Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Women of a certain age . . .

. . . have to deal with changes.  It's a study in in impermanence, this whole ageing thing, really it is.  Over the last year or so I've noticed that my once perfect, no, better than perfect, eyesight has moved toward the average for my age?  It's particularly noticeable when cycling and driving. For the most part it's only really my non-dominant eye, and it's not significant, but enough to be annoying.

So in March, after not having had an eye exam in six years, I went to Lenscrafters figuring I knew them and had always had my eyes checked there.  Plus six years ago I dropped a big chunk of money on nonprescription sunglasses there.  You know, scratch resistant, non glare, uv coated, transition lenses in a nice Ray Ban metal frame.  So I thought if I was going to need a prescription, that I'd be able to get new lenses for the frames I already had.

Had the eye exam done, and no big shock, my right eye needed correction just as I thought, the slight surprise was that my left eye could do with a very minor bit of correction too.  So, that done I set about having new glasses made.  After a song and a dance about how they couldn't really do anything with my existing frames I had to pick new ones.  Strike one right there.  I got measured, fitted, found nice frames that brought out my green eyes, and then got the price tag.  One pair of glasses again was going to be several hundreds of dollars with the non glare, uv, scratch resistant, transition lenses.  Damn!!! And that was with a 50% off sale that was going to be ending shortly. If I waited until I could afford the options I wanted, the sale would have been over and the price would have been close to seven hundred dollars for one pair of glasses.  Double damn, so I settled on plain lenses in the frames and figured I'd have to get some clip on sunglasses for them or something like that. Strike TWO!!!

An hour and  $245 dollars later I had new glasses. The first pair of corrective lenses I've ever needed. Lovely. $210 for the glasses, $35 for the exam.

Riding and driving were of course different, "better."  Not having transitions lenses a real pain in the tush. Driving at night, quite the pain because of the reflections and glare of oncoming traffic. Sure, I could see "better" but there were some serious issues with just plain lenses. So I started looking at my options, online. You know, doing some serious research as I got used to having and wearing glasses.  I also started to notice that while much improved, my right eye, was still not quite as good as my non corrected left eye. Corrected, my left eye was even better.  So there was a distinct imbalance there that I thought shouldn't be. It became clear through March and April that we'd rushed my eye exam and that my right eye prescription still needed work. Damn! Triple Damn even. Strike THREE!!!

My research last night culminated with finding multiple less expensive options for glasses including a place on line that would give, with a proper prescription, the first pair of glasses free for single vision plain lenses.  FREE!!! For the options I want on the free pair, another $130 dollars.  America's Best, two pair of single vision plain lenses starting at $69 with a free eye exam. So I drove over there today to look at frames and see if I'd be able to find anything I could live with, and to price the option I wanted. To get all everything I want, that I had on the non prescription glasses, a total of $280 dollars. For TWO pair.  WITH a free eye exam.

So today, while still within the 90 day return policy at Lenscrafters, I did just that. Returned the glasses and had the $210 dollars credited back to my account.  Wednesday of next week, I'll head over to America's Best, have another eye exam, and place my order for two new sets of glasses with all the options.  While at America's best today I looked at the selection of frames and found some wonderful looking ones, so that's not a concern. in fact one set of frames I picked out are Amethyst.  Oh such a happy thing.  So I'll get those, and another pair of midnight blue ones, and that way I'll have two pair of glasses, with all the coatings and transitions lenses.  Mind you I don't spend that much time in the sun in general, but I do get some, and the transitions make a big difference. As does the non glare and UV coatings. Especially the non glare, which makes a big difference at night, and one doesn't have to experience distracting reflections from the lenses while doing other things even during the day.

So yeah, as a woman of a certain age that now needs glasses, at least I'm not having to spend almost seven hundred dollars for a single pair that do what I want and need.