Eyesight

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Difflam

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I am not a train driver but would like to become one in the future.

I have a cataract in my left eye which has been there since the day I was born. I meet the Railway Group Standard for train driver fitness (GO/RT3451) for uncorrected vision i.e. at least 3/60 in either eye but I don't meet the requirement for corrected vision. The visual acuity of my right eye is 6/6 with glasses but my left eye can only achieve 6/15 corrected (the same as it achieves uncorrected), whereas the standard requires at least 6/12 in the worse eye and at least 6/9 in the better eye. A lens replacement operation to remove the cataract would hopefully allow me to achieve 6/6 in the left eye too but is this permitted for train drivers? The group standard only requires that there is "no pathological condition likely to cause visual impairment" present.

Can anyone help with this please?
 
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theironroad

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Probably the only person who can answer your question is a dr certified under the new euro train driver licence regs, as clearly you've done yoiur homework so far in terms of group standards etc.

I know LASIK eye surgery use to be an issue ( may still be, I'm not sure), but not sure on other types of surgery.

Maybe worth getting a consultation with a etdlr doc for a definite answer.

Good luck.
 

Sgiot

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Hi,
I had a medical on Friday under the new 2007/59/EU directive that has been implemented from 01/01/16. The minimum aided / unaided standards that you specified in your post no longer apply. Instead you will be tested to a 20/20 standard unaided . If you pass, great. If not you will then be tested again with glasses on again to 20/20 standard. Obviously you need to pass this. There is no threshold required for unaided vision. I wasn't asked any questions about my eye health by either the nurse or the Dr at any time. If you google 2007/59/EU and scroll down to medical-vision you'll be able to confirm all the above and put your mind at rest.

Bottom line is.......good vision, glasses or no glasses, pass ! :)

Hope this helps.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Sorry, just saw that you have a weaker eye. My eyes weren't tested individually so you might be ok if together you are able to see to 6/6 standard. From what can tell, having the cataract removed would be no obstacle to passing a future medical.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
By the way, my wife had a lens replacement 5 yrs ago at Moorfields and she hasn't looked back ( excuse the pun )
 

A-driver

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Hi,
I had a medical on Friday under the new 2007/59/EU directive that has been implemented from 01/01/16. The minimum aided / unaided standards that you specified in your post no longer apply. Instead you will be tested to a 20/20 standard unaided . If you pass, great. If not you will then be tested again with glasses on again to 20/20 standard. Obviously you need to pass this. There is no threshold required for unaided vision. I wasn't asked any questions about my eye health by either the nurse or the Dr at any time. If you google 2007/59/EU and scroll down to medical-vision you'll be able to confirm all the above and put your mind at rest.

Bottom line is.......good vision, glasses or no glasses, pass ! :)

Hope this helps.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Sorry, just saw that you have a weaker eye. My eyes weren't tested individually so you might be ok if together you are able to see to 6/6 standard. From what can tell, having the cataract removed would be no obstacle to passing a future medical.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
By the way, my wife had a lens replacement 5 yrs ago at Moorfields and she hasn't looked back ( excuse the pun )


There certainly is a threshold for unaided vision. Although it's worded as a maximum strength for glasses. So you do need to meet an unaided standard. I'm not entirely sure what this means you need to be able to see unaided as I don't wear glasses but I believe you need a fair bit greater than 3/60 unaided under EU rules. The 3/60 unaided was a weaker threshold for UK licences.

Also, are you sure you were not tested individually as well as both eyes together? Pretty sure you should have been. And did the doctor not look in your eyes aswell? Pretty sure they did at my last check. Although not sure if this would detect a cataract.
 
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theironroad

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Having a quick scan through the text that sgiot referenced (the EU act) seems to say that lens replacement is allowed but an annual check is required.
 

Sgiot

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Hi,
I'll agree it's a little ambiguous in its wording. You're right it does says max prescription is -8 , however I can only relay my experience last week and at no time were my glasses examined for strength, nor was I asked my prescription. My eyes were tested by looking into what I can only describe as a contraption like an end of the pier "what the butler saw" box :) . You put your head down to the viewfinder and read various lines of ever smaller print, both eyes simultaneously. My eyes were neither looked into by nurse or Dr.
 

A-driver

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Hi,
I'll agree it's a little ambiguous in its wording. You're right it does says max prescription is -8 , however I can only relay my experience last week and at no time were my glasses examined for strength, nor was I asked my prescription. My eyes were tested by looking into what I can only describe as a contraption like an end of the pier "what the butler saw" box :) . You put your head down to the viewfinder and read various lines of ever smaller print, both eyes simultaneously. My eyes were neither looked into by nurse or Dr.


Fair enough. Different providers, different methods I suppose. They can check the strength of glasses by comparing your unaided vision standard to aided. Quite simply, as far as I understand it, the -8 means you can read a certain way down the chart without correction.
 

saracen

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It would appear you can still have 6/12, 20/40/ 0.5 (they're all the same interpretation of visual acuity)

DIRECTIVE 2007/59/EC OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL
of 23 October 2007
MEDICAL REQUIREMENTS

1. GENERAL REQUIREMENTS

1.1.
Drivers must not be suffering from any medical conditions or be taking any medication, drugs or substances which are likely to cause:
— a sudden loss of consciousness,
— a reduction in attention or concentration,
— sudden incapacity,
— a loss of balance or coordination,
— significant limitation of mobility.
1.2.
Vision
The following requirements as regards vision must be complied with:
aided or unaided distance visual acuity: 1,0; minimum of 0,5 for the worse eye,
— maximum corrective lenses: hypermetropia + 5/myopia -8. Derogations are authorised in exceptional cases and after having obtained the opinion of an eye specialist. The medical doctor then takes the decision,
— near and intermediate vision: sufficient, whether aided or unaided,
— contact lenses and glasses are authorised when periodically checked by a specialist,
— normal colour vision: use of a recognised test, such as Ishihara, as well as another recognised test if required,
— field of vision: full,
▼M1
— vision for both eyes: effective,
▼B
— binocular vision: effective,
— recognition of colour signals: the test shall be based on recognition of single colours and not on relative differences,
— sensitivity to contrasts: good,
— no progressive eye diseases,
lens implants, keratotomies and keratectomies are allowed only on condition that they are checked on a yearly basis or at intervals set by the medical doctor,
— ability to withstand dazzle,
— coloured contact lenses and photochromatic lenses are not allowed. UV filter lenses are allowed.
1.3.
Hearing and speaking requirements
Sufficient hearing confirmed by an audiogram, i.e.:
— hearing good enough to hold a phone conversation and to be able to hear warning sounds and radio messages.
The following values should be taken as guidelines:
— the hearing deficiency must not be higher than 40 dB at 500 and 1 000 Hz,
— the hearing deficiency must not be higher than 45 dB at 2 000 Hz for the ear with the worst air conduction of sound,
— no anomaly of the vestibular system,
— no chronic speech disorder (given the necessity to exchange messages loudly and clearly),
— the use of hearing aids is allowed in special cases.
 

Difflam

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This is really useful stuff, thanks. I didn't realise the TSI now applied. I'll need to read and digest it before discussing with my optician.
 

theageofthetra

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If I read this correctly does this mean you can use your own prescription sunglasses -as long as they are not those reactalight type?
 

A-driver

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It would appear you can still have 6/12, 20/40/ 0.5 (they're all the same interpretation of visual acuity)

DIRECTIVE 2007/59/EC OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL
of 23 October 2007
MEDICAL REQUIREMENTS

1. GENERAL REQUIREMENTS

1.1.
Drivers must not be suffering from any medical conditions or be taking any medication, drugs or substances which are likely to cause:
— a sudden loss of consciousness,
— a reduction in attention or concentration,
— sudden incapacity,
— a loss of balance or coordination,
— significant limitation of mobility.
1.2.
Vision
The following requirements as regards vision must be complied with:
— aided or unaided distance visual acuity: 1,0; minimum of 0,5 for the worse eye,
— maximum corrective lenses: hypermetropia + 5/myopia -8. Derogations are authorised in exceptional cases and after having obtained the opinion of an eye specialist. The medical doctor then takes the decision,
— near and intermediate vision: sufficient, whether aided or unaided,
— contact lenses and glasses are authorised when periodically checked by a specialist,
— normal colour vision: use of a recognised test, such as Ishihara, as well as another recognised test if required,
— field of vision: full,
▼M1
— vision for both eyes: effective,
▼B
— binocular vision: effective,
— recognition of colour signals: the test shall be based on recognition of single colours and not on relative differences,
— sensitivity to contrasts: good,
— no progressive eye diseases,
— lens implants, keratotomies and keratectomies are allowed only on condition that they are checked on a yearly basis or at intervals set by the medical doctor,
— ability to withstand dazzle,
— coloured contact lenses and photochromatic lenses are not allowed. UV filter lenses are allowed.
1.3.
Hearing and speaking requirements
Sufficient hearing confirmed by an audiogram, i.e.:
— hearing good enough to hold a phone conversation and to be able to hear warning sounds and radio messages.
The following values should be taken as guidelines:
— the hearing deficiency must not be higher than 40 dB at 500 and 1 000 Hz,
— the hearing deficiency must not be higher than 45 dB at 2 000 Hz for the ear with the worst air conduction of sound,
— no anomaly of the vestibular system,
— no chronic speech disorder (given the necessity to exchange messages loudly and clearly),
— the use of hearing aids is allowed in special cases.


Out of interest how does that all compare with the existing domestic standards? A few drivers have been worrying about these new standards for vision but both the company and Aslef seem to believe there is no real concern over the changes.
 

saracen

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Out of interest how does that all compare with the existing domestic standards? A few drivers have been worrying about these new standards for vision but both the company and Aslef seem to believe there is no real concern over the changes.

It looks remarkably similar and actually allows for laser surgery, contact lens implants and other surgery providing an annual check is performed. I guess TOC's and FOC's will use these guide lines as a standard and may in fact implement their own, more stringent medical standard. But in reality, who knows...this European Train Driver license lark is in its infancy.

As you say, it still seems to be a grey area both within the grade and the union.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I hasten to add that these European guidelines are approaching 9 years as a standard. They may have well changed or been updated but that was the most recent one I could find with a browse online.
 

aquabel

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Hi,
I'll agree it's a little ambiguous in its wording. You're right it does says max prescription is -8 , however I can only relay my experience last week and at no time were my glasses examined for strength, nor was I asked my prescription. My eyes were tested by looking into what I can only describe as a contraption like an end of the pier "what the butler saw" box :) . You put your head down to the viewfinder and read various lines of ever smaller print, both eyes simultaneously. My eyes were neither looked into by nurse or Dr.

Strange, because if you have one eye weaker then the other and causing you problem to read it correctly, you just can close the weaker eye and nobody can see it because you are closed in the box.
 

saracen

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Strange, because if you have one eye weaker then the other and causing you problem to read it correctly, you just can close the weaker eye and nobody can see it because you are closed in the box.


There are shutters that close so each eye can be tested individually
 

westbrom

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I recently had my medical/ eye test.
Never had an eye test so paid a visit to spec savers, was told had 20/20 vision but needed a slight prescription for distance.
I took glasses along with me and I reached the standard required without the glasses but also took the test with glasses on,the very bottom line which was a bit blurred then became crystal clear so it was recommended I put down as I wear glasses for driving and would need a spare set for the cab.
Each eye was tested seperately and then both together.
My advice would be get an eye test done yourself first and get glasses if recommended as would be a shame to get as far as the medical and then fail the eye test .
 

Vacuumfriends

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Had my medical on Tuesday. My sight test was the guy taking a tape measure and measuring 40 cm from my face, then showing me a square book with tiny lettering, then 80 cm and the same size tiny lettering covering left/right eye as the guy changed the lettering to stop me from being able to remember the letters from before.

I then had the usual 6 metre eye test. Guy pointed straight to second line from the bottom (on the 6 metre) so I guess that was close to what was required.

I was also told to take any glasses etc with me.
 
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aquabel

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Had my medical on Tuesday. My sight test was the guy taking a tape measure and measuring 40 cm from my face, then showing me a square book with tiny lettering, then 80 cm and the same size tiny lettering covering left/right eye as the guy changed the lettering to stop me from being able to remember the letters from before.

I then had the usual 6 metre eye test. Guy pointed straight to second line from the bottom (on the 6 metre) so I guess that was close to what was required.

I was also told to take any glasses etc with me.

Hi, thanks for useful informations. Do you remember how big was the letters durring the near vision test? Because in "old" UK law was N8 required, now the new EU law states just "Near and intermediate vision: sufficient" which is little abstract and indeterminate. N8 is newsprint, N6 is telephone book print...

And in the usual 6 metre test (distance vision) they did not cover your eye one by one and just tested in together and not separately?

BTW: Everybody who is interested to know current medical standart to drive a train check it here - http://www.rssb.co.uk/rgs/standards/GORT3451 Iss 4.pdf
 

Raul_Duke

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It would appear you can still have 6/12, 20/40/ 0.5 (they're all the same interpretation of visual acuity)

DIRECTIVE 2007/59/EC OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL
of 23 October 2007
MEDICAL REQUIREMENTS

1. GENERAL REQUIREMENTS

1.1.
Drivers must not be suffering from any medical conditions or be taking any medication, drugs or substances which are likely to cause:
— a sudden loss of consciousness,
— a reduction in attention or concentration,
— sudden incapacity,
— a loss of balance or coordination,
— significant limitation of mobility.
1.2.
Vision
The following requirements as regards vision must be complied with:
— aided or unaided distance visual acuity: 1,0; minimum of 0,5 for the worse eye,
— maximum corrective lenses: hypermetropia + 5/myopia -8. Derogations are authorised in exceptional cases and after having obtained the opinion of an eye specialist. The medical doctor then takes the decision,
— near and intermediate vision: sufficient, whether aided or unaided,
— contact lenses and glasses are authorised when periodically checked by a specialist,
— normal colour vision: use of a recognised test, such as Ishihara, as well as another recognised test if required,
— field of vision: full,
▼M1
— vision for both eyes: effective,
▼B
— binocular vision: effective,
— recognition of colour signals: the test shall be based on recognition of single colours and not on relative differences,
— sensitivity to contrasts: good,
— no progressive eye diseases,
— lens implants, keratotomies and keratectomies are allowed only on condition that they are checked on a yearly basis or at intervals set by the medical doctor,
— ability to withstand dazzle,
— coloured contact lenses and photochromatic lenses are not allowed. UV filter lenses are allowed.
1.3.
Hearing and speaking requirements
Sufficient hearing confirmed by an audiogram, i.e.:
— hearing good enough to hold a phone conversation and to be able to hear warning sounds and radio messages.
The following values should be taken as guidelines:
— the hearing deficiency must not be higher than 40 dB at 500 and 1 000 Hz,
— the hearing deficiency must not be higher than 45 dB at 2 000 Hz for the ear with the worst air conduction of sound,
— no anomaly of the vestibular system,
— no chronic speech disorder (given the necessity to exchange messages loudly and clearly),
— the use of hearing aids is allowed in special cases.

Interesting how it states that colour should be tested based on single colours not relative differences and then contradicts itself by saying that the Ishihara test should be used.
 

aquabel

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Interesting how it states that colour should be tested based on single colours not relative differences and then contradicts itself by saying that the Ishihara test should be used.

But in fact it make the sence. They want to be stricty.

Because for example at the Ishihara there can be red background and yellow "K8" in foreground, but you can be color-blind and see red background like green and yellow K8 in foreground like blue so you can say "There are K8", so your color sensitivity is fine, but you can be still color-blind.

But in single color, they just show you red paper and you must say that "This paper is red" if you say "This paper is blue" you will failed this test.

So the reason for this is: They want to test your color sensitivity and also avoid color-blindes.
 
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ComUtoR

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Interesting how it states that colour should be tested based on single colours not relative differences and then contradicts itself by saying that the Ishihara test should be used.

Your reading it wrong.

It's two separate tests and it does not state that the Ishihara test should be used. It states that a recognised test should be used.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Because for example at the Ishihara there can be red background and yellow "K8" in foreground, but you can be color-blind and see red background like green and yellow K8 in foreground like blue so you can say "There are K8", so your color sensitivity is fine, but you can be still color-blind.

Yes. Colour-blindness is not stricly limited to a single colour. Ishihara tests for the range of colour-blindness. You can get Red/Green or Blue/Yellow and there are others too but those are the main ones.

Kinda why we leave it to the professionals to determine medical fitness.
 

Raul_Duke

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My mistake I was reading it wrong.

Although I would say that Ishihara only tests for red / green deficiency but it is incredibly sensitive to that. (I am an optician)
 

ComUtoR

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Although I would say that Ishihara only tests for red / green deficiency

That would make sense in terms of why its used for Drivers. I'm unaware of the specifics of colour blindness and how rare each type is. When I took mine I was also told that only us males are tested as its rare to almost non existent in the fairer sex. Now that more and more ladies are joining the club I would hope they test them too. The test takes minutes.
 

Raul_Duke

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I think it's something like 0.04% of women and 1% of men, but don't quote me on that.

The lantern test is possibly fairer for drivers as it's an occupational one.

Ishihara is as I said, very sensitive.

You could theoretically have a colour deficiency that was so slight the only time it showed up was on an Ishihara test and you'd still fail it. But day to day your colour perception would be as "normal" as the next persons.

And don't forget it's designed to be accurate in daylight in the northern hemisphere. Indoors in artificial light it will be very slightly off. And the age of the plates matters too, you'll get more false results with older plates as they age.

It's a massively massively complex subject.
 
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