Yes, you can! With proper vision correction most eyeglass wearers can be a pilot with no issues. This question is asked a lot by people dreaming of taking to the skies at some point, whether as a commercial airline pilot, member of the military, or simply as a hobbyist. The short answer to the question “can you be a pilot with glasses?” is that properly prescribed vision correction will allow most people with vision problems to fly just as effectively as someone with perfect vision. Now that you’ve heard the good news, why not take a look at our aviator style prescription eyeglasses, a perfect frame shape for a potential pilot.
There are a few subtleties involving what type of vehicle you intend to fly or what branch of the military you are interested in, so let’s hash out the details.
What will the medical examiner be checking?
The main goal of a commercial pilot medical examiner will be to ensure that your vision is 20/20. This number means that you can read the same letters on an optician’s chart from 20 feet away that someone with ‘normal’ vision could read. The higher the second number of this reading, the worse your vision is. For example 20/80 vision means that you can read from 20 feet what someone with normal vision can read at 80 feet.
Experts have decided that this standard represents ‘good’ vision.
If your vision, with or without vision correction, is found to be 20/20, then you have taken the first step in realizing your aviation dreams!
Is good depth perception important for being a pilot?
If you want to be a pilot, good depth perception is extremely important.
Depth perception refers to your ability to accurately judge an object’s distance from you. It goes without saying that correctly judging your distance from things is important when you are moving at 570mph! This is an important ability that your medical examiner will surely measure.
Are the requirements for being a military pilot different?
The requirements to fly in the military are generally stricter than for a commercial airline pilot. The exact needs depend on which branch of the military you are looking at. For example, the Air Force will be looking for different things compared to the Navy.
The upper limit for uncorrected vision needed to be an Air Force pilot is 20/70. This means that even if your vision is 20/20 while wearing eyeglasses, your vision without can’t be higher than 20/70.
They also have limits for allowable prescription strength. The refractive error of your vision can’t be higher than +8.00 diopters or lower than -8.00.
Finally, both commercial and military pilots need to have normal color vision.
Can you be a pilot with glasses? Yes, but the rules for being a military pilot are more stringent than what’s needed to be a commercial one, and there are a few aspects of vision that need to be at normal levels, such as color and depth perception.
Still dreaming of taking flight while rocking some classy eyeglasses? Take a look at our collection of aviator eyeglasses and soar with style. Look the part!