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United States Department of TransportationUnited States Department of Transportation

Guide for Aviation Medical Examiners

Application Process for Medical Certification

Applicant History: Item 17.b. Do You Ever Use Near Vision Contact Lens(es) While Flying?

The applicant should indicate whether near vision contact lens(es) is/are used while flying. If the applicant answers yes, the Examiner must counsel the applicant that use of contact lens(es) for monovision correction is not allowed. The Examiner must note in Item 60 that this counseling has been given. Examples of unacceptable use include:

  • The use of a contact lens in one eye for near vision and in the other eye for distant vision (for example: pilots with myopia plus presbyopia).
  • The use of a contact lens in one eye for near vision and the use of no contact lens in the other eye (for example: pilots with presbyopia but no myopia)

If the applicant checks yes and no further comment is noted on FAA Form 8500-8 by either the applicant or the Examiner, a letter will automatically be sent to the applicant informing him or her that such use is/are inappropriate for flying.

Please note: the use of binocular contact lenses for distance-correction-only is acceptable. In this instance, no special evaluation or SODA is routinely required for a distance-vision-only contact lens wearer who meets the standard and has no complications. Binocular bifocal or binocular multifocal contact lenses are also acceptable under the Protocol for Binocular Multifocal and Accommodating Devices. If the applicant checks yes in 17b but actually is using binocular bifocal or binocular multifocal contact lenses then the Examiner should note this in Item 60.

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