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Are those with visual disabilities being recruited into the army?
Are those with visual disabilities being recruited into the army?

Before each call to the army, young people of draft age have a question about their suitability for military service. Currently, the percentage of young people suffering from various visual impairments has increased.

Nearsightedness or myopia is very common already in school. But no less frequent deviation from the norm is such a pathology of eye refraction as astigmatism. Whether young men are recruited into the army with astigmatism depends on the degree of eye damage.

Astigmatism of the eyes

Astigmatism is a change in the refractive power of the eye. This defect is seen in many people. This type of aberration is characterized by a violation of the spherical curvature of the cornea or lens.

With such an anomaly, the radius of the corneal sphere is minimal and uneven. In this regard, the refraction of light in different parts of the cornea is not the same. The projected image is blurry or partially distorted. The rectilinear contours of objects are seen to be curved.

Early diagnosis will prevent the disease from progressing, prevent the deterioration of vision and the appearance of strabismus. Whether young people with such a pathology are taken into the army - the medical board of the military registration and enlistment office decides.

Causes of astigmatism

The reason for the change in the refractive power of the eye is often a hereditary predisposition. Acquired aberration can be provoked by various eye injuries, head bruises, surgical intervention in the organs of vision, corneal opacity, viral diseases, and subluxation of the lens.

Diagnosis of astigmatism

The first manifestations of the disease can be recognized by the following symptoms:

  • noticeable deterioration in vision;
  • tired eyes;
  • blurring and curvature of visible objects;
  • lacrimation;
  • burning in the eyes;
  • redness of the whites of the eyes;
  • split image;
  • headache.

If these signs appear, you should consult a doctor.

The ophthalmologist examines the eyes in several steps:

  • Eye examination using a table;
  • Biomicroscopy (detailed examination of eye structures using a slit lamp);
  • Fundus examination;
  • Ultrasound of the eye;
  • Ophthalmometry (measurement of the anterior curvature of the cornea using a hand-held keratometer);
  • Autorefractometry (determination of refractive errors of the eye);
  • Measurement of intraocular pressure.

Based on the study, a diagnosis is made with the determination of the degree of aberration.

Often, astigmatism is combined with other refractive power disorders. The combination with myopia is called myopic astigmatism, in combination with farsightedness - hyperopic astigmatism. With complex aberration, a young man is not taken into the army. Unsuitability is determined by the medical board at the military registration and enlistment office.

In ophthalmology, the following degrees of defect are distinguished:

  • Weak (up to 3 diopters);
  • Medium (from 3.25 to 6 diopters);
  • High (above 6.25 diopters)

Deviations of up to 3 diopters are the most common degree of refractive error in the eye. If diagnosed early, it can be easily corrected with glasses with astigmatic lenses or contact lenses.

With an average degree of refractive error, the defect is difficult to correct with glasses and lenses.

It is corrected with surgery or laser corneal correction.

Astigmatism above 6 diopters is a serious refractive power deviation disorder requiring correction by a combination of laser and surgical correction. Such an operation can be performed provided that there are no other eye pathologies. With this degree of astigmatism, young men are considered unfit for military service.

The most effective method for correcting the pathology of refraction of the eye is to change the radius of curvature of the cornea using a laser beam. The essence of the method consists in cutting off a microscopic flap of corneal tissue with a special device - a microkeratome. The laser beam spheres the surface of the cornea. The separated tissue is then returned to its place and fixed with collagen. Due to this correction, light beams are focused on the retina of the eye. The laser beam has no harmful effect on other organs of vision. This method is painless and quickly regains lost vision.

Methods for determining anomalies of refraction of the eye in the medical commissions of military enlistment offices

The degree of fitness for military service is determined by the stage of refractive error in the eyes.

According to the law, there is a Schedule of Illnesses in which young men of military age are not taken into the army or are considered fit with a restriction.

Clause 7 of this document defines diseases of the eye and its auxiliary organs, which hinder service in the army. Examination of conscripts with eye refraction pathology is carried out by an ophthalmologist using refractometry or skiascopy methods.

Refractometry is a popular method for determining the refractive power of the eye using a refractometer instrument. To obtain accurate research results, drops that dilate the pupil ("Atropine", "Cyclopentolate", "Tropicamide", etc.) should be instilled within 2-3 days.

The essence of the method is as follows. The patient sits down in front of the apparatus and fixes his head on a special support. The target of the device is set in the center of the dilated pupil. It is necessary, without blinking, to look at the picture located in the window of the device. The image changes its clarity several times. So examine both eyes alternately.

After the examination, the ophthalmologist receives a result with the following data:

  • SPH is a digital indicator of refraction of the eye with a plus or minus sign, i.e. the eye is farsighted or short-sighted;
  • SPH is the "sphere" parameter. Indicator of the required lens to correct the anomaly;
  • CYL - parameter "cylinder". Indicator of the presence of aberration;
  • AX - the angle at which it is necessary to expose the lens in case of astigmatism;
  • PD is the distance between the pupils.

After analyzing the data, the doctor will write a prescription for corrective glasses or lenses. Skiascopy is an examination of the eye using a special device called a skiascope, which is a double-sided mirror with a handle.

Before the procedure, the patient is instilled with mydriatic ("Atropine", "Tropicamide" or "Cyclodol"). After complete paralysis of accommodation, the patient is brought into a darkened room, seated on a chair. The light source is placed at eye level. The ophthalmologist directs a light beam reflected from the skiascope into the patient's eye. When the angle of incidence of the beam is changed, shadows appear on the fundus. By their movement, the doctor determines the degree of deflection of the refraction of the eye. For an accurate diagnosis, a skiascopic ruler is used, which is a set of positive and negative lenses.

After a complete examination of both eyes and the detection of anomalies of refraction of the eyes, the ophthalmologist sends the conscript to an expanded commission, where the question of suitability for serving in the army will be decided.

With what deviations of refraction the eyes are not taken into the army?

Young people of military age who have certain refractive errors should know under what deviations military service is prohibited.

According to article 34 of the Schedule of Illness, a conscript is considered:

  • unfit (category D) to serve in the Armed Forces with a diagnosis of "astigmatism of any kind with a difference in clinical refraction in 2 main meridians of more than 6.0 diopters";
  • partially fit for military service (category B) with astigmatism of any kind in any eye with a difference in refraction in 2 main meridians from 2.0 to 4.0 diopters;
  • suitable with limitations (category B-3) with astigmatism of any kind with a refractive difference from 2.0 to 4.0 diopters.

The decision on the suitability of a young man of draft age for military service is taken by an ophthalmologist who is a member of the military registration and enlistment office. The correctness of the conclusion of the primary commission is confirmed by the higher commission.

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