Can PILOTS wear GLASSES ??? Eye Surgery? Contacts? Explain by CAPTAIN JOE

Can PILOTS wear GLASSES ??? Eye Surgery? Contacts? Explain by CAPTAIN JOE

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– Dear friends and followers, welcome back to my channel for one of the most asked questions out there, can a pilot wear glasses? I get this question a lot from young aviation enthusiasts, “Joe I’m worried I can’t become a pilot because my eyesight isn’t the best, and therefore I have to wear glasses. Can you help me?” So let’s clean those lenses and let’s get started. [Funky electronic music with intro] Okay before we get started, please be advised that I’m not an aeronautical medical doctor, although I pass the medical university everyday, I’ve studied to become a pilot not a doctor, so all the information I’m giving you today is based on a very long interview with my doctor in my last check up and further research I’ve done on the internet. So please whatever you do, before you dive into your aviation career, seek the advice from a professional certified aeronautical medical doctor or an optician They will be able to give you the information you need for pursuing a career in aviation. Overall answer is yes you can wear glasses and become an airline pilot. I know quite a few colleagues of mine who wear glasses so these pilots are definitely out there, but there are limits of course. So that clears the first question. No you don’t need to have perfect vision However, you are required to have a certain vision standard to become an airline pilot as you have to pass the requirements for a Class 1 medical. Unfortunately these standards can vary from country to country, but for today we will stick to the FAA regulations. So the minimum requirement for a class 1 medical would be 20 over 20 vision. So what does 20/20 vision mean? I am sure many of you have seen this chart before, a so-called Snellen chart. Now, the idea behind the chart is to measure your distant visual acquity by stepping back 20 feet away from the chart, then the doctor will want you to close up one eye with your hand a and start to read out the first line Now if you could only read out the first line, well “E”, that would that would mean your vision is 20 over 200, meaning a person with normal vision or standard vision which is 20 over 20 can read the top line at a distance of 200 feet. So your goal is to be able to read the red marked line from a distance of 20 feet, to get 20/20 vision. And no, memorizing the line won’t get you through that exam! Now, my vision for example is 20 over 10, meaning I can read the lowest line on the chart where a standard vision person needs to step 10 feet forward to be able to read the line. [smiling] I ate a lot of carrots when I was young! Now the doctor will do another test to measure your near vision acquity with a similar chart. Here the requirements for a Class 1 medical are 20 over 40 Now sometimes you also get people saying you need to get 6 to 6 vision. If you think about it, 20 feet equals 6 meters so that’s the same principle just by using meters instead. So if you have to wear glasses wear glasses in order to read the 20/20 or 20/40 vision line, that’s fine but there are limits. So if you are wearing glasses because you have hypermetrophia, meaning you have a good far-sightedness, the correction should not exceed +5 diopter. If you have myopia, meaning you have a good short-sightedness the correction should not exceed -6 diopter. Astigmatism not exceeding 2 diopter and anisometropia meaning both eyes need individual correction shall not exceed 2 diopter either plus or minus. Now fun fact if you have to wear glasses whilst piloting the plane, it is a legal requirement that you bring a spare st of glasses, so in case you are to break or lose your first pair. Trust me, I have seen that happen! The next test is the color vision test Now, most doctors will use the Ishihara plates which is better known as the color blindness test. Now this tests consists out of 38 different plates. Each of them consists out of colored, dotted plates, and each of them show either a number or a path. Now based on what you can see and what you cannot, it is possible to check if you are suffering from some form of Red-Green color blindness. And I’ve added a link in the description box below, so you can have a go at the Ishihara test online. Now the tests I’ve mentioned are only a few which are frequently used during your medical examination, but there are many more, for example to check night vision, or how fast your eyes are able to focus different objects at various distances. which get tested every 5 years before your 40th birthday and then every two years What about refractive eye surgery? Yes, having your eyes lasered is possible to some extent. Personally, I would wear glasses first before considering eye surgery. But for those questions again, consult a professional aeronautical medical doctor. Also, if you are wanting to apply to a specific airline, make sure to check for the medical requirements because some airlines set their own requirements which can be above the standards of the aviation authorities. My personal experience regarding my first medical and eye examination, I wanted to be 100% sure before I started my career in aviation. So, I went to the military medical test center where they run all sorts of tests on you and if you pass their requirements, the medical for commercial pilots is a PIECE OF CAKE. By the way, these boys are just see-through. I don’t wear any glasses [laughter] And that’s it for today, and make sure- seek a professional doctor regarding your upcoming medical examination if you have any worries, doubts or further questions. Thank you very much for your time and don’t forget, a good pilot is always learning. Wishing you all the best, see you next week, Your Captain Joe! *Subtitle in English by Bhuvans DIY*


  1. 4:36 Me attempting to read the numbers on the colourblindness test (left to right top to bottom)

    1. F*ck
    2. F*ck
    3. F*ck
    4. F*ck
    5. F*ck
    6. F*ck
    7. F*ck
    8. F*ck
    9. F*ck
    10. F*ck
    11. 16!
    12. F*ck

  2. When I was a kid, a KLM flight attendant told me that she couldn't be a pilot because she didn't have good enough vision. She must've had really bad eyesight. Sad

  3. I found out that I need glasses when I did my medical. This was 1 year ago. I still have only one pair of glasses and my vision is getting continuously worse

  4. Oh man. I have -6 and -5.5, and my eyes keep getting worse. I’d never thought of this limitation until now.

  5. My result is that I am not red-green color blind! Can this be good enough?
    -Only 2/38 wrong
    -Only 3/38 partly correct
    – 33/38 correct

  6. I was having pilot dreams after my first time ever in an airplane (15 minutes in a Cessna to see a city from above) but that was put on ice when I heard about the vision requirements and I started to wear glasses… I heard something about it not being ok to need glasses or contact lenses when starting training or something like that. So yeah, that put me down a fair bit… I have myopia and astigmatism, nothing extreme but without glasses or contact lenses I can’t even see the floor if I stand up, or see text on my computer screen or phone if it’s more than about a foot away or so. With glasses or lenses I have pretty good vision, although I see better on my right eye than my left as we can’t manage to fully correct my left eye. But oh well, now I’m a disabled almost 34 year old anyways… But it’s still on my bucket list to get to pilot an airplane one day, even if just for a minute or two with an experienced pilot with me. Extra bonus if it’s a fighter jet as I just love the sound of them, and love speed! There really isn’t much that is better than being at an air show and a fighter jet does a fly by on low altitude and lights those afterburners so you feel the sound all through your body. Went to my first air show at age 10 and loved every minute of it! Then add The Red Arrows performing there, and you have a very happy 10 year old! I had a huge poster of them on my wall for years after that show!

  7. 4:10
    Spare glasses are neat.
    Imagine try to find your glasses WITHOUT wearing any!
    Yeah, I need my glasses to find my glasses!

  8. Can we actually cure myopia naturally ? I mean can we like, look at 5 cm object infront of us for several seconds then shift it to further object for several seconds then back to the near object, and repeat the cycle for several minutes everyday. Can it work ? Plus maybe drink carrot juice everyday. Please give your opinion

  9. Oh dear…… now I know in English why i was refused to become a pilot… it's Ishihara plates (colour blindnes test) I failed my test (wrong answers to red-green dyes) in september 1988 in Moscow and the examiner told that my game was over… I had no chance to enter any of Aviation colleges…

  10. I tried the test, some of the numbers dont look like numbers example 8 looked like a B, and 2 looked like z, and some have multiple answers like 2 and 4 but when i answered 24 i got half correct wtf. looks like the color test isnt 100% accurate. I tried Joining the airforce but they didnt let me join saying my eye sight wasnt up to standard of 20/5 with an University degree, back then my eyesight was 20/20 and i only had a diploma, my country has stupid requirements for the airforce, on average 1000 applicants less than 5 get in.

  11. The requirements are per eye or both eyes like for example i have myopia my left eye Is -3.5 and the right Eye Is -3 the limit Is -6 the think i don't understand Is It -6 per eye or the soum of both like -3 + -3,5 = -6,5 ?

  12. In my country astigmatism is disqualifying as well as daltonism
    In case you wear glasses its not allowed to surpass +2 diopter in any case
    Lasik can be accepted but just if you visit an eye doctor regularly

  13. With monocular vision you can hold a private pilots licence but not a commercial pilots licence regardless of quality of eyesight.

  14. My right eye is 2.50 and my left is -3.00 for the CAA site I checked and saw it’s okay as long as it’s not +/ 6 but I’m still really worried ahah

  15. I'm somehow confused bc of you using this typical slowmoguys slowmo sound in the background at the beginning xD

  16. Similar in railways (UK at least). Obviously check with a doctor too. But I'm a safety critical railwayman and I wear glasses.

    Regulations in the UK call for vision of 6/9 (good eye) and 6/12 (bad eye) minimum (6/6 being the equivalent of 20/20). That, however, can be your corrected vision so long as your uncorrected vision is no worse than 6/60.

    I'm corrected to better than 6/6 (20/20) with glasses and my right is better than 6/9 with my left eye being only a little worse than 6/12.

    Colour vision and near vision are also tested (I'm mildly myopic so my near sight is excellent and my colour sight has never been an issue).

    We also go through hearing tests, blood pressure and heart rate tests and drug and alcohol screening aswell. Additionally we have a medical history taken and we get any long term or regular medications we take noted and then those have to be checked to see if they are safe. (If, at anytime during our careers we have to be put on a medication we have to declare it to ensure we can still safely work – if not we are put 'OTR' and cannot work in a safety critical capacity).

    Similar to airlines, the younger you are the less frequent your medicals but they do get more and more frequent.

  17. If you know about the army, you would know they would ban you from flying crew since your have not very bad eye sight.

  18. Dear captain Joe
    I was wondering if there is any requirements or concerns for dental health!
    I have two of my teeth filled…

  19. I wanted to become an airforce pilot while in school but those hopes were dashed when my eyes started going bad. Airforce medical is obviously different and basically requires perfect vision for entry into the program.

  20. Cargolux
    Qatar airways cargo
    I want to be a pilot I am 9 years old .I want to be a Airbus a 380 pilot for Emirates

  21. Hey Cap. Joe, do private pilot can work with airliner? Because I really want to be a pilot world.. I hope u can answer the question

  22. Sir I have eye only some letters I ca n't see from far if we use glasses in piolet I want become your big fan give me reply sir I need to be piolet it's my dreem sir

  23. are the main problem with the wrong paper work or with the pilot why do pilots sometomes lands in the wrong country what is the main problem for this

  24. i currently 14 years old, and i am wearing glasses.. My dream has always want to becoming a pilot so i could travel the world.. But im scared because my mom keep telling me that pilot canr wear glasses or have a bad eyesight.

  25. Right eye -6.75 and left eye -2.50
    Please tell me if I can become an airline pilot! You will help me to succedd with my dream! Please!

  26. So, if I have -2.75 diopter for my right eye astigmatism… does that mean I cannot be a pilot?
    If that's the case I'm gonna kill myself.

  27. Thanks Captain for this video . Just a quick question. I am 43 years old medical doctor practising Superspeciality medicine . I am very much impressed with your videos . Can I become pilot now ? Or is there any age limit ?

  28. -6 myopia is the maximum at each eye or both eyes? I have -3.75 at the right eye and – 4.00 at the left, so in total is almost 8, would I pass the exam or not?

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