Is Smile Pro Eye Surgery Allowed In NDA?

Aspiring candidates of the National Defense Academy (NDA) often wonder about the permissibility of eye surgeries like Smile Pro in their medical standards. The NDA lays down stringent physical fitness criteria, including vision requirements, which candidates must meet to be considered eligible for service. This article aims to provide a comprehensive overview of whether Smile Pro eye surgery is indeed permissible in the NDA, encompassing the latest guidelines and regulations.

Smile Pro, also known as Small Incision Lenticule Extraction (SMILE), is a modern laser eye surgery that corrects near-sightedness and astigmatism. The procedure involves creating a small disc-shaped piece of tissue within the cornea using high-precision femtosecond laser technology. This technique has been gaining widespread popularity in recent times due to its minimally invasive and pain-free nature, with a quick recovery time.


Vision Requirements for NDA Candidates

As per the latest guidelines, the existing vision standards for NDA applicants for the different branches are as follows:

For the Indian Army, the distant vision (corrected) should be 6/6 in the better eye and 6/9 in the worse eye. Myopia should not be more than 2.5 D, while Hypermetropia should not exceed 3.5 D, including Astigmatism. Binocular vision should be Grade III. Furthermore, the color vision should be CPI, implying the capacity to recognize red and green colors.

For the Indian Navy, the distant vision (uncorrected) should be 6/6 in one eye and 6/9 in the other eye, while the distant vision (corrected) should be 6/6 in both eyes. Myopia should not exceed 0.75 D, and Hypermetropia should not be more than 1.5 D. The required Binocular vision is Grade III, and the color vision is expected to be CP I, which means the ability to recognize all colors.

For the Indian Air Force, the distant vision (corrected) should be 6/6 in both eyes. Myopia should not exceed 0.75 D. Hypermetropia should not be more than 1.5 D. The Binocular vision required is Grade I. The color vision should be CP I, that is, the ability to recognize all colors.


Specific visual acuity criteria:

Distant vision:
This refers to the ability to see objects clearly at a distance of 6 meters. An individual’s ability to perceive an object clearly from a substantial distance is a crucial metric for determining their visual acuity.

Commonly referred to as nearsightedness, this condition makes distant objects appear blurred while objects close to the viewer are seen clearly. It usually occurs when the eye grows too long from front to back.

Also known as farsightedness, this condition is characterized by difficulty focusing on nearby objects while distant objects can be seen clearly. It typically occurs when the eye is too short.

This is a condition where the cornea or lens of the eye is not perfectly round, resulting in blurred vision at all distances. This irregularity distorts and blurs the light coming into the eyes.

Binocular vision:
This is the ability of both eyes to work together to focus on a single object. This coordination allows for depth perception and a wider field of view.

Color vision:
This pertains to an individual’s capability to see and distinguish different colors. Deficiency in color vision can hinder the ability to perform certain tasks, particularly those that require differentiation of colors.


Smile Pro Surgery and NDA: The Current Stance

As of the current guidelines, the National Defence Academy (NDA) of India has yet to approve Smile Pro Surgery for its candidates officially. Despite the rapid advancements in ophthalmological procedures and the increasing global acceptance of Smile Pro Surgery, the NDA still needs to update its vision standards to include this laser surgery.

Candidates seeking to undergo Smile Pro Surgery or any other similar procedures should thoroughly consider this factor. Failure to meet the stringent vision criteria set by the NDA could lead to disqualification, regardless of the overall candidacy. It is highly recommended that aspirants stay updated with the latest NDA guidelines concerning medical fitness and vision requirements.
The Stance of NDA on Smile Pro Surgery: Under Review

Currently, the National Defence Academy (NDA) has yet to approve Smile Pro Surgery for its candidates despite the procedure’s ever-growing popularity and acceptance in the medical world. There are several reasons why the NDA is hesitant to approve this relatively new refractive surgery:


Limited long-term data:
Smile Pro Surgery is a recent advancement, in existence for less than a decade. Given its novelty, long-term data on its safety and efficacy still need to be increased. The NDA, prioritizing the wellbeing of its cadets, wishes to ensure the procedure’s safety before giving it the green light.


Potential risks:
Despite being minimally invasive, Smile Pro Surgery carries potential risks like corneal scarring, infection, and dry eyes. The NDA intends to minimize any risks to its cadets, hence its cautious approach towards endorsing Smile Pro Surgery.


Need for further research:
The NDA is looking for more comprehensive research on Smile Pro Surgery before approving it. Such research could encompass long-term safety and efficacy studies, along with in-depth evaluations of the procedure’s performance in military settings.

The NDA is committed to providing its cadets with top-tier healthcare and takes a careful approach while adopting new medical procedures. The academy will likely sanction Smile Pro Surgery once it is thoroughly convinced of the procedure’s safety and effectiveness for its cadets.


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