Medical Night Vision Test

Hi Guys,

As i've said in my other post. I've just passed the AIB for aircrew.

however, because i was on some medication a couple of months ago, I have to go for a specialist test, that tests my night vision. This is due to the medication i was on sometimes affecting peoples night vision.

I was wandering if anyone has heard of this test before or even had it and know what it entails and what i should expect?




War Hero
Welcome to RR ChewyX2

Have to say that's a new one on me. All I can suggest is you speak to the medical officer at your local AFCO to enquire what the test entails.

Beware well intentioned anecdotal responses from elsewhere, unless it is a qualified medical officer, as this sounds fairly specific to the treatment you have previously received.

(Wondering if atropine was involved)


War Hero
Have you had your aircrew medical yet chewy squared?

I seem to remember my aircrew medical (many many years ago) included a night vision test as part of the very extensive eye test anyway, lots of flashing led lights changing colour and brightness etc. Nothing too tense but as Ninja says speak to your AFCO medical officer things may have moved on.
Sounds like you might be suffering from Night blindness, or nyctalopia

As it was (prescription) drug induced and hopefully temporary, I wouldn't worry too much, if you want to know the exact makeup of the test then I would suggest calling the optician you have the appointment with, I'm sure they will tell you.

If you are just after some casual reading this guy has it pretty much covered, types of nyctalopia and tests for...

Well intentioned and medically useless post. :thanks:


Lantern Swinger
Could it be the 'Lantern test' where you sit opposite a box with 2 lights that change red, white, blue, green combinations and intensities too.?

Best speak to your med officer and enquire, then off to Wikipedia/google to check out what it entails!
thanks for the welcome and all the good comments.

he medication i was on was roaccutane for treatment of acne. i managed to find one of the warning slips from the packet and it said "very rare side effects" include "deteriation of night vision" the odds given were every 1 in 10,000.

I got my letter saying i was successful at the AIB through on Saturday. So i'm going to try ringing the number on it and see if they can give me any more info. I'm also going to try my AFCO liasion.

So, basically you have more chance of being eaten by a shark than of some night vision defecit, but of course the Docs have to have it ruled out for them to pass you fit. Sounds like you'll be just fine, so let us know how it all goes.
cheers ships cat,

Apparently its a Wing Commander Scott (Raf) that's in charge of it in B'ham and he's yet to fail anyone for it. But I'm gonna be nervous till then, I wanna be selected because i got told i had a good score, but Im guessing I wont be considered until declared fit!

I thought i'd finish this topic off for the reference of future candidates.

I've just been declared medically fit today after having two appointments in Birmingham over the last week.

The reason I got referred for these appointments is because i took Roaccutane a couple of years ago for the treatment of acne. Roaccutane is a strong drug that can affect 1 in 10,000 peoples night vision therefore the navy check for it. If you have been affected you cannot enter as observer, pilot, or warfare officer. I believe the drug itself toxicates the rods and cones in the eye which causes deteriation of night vision.

The first tet i went for on Friday was at the city of Birmingham hospital. I had two tests, one was where i sat with my head in a globe, they shone a bright light into my eyes for 2 mins then put the room into darkness, they then put pulsing lights through the globe and times how long it took my eyes to adjust to the pulsing lights (till i could see them), making the lights go dimmer and dimmer as i did adjust. This lasted around 25 mins.

They then attached some sensors to my head which detected activity in my rods and cones. They shone a bright light into my eye, and then strobed it. I think this was an ERG.

These were the only 2 tests i had. I then attended Colonel Jack's Eye Clinic and Selly Oak defence hospital, again in B'ham, where he basically had one look at my eyes, looked at my results an decided it was all ok.

And with that I was declared medically fit. My AIB was in Sept and I've had to wait till Jan. So if anyone else has the same experience, thats what your in for. Hope it helps.



War Hero
Many thanks for the info Chewy X2- good to see you passed OK.

I'll put a copy of your post on the Medical Sticky in the Newbies forum for the benefit of those that follow.
cheers ninja. I couldn't find a thing on it before i went, so i hope it'll help some people in the future!

Next stop is Dartmouth, 28th April - Observer.

Can't wait!!!
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