Can you wear glasses and be a pilot?

Can I be a Pilot if I Wear Glasses?

Eyesight Requirements for Pilots

Can you wear glasses and be a pilot?

Yes, you can wear glasses and be both an airline pilot and military pilot, you don’t need to have perfect vision. There are many pilots who fly commercial jets and wear corrective lenses, it’s not usually a big deal. However you are required to have a certain minimum standard of vision which is assessed at your initial pilot medical examination and this continues throughout your career.

The minimum eyesight standards vary from country to country so if in any doubt, you should contact an Authorised Medical Examiner (AME) in the country that you anticipate completing your flight training in.

The United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority state the following:

An applicant may be assessed as fit with hypermetropia not exceeding +5.0 dioptres, myopia not exceeding -6.0 dioptres, astigmatism not exceeding 2.0 dioptres, and anisometropia not exceeding 2.0 dioptres, provided that optimal correction has been considered and no significant pathology is demonstrated. Monocular visual acuities should be 6/6 or better.

‘Distant visual acuity, with or without correction, shall be 6/9 or better monocularly, and 6/6 or better binocularly.

Initial applicants who do not meet these requirements in should be referred to the licensing authority. A fit assessment may be considered following review by an ophthalmologist.

You will require a comprehensive ophthalmological examination on your initial assessment then every 5 years up to your 40th Birthday and then every 2 years.’

Reference: UK CAA Eye examination form MED.B.070.

Requirements for Pilots Who Wear Glasses

There are usually some specific requirements for pilots who need to wear glasses. It will be noted on a pilots medical certificate that they require glasses for their medical to be valid. This also tends to imply the following:

  • Pilots are required to carry a spare pare of spectacles in their flight bag
  • Pilots are not allowed to wear polarised glasses
  • Bifocal contact lenses are not approved

To find about more about the colour vision requirements for pilots, have a look at our “Can I be colour blind and be a commercial pilot” page?