Thursday, September 13, 2007

20/25; 20/30

Many of you are not aware of a secret conspiracy, the origins and purposes of which are obscure -- but many of you are well aware, because you and I are its targets. You know: books that have sat on your shelves for years are replaced with lookalikes but with smaller print; labels on packages that you pick up are clearly printed differently from what everyone else has; the signs at church, that give the hymn numbers, clearly use fuzzy letters, but everyone pretends they're no different.

Well, I gave in, and went to Wal Mart to have my eyes checked. You may laugh, but I had my eyes checked for glaucoma and cataracts, by a real doctor of optometry. Plus, I was going to see an opthamologist, but that office said, no, don't come here, we do surgery--go to Dr. Bigley at Wal Mart in Troy! (And I invite everyone to go see Doctor Bigley--I met him, but his wife is also a doctor there; and he was very helpful and quick.)

I held out some hope he'd say, "Father, there's nothing wrong"--but not much. I knew I was seeing worse. My scores are the headline, I think I got the sequence right. So...I need bifocals.

Well, then the optician showed me the lenses, and talked me into "no-line" bifocals. It cost me more. Was that a bad buy? I went low-end on the frames, and got clip-on sunglasses. Every day, I turn more and more into my dad (although he wore the flip-up types; these don't flip up).

I was all pysched up to having to wear glasses, only I have to wait; they don't grind them there, which I should have expected.

What do you think I paid for all that? And guess what the answer was to my question: how often do I need to re-do my eyeglass prescription?


Sara said...

Father, try being told you need bifocals when you're only 25! I went with the progressive lenses and am pleased with them.

I'll warn you now though--they are HARD to get used to. Be careful when you're walking down stairs and be prepared for headaches for a while. My opthamologist's advice was to wear them until I got used to them and to not switch back to my old frames.

Having bought two pairs now--I feel your pain about the price.

Best of luck.

Kat said...

A couple hundred.

Every year.

What do I win?

Anonymous said...

I wear half glasses; they sit down on my nose when I am doing non print things and I look through them when I am on the computer etc

Anonymous said...

Hope you can get used to them. After 3 yrs of feeling off-balance (but never had headaches), I gave up on bifocals & just trade off for near/close. Much happier.
May you adapt soon. What Sara says
about walking downstairs is very important.


T.O. said...

Hey hey, I have had bifocals since I was 1 year old. I first had the blended (invisible) bifocals at 13 and that took me forever to get used to, but now I wouldn't switch back for anything.

$250? And every six months?

Ellen said...

Welcome to the gift that comes with being over 40!

As a wearer of eyeglasses since I was 6, I can feel your pain. As a child I needed a new prescription every 6 months. At 15, my eyes were stable enough to get contact lenses. Since it was many years ago and the only option available to me for my prescription was hard lenses, I got used to them and guess what? my prescription didn't change for the next 25 years. But then 40 crept up and with 40 came reading glasses with my contacts and at 42 came the dreaded bifocal with my glasses.

My contact prescription hasn't changed much, but the reading glasses have.

By the way, my husband started wearing bi-focals in fourth grade.

It's an expensive pain in the neck to change prescriptions, but heck, it beats the alternative.

Danny Garland Jr. said...

I think it is a conspiracy! I didn't need glasses all my life and then at the age of 27 they told me I need them. I'm too young to have glasses!

Your dad had flip up glasses!? Sounds like a cool guy! ;-)

MeInSouth said...

We just paid $250 for my husbands and that was after insurance; no line bifocals. He will go to the other kind next time because he thinks it causes him to be MORE dizzy than the others would because there is not definite line for separation. Be careful driving till you are used to them. I noticed something was wrong with mine when I was sitting in back of Church during Mass wondering if that was Fr. So and So or the other Fr. So and So (too bad they were wearing the vestments the Pope and other were wearing the other day...GAWDY..would have had to put on sunglasses it was so loud!)

MeInSouth said...

Oh, my husband has transitions, scratch proof, etc. That may be why they were a little more expensive.

Sara said...

I have a tough prescription on top of needing bifocals and my most recent pair cost me $400 AFTER my insurance.

beez said...

I would guess you paid, for no-line bifocals, the exam and everything between $300 and $350.

DigiHairshirt said...

Father, I have progressive bifocals, so I will say the lens alone are probably around $300.

Every year get a checkup!

Catholic Bibliophagist said...

Welcome to the ranks of the four-eyed! MIddle age is a pain, but I'm grateful for modern optometry.

I tried bifocals many years ago and just couldn't adjust. So now I have distance glasses for driving, reading glasses, and compromise glasses to wear indoors. (I can read with the compromise glasses in the evening, but in the morning I really need those reading glasses. My optometrist says it's because the eye muscles have to "warm up" at the start of the new day.) So all day long I'm whipping glasses on and off. But it beats bifocals.

Thank goodness we had eyeglass insurance through my husband's work so that I could gradually builld up my stable of spectacles!

Kasia said...

Yech. I've had the same eyeglass prescription for 15 years. Actually, I had the same prescription for ten years, and have not been back to the eye doctor since I went off my parents' insurance six years ago - no optical coverage at any job I've had yet. I'm really dreading having to go back someday...may have to re-fi my home to do it... :-p

Father Martin Fox said...

I paid a little over $200; the kind doctor charged me nothing for the check up.

Father Martin Fox said...

Oh, and he said I should expect a new prescription every two years.

Anonymous said...

I am reminding everyone that perhaps around age 40 it's important to be checked regularly for glaucoma to prevent future blindness. If found, medication can keep it from progressing. This disease is genetic and way more common than you would expect.
I was shocked when I learned I had it. There are no overt symptoms - it is only discovered upon examination. If anyone in your family tree has experienced this disease, or if you are past "a certain age", be sure to get it checked out.


Anonymous said...

I am getting my first pair of bifocals and decided to go with no line. However, I differ from others that wear them. I do not need to read when walking so I talked with the doctor and decided to wear the glasses I have now all the time and put the bifocals on when I need them, sitting at the computer at work or school.

School has driven me crazy and is the only reason I am getting bifocals. I keep switching glasses between looking at the board and my papers and books. So I decided to get some no line bifocals. I went to the Wal-Mart here in Macomb, IL and got the exact same frames I already wear. They cost me $448.00. I have no insurance so it was a cash sale. I got the medium lens, ant scratch, etc...

Good luck with your new glasses. Give them time that is what I would suggest because that is what everyone has told me.

Glasses 200-600, see the doctor once a year. If your script doesn't change but every few years you should be good. Just put 10-20 dollars a month up in a glasses fund. Or wear contacts and reading glasses over them. But if you do that your reading glasses have to get stronger.