jumpseatflyer
Posts: 155
Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2005 12:13 pm

Heterophoria & A Second Class Medical...

Tue Jan 31, 2006 2:19 am

I went for a medical this morning and was informed I had heterophoria, which is a condition that causes the eyes to unconsciously deviate from a given point after stimuli have gone. It apparantly increases risk of double vision when tired or when hypoxia occurs.

The doctor said he would have to check with the flight surgeon about it and if need be, I would have to apply for a waiver. However, his tone was not promising whatsoever.

Anyone have experience with this? What are my chances?

PS yes I have experience double vision before, but I find it easy to snap out of (it's harder to keep the condition than to snap out of it). A few family members I have spoken with say they have never experienced it. Any experience with this, or am I really an oddball?

Thanks
-Paul, grounded by the FAA
 
malaysia
Posts: 2615
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 1999 3:26 am

RE: Heterophoria & A Second Class Medical...

Tue Jan 31, 2006 2:34 am

Many small things can make people fail medicals, your not alone, I for example do need a waiver and honestly many of the flight surgeons have been too reluctant to give me a waiver, they dont want to be disciplined by the FAA if I caused some problem when flying.
There Are Those Who Believe That There May Yet Be Other Airlines Who Even Now Fight To Survive Beyond The Heavens
 
Type-Rated
Posts: 3901
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 1999 5:18 am

RE: Heterophoria & A Second Class Medical...

Tue Jan 31, 2006 2:47 am

As for one who has dealt with the FAA & medical waivers, I can tell you that the FAA handles each case on an individual basis
First of all, do you have a third class (or higher) medical at this time? If so, what did the flight surgeon say about this condition at the time the physical was performed?
You could ask your doctor if there is any way to strengthen the eye muscles, or is there any treatment available for this that could improve the condition? If there is, I would go through that first and then take the medical physical and see what happens.
I believe in order to get a waiver, you have to have a flight surgeon formally decline issuing a medical certificate. At that time, the Flight Surgeon will explain your condition to you and what parameters the FAA will accept or not accept for a medical certificate. Then the waiver process starts. I have found that it can take anywhere from 3 to 6 months to complete. What this usually entails is documentation from your doctor about your condition and the history of it. Has it caused problems in the past? What is the liklehood of it interferring with your performance in the future are the key things that the FAA will look at.
Fly North Central Airlines..The route of the Northliners!
 
DLPMMM
Posts: 2118
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2005 12:34 am

RE: Heterophoria & A Second Class Medical...

Tue Jan 31, 2006 3:11 am

It can't be that difficult to get a medical waiver for a private pilot's license. A friend of mine got one, and he has a glass eye!! (No Kidding!!, and I have seen his glass eye, his plane, and his license!)
 
Type-Rated
Posts: 3901
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 1999 5:18 am

RE: Heterophoria & A Second Class Medical...

Tue Jan 31, 2006 5:09 am

Quoting DLPMMM (Reply 3):
and I have seen his glass eye, his plane, and his license!)

But remember the license is no good unless you have a medical certificate to accompany it!

As far as medical waivers go, there are literaly hundreds of reasons why a waiver would be needed. When I first learned how to fly, my first instructor said you could almost be dead and get a third class. Well, over the years the FAA has tightened things up a bit and they have strict standards. My BP was 5 points over the limit and I came back for a retest and it was 9 points over the limit. Time to get a waiver. Fortunately, the BP medication I was prescribed was an FAA approved one and the waiver was granted.

Just remember that the FAA in OKC handles these things on a case by case basis.
Fly North Central Airlines..The route of the Northliners!
 
DLPMMM
Posts: 2118
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2005 12:34 am

RE: Heterophoria & A Second Class Medical...

Tue Jan 31, 2006 5:26 am

Quoting Type-Rated (Reply 4):
But remember the license is no good unless you have a medical certificate to accompany it!

He does have a Medical Cert as well.
 
jumpseatflyer
Posts: 155
Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2005 12:13 pm

RE: Heterophoria & A Second Class Medical...

Tue Jan 31, 2006 2:07 pm

Quoting Type-Rated (Reply 4):
My BP was 5 points over the limit and I came back for a retest and it was 9 points over the limit. Time to get a waiver. Fortunately, the BP medication I was prescribed was an FAA approved one and the waiver was granted.

Mine is 9 points over as well. I'm under the impression that it is not a problem with 3rd class, but 2nd and 1st.

What sort of meds? How long did it take to get the waiver? Can surgery/glasses fix it?

Thanks for the replies.
 
georgiaame
Posts: 949
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2005 7:55 am

RE: Heterophoria & A Second Class Medical...

Wed Feb 01, 2006 5:38 am

For a Class II medical, you are allowed a maximum of 6 diopters of either eso or exophoria deviation. Those are side to side deviations. You are only allowed 1 diopter of deviation for Hyperphoria, or vertical. That is an awful lot! There is no standard for Class III. If those degrees are exceeded, FAA will require a waiver if you are allowed to fly. Again, 6D make me wonder how you can walk straight, much less fly at lower oxygen pressures.

As for blood pressure, it's 155/95 max on no meds. 156/96 and you are grounded. Just about all the meds commonly used to control blood pressure are permitted, but must be reported fully to the FAA, including dosage, frequency, duration of treatment, family history, and serum electrolytes. The standards were put in place a few years ago, not to keep airmen out of the sky, but rather to get them in the sky and ON meds to keep them alive. Hope this helps.
"Trust, but verify!" An old Russian proverb, quoted often by a modern American hero

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