (I could tell I was a waste of her time). Is there any way I can find out what my vision is? Perhaps maybe through the dodmets site? I looked around and couldn't find anything there.
  • eyeball11eyeball11 Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    You can request the information from the examining doctor.

    As a patient you have a right to a copy of your own medical record. That's your most direct route to obtain the info.
  • SemperExcelsiusSemperExcelsius Registered User Posts: 238 Junior Member
    Taysel: Not sure if you'll be able to access your files. Not sure if its just my eye doctor but on some paperwork they asked me to fill out it says this:
    Because the Department of Defense has ordered this screening, I understand that all information gathered becomes property of the United States government. I understand that neither the doctor nor the staff can release any of this information to me.

    Again, this is my specific optometrist thru DoDMERB. Others may have a different policy I'm not sure.

    Is this not uncommon for DoDMERB physicals and eye exams?
  • aggie83aggie83 Registered User Posts: 84 Junior Member
    The DODMERB website showed my son "Medically Qualified" on Monday. Will there be more data such as "commision qualified", "pilot commission qualified", or navigator commision qualified". If so, where will we see/find that data? Thanks.
  • BlueSuiterBlueSuiter Registered User Posts: 167 Junior Member
    Unfortunantly not. Being medically qualified basically means that you are qualified to go to the academy. That being said as long as nothing happens to him for the next five years he should be commissionable, medically speaking. For navigator/pilot qualifications you or your Son can compare his scores to the page that eyeball11 provided.

    Official pilot/navigator qualification does not occur until later at the Academy.
  • l Taz ll Taz l Registered User Posts: 145 Junior Member
    I took my eye test today, and did exceptionally well. I was surprised, my vision was better than I thought, my depth perception was perfect, and I am not colorblind. One step closer.....
  • aggie83aggie83 Registered User Posts: 84 Junior Member
    I think I just did not exactly say what I meant in my previous post. I realize that his scores are only for admission now. But in the response posted the poster said we could compare his scores to the chart. So where do we get his scores to compare to the chart? Will they be posted somewhere?
  • BlueSuiterBlueSuiter Registered User Posts: 167 Junior Member
    I know when I had my DoDMERB exam my doctor gave me a copy of all my tests.

    Another thing is that CAMIS will tell you if you are PQ based on your original DoDMERB exam, but he will have to wait to get here to use it.
  • HNeedleHNeedle Registered User Posts: 841 Member
    yep, i found that i'm PQ even with my bad eyesight. so no worries, it's not that big of a deal
This discussion has been closed.