5 Professions Where Excellent Eyesight is a Must

Article contributed by Felicity George

Every job requires a different set of qualifications from its applicants. While all professions look for specific skills, work experience, professional certifications and educational credentials, some require applicants to meet certain health conditions on top of all these. In this article, we will zoom in on some occupations that demand nearly perfect eyesight.

Commercial Pilots

Pilots in cockpit

Pilots have control over the lives of hundreds of people on a regular basis. This is the reason why there are strict vision standards for this career, although Ms Career Girl pointed out that the standard differs from country to country. Good eyesight is extremely important for pilots as it helps them read the panel instruments and calculate distances. Color vision is also important for aspiring pilots as not all indicators in the cockpit are colorblind-accessible. To fly a commercial passenger airline, the Federal Aviation Administration requires pilots to take a comprehensive vision test administered by an Aviation Medical Examiner.

Law Enforcement Officers

NYPD Car

According to the New York Police’s Police Officer Candidate Resource Booklet, candidates should have a corrected vision of 20/30 or better, and an uncorrected vision of at least 20/100 with each eye tested separately. These requirements, coupled with other equally strict ones, can prevent many from applying as a police officer, which can further aggravate the existing shortage across the USA. As the shortage continues to hit various towns, the good news is that statistics posted on Maryville University show that jobs in the protective services industry will grow by more than 158,000 by 2026. One reason for this growth is that applicants are now allowed to bring glasses and contact lenses during the medical examination. Color vision will also be evaluated, although the use of color deficiency corrective devices will not be permitted. Such vision requirements exist because of the snap decisions police officers have to make in difficult circumstances. The wrong choice made due to poor vision could have life threatening consequences.

Person next to airplane

While The Balance notes that there is no upfront vision requirements for navigators or navy flight officers, their vision must be correctable to 20/20, and the refraction must be less than or equal to plus or minus 8.00 sphere in any meridian, and less than or equal to minus 3.00 cylinder. Normal color vision and normal depth perception is also required. Good vision is critical for navy flight officers as it helps them avoid other traffic and runaway hazards, as well as read instruments and charts during combat conditions.

Athletes

Man playing golf

Good eyesight is extremely important for people in sports. This is because even the slightest amount of astigmatism can make a huge difference. Very Well Health noted that for athletes to improve their overall ability in any kind of sport, they have to rely on several various skills, which include dynamic visual acuity, visual concentration, eye tracking, visual reaction time, depth perception, eye-hand-body coordination, and many more. For instance, aside from excellent body mechanics and a good swing, golfers need good vision to see the position of the ball, its flight, and the hole. Contact lenses are often the favored option for enhancing vision in this field as they stay intact even after rigorous activity.

Firefighters

Firefighters

As firefighters work in dangerous environments filled with smoke, heat, water, and darkness, good eyesight is crucial for rescuing people. Vision requirements for firefighters include a minimum uncorrected vision of 6/18 in the better eye and 6/24 in the worse eye. On top of that, firefighters must not have a history of night blindness (or any ocular disease that is likely to progress), and normal binocular field of vision.

Improving One’s Eyesight

Glasses next to computer

Fortunately, good eyesight can be achieved with corrective eyewear coupled with a proper diet. As highlighted in our post ‘How to Improve Eyesight Naturally’, foods rich in beta-carotene, zeaxanthin and lutein can help improve eyesight and protect the eyes. Web MD also suggests wearing sunglasses that can help protect the eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays, since too much exposure increases the chances of cataracts and macular degeneration.

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