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Borderline eye sight

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  • Borderline eye sight

    Hello all,

    I've accepted a Deck Cadeship starting in January.

    I was in the opticians recently for a contact lense check, and noticed that my aided vision - ie with contacts/glasses - has deteriorated over the last year. Previously I was better than 6/6 with glasses or contacts, but I'm now struggling for 6/6 in one eye and 6/12 in the other.

    I can do it, though, and I expect to pass my ENG1 no problem. My worry is what will happen if I take my Deck Cadetship and then can't pass the ENG1 eye test in future.

    I'll be speaking to an optician about this properly in the next few days, but interested in any thoughts or experience people on here might have? Is it common for Deck Officers to have to give up due to detriorating eye sight? Any experience of laser eye surgery? Should I be thinking about trying to switch to Engineering or Electro Technical?

    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    I know plenty of guys that have had laser surgery to keep them in a job, is this a possibility for you? You can do pay monthly plans etc to make it affordable. It might be of interest when you qualify and start earning better money, assuming you pass the ENG1s throughout your cadetship (once every year for U18s and once every two years for others, or more frequent if you’re overweight or a sickly child).

    I find that my ENG1 eye tests were always borderline boll**ks as he asked me to read like two letters from the chart three lines from the bottom and that was it. So in that sense you might be alright anyway...

    I would crack on regardless anyway, there are plenty of half blind 65 year old bridge watchkeepers who I wouldn’t trust driving a bus but they’re still passing medicals somehow. I’m aware that colour blind people (which means no chance of being a deck officer or ETO) can have the restriction “no bridge watchkeeping” on their medical, and work without issue as an engineer. I also know an engineer Officer who had to inject his eyeballs with steroids and used a magnifying glass to read/write, so your door to the marine world is definitely open even if you end up not being sighted enough to be a navigator.


    • #3
      Thanks for the reply. Really helpful.

      In case it's relevant to anyone reading this in future *my understanding of* the Opticians advice was that -

      1. Everyone's eye sight is likely to get worse as i age, but aided vision shouldn't change much - you just need stronger glasses to get to the same place. *But there's no guarantee of this*.
      2. Laser eye surgery is unlikely to make me see better than I can with glasses now (even laser eye surgery plus glasses).
      3. If I had any trouble with the unaided test, laser surgery can usually fix that.

      Still interested if anyone's aware of people that have had to stop working due to not quite meeting the aided vision standards?


      • #4
        2. Wave front laser eye surgery can give you better vision than glasses can. But you definitely shouldnt have it done until your eyes stop changing, mid 20s onwards probably.

        source - I had this surgery.
        Former TH cadet with experience of cruise ships, buoy tenders, research ships and oil tankers


        • #5
          Hi Chris, thanks for reply. Will check this with my optician - maybe there's soemthing about my eyes that meant it won't for me or more likely I just misunderstood him!