April 2013 #2



Numerous eye or vision ailments may preclude the mariner from service or require a waiver from the Coast Guard.

An abbreviated list is as follows:

  • Diabetic or hypersensitive retinopathy
  • Diplopia (double vision)
  • Ptergium occluding 50% of cornea and affecting central vision
  • Refractive surgery within 6 months
  • Corneal ulcers or dystrophy
  • Retinal degeneration or detachment
  • Retinitis Pigmentosa (night blindness and loss of peripheral vision)
  • Glaucoma (high fluid pressure)
  • Macular degeneration (Degeneration of retina)
  • Optic Atrophy or neuritis
  • Nystagmus
  • Monocular vision
  • Any other acute or chronic pathological condition of either eye that interferes with proper function of the eye

There are several more disorders that the NVIC 04-08 lists. Most all of these problems can be overcome with proper opthalmic treatment, proper testing and reporting to overcome the "Further Review by the Coast Guard" requirement.


I lost the site in one of my eyes last year due to a medical condition. My other eye is normal. Am I correct that monocular vision precludes me from sailing again?
Warren, Galveston

Warren, not necessarily! There are exceptions to the loss of sight in one eye even though it is generally not waiverable. Be sure the vision in your good eye is at maximum correctable
condition before applying for a waiver!

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