What to Expect in an Aviation Medical: Don’t Neglect the Aviation Eye Exam

All pilots have to undergo aviation eye exams periodically.

Getting your aviation medical exam is vital for your safety and the safety of your passengers. To ensure pilots are in good health, they must meet specific medical requirements. Health examinations conducted by a Designated Aviation Medical Examiner (DAME) take place regularly.

Additionally, pilots must have a vision exam with a Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) accredited optometrist. This is a crucial detail because the aviation medical eye test is required to keep a valid medical certificate.

A CASA optometrist has extra training and must keep up with new technologies and advances in eye care. You will find CASA-accredited optometrists at E Eye Place. As accredited optometrists, doctors in our practice have experience administering the vision part of your aviation medical and can help ensure your vision is at its best. As anyone with experience flying knows, good eyesight is essential for a variety of aviation tasks. This includes,

  • Landings
  • Navigation
  • Pre-flight checks
  • Take-offs
  • As well as the proper use of displays, dials, gauges, safety equipment and maps in modern cockpits

 

What Should I Expect at an Aviation Medical?

Unless you have one or more underlying health problems, your exam is a standard physical examination. The medical professionals will check various aspects of your health, including blood pressure, glucose levels in the blood, cholesterol, hearing, and vision. Additionally, an ECG to check your heart health and a urinalysis may be performed.

You will likely discuss any physical and/or emotional medical conditions you have that could impact your ability to fly an aircraft safely. It is necessary to ensure you meet the CASA medical requirements, so be as forthcoming as possible during your exam and never try to cover any known medical condition. Doing so is not legal or ethical and could put the lives of passengers, the flight crew and yourself at risk.

During your exam, our staff will dilate your eyes

 

What Happens During an Aviation Medical Eye Test?

An aviation medical eye test is similar to a standard eye examination which includes dilating the eyes. The exam usually takes approximately one hour to complete.

During the vision section of the aviation medical examination, a CASA-accredited optometrist will check the following,

  • Binocular vision and coordination
  • Colour vision
  • Overall ocular health
  • Peripheral vision
  • Spectacle refraction
  • Visual acuity and contrast sensitivity

During your exam, our staff will dilate your eyes. This is necessary to perform a dilated fundus exam that assesses the macula and optic nerve function. For your comfort and safety, we ask that you bring a pair of dark sunglasses to wear when you leave the office. If possible, have someone come with you to drive you home when the exam is complete. If you do not have a driver, please plan on waiting two hours before driving so your eyes return to normal.

 

What to Bring to Your Aviation Medical Eye Exam

  • A valid driver’s license or a valid ID
  • Sunglasses for the ride home
  • A list of current medications
  • Information regarding any physical conditions or limitations
  • If you wear eyeglasses, be sure to bring them to your examination. You should have a backup pair of glasses that work as well as your primary pair of glasses.

 

Do I Get the Results of My Eye Exam on the Same Day?

Our office must report the results to CASA directly, and they will share the information with you.

If you need to make an appointment with an accredited eye care professional who meets CASA medical requirements, feel free to contact us. Our staff will be happy to assist you with making an appointment or answer any of your questions.