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Friday, November 13, 2020

An Easy Cheap Eye Fix

My new glasses. Last picture was actually my old glasses.

I wrote about my health issues recently, and how the seeming solution to my dizziness and headaches was new glasses, that my prescription changed drastically quickly, that even though I got glasses only 4 months previously (with a new prescription then), my eyes went up an entire number and I needed reading glasses, so that meant that I now needed multifocals (separate reading glasses and glasses for distance were not an option because I needed glasses for sitting at the computer, which is too far for reading and too close for far lenses). 

Now multifocals are complicated glassess with complicated technology, and because of that, they are relatively expensive. In the past, I have purchased glasses from ZenniOptical for much cheaper than I can buy locally, but I needed glasses as soon as possible, because of the health issues my eye problems were causing, and I couldn't wait the potential month or longer it would take for Zenni glasses to arrive. Then there was the fact that because these glasses are complicated, I didn't want to risk Zenni doing it wrong and my not knowing and it not solving the problem and there being no accountability. 

So I bought the multifocals locally, at a glasses place run by someone with whom I have a relationship, and who I trust and know he isn't trying to squeeze as much money out of me as possible. When I take my kids there, for example, he offers, without me asking, to show me the frames that are free with my insurance, and when those aren't what I want, shows me which ones I can get at a discount. And though last time he pointed out that he could see I'd need reading glasses in the near future, he didn't try to sell it to me then, and even when I came back telling him about the issues I was having he didn't rush to test me for reading glasses because I'm still young for them, but only after I explained about the computer issues did he do the testing. So I know he isn't just trying to make a buck off me, but actually wants to direct me to the best option for both me and my pocketbook.

The optician explained to me that there are 3 types of multifocals that he could order for me, and wrote down the price difference for each one. He told me that based on my eye issues he wouldn't recommend the cheapest one for me, but I don't need the more expensive one either. Then he told me that due to my insurance, I could get my lenses 50% off and my frames 40% off. With this, my glasses cost me $733. Which is definitely a lot, but what choice do I have? I need to be able to see, and I need to not be constantly dizzy and constantly have headaches.

When the glasses arrived, the optician showed me how to use the multifocals, which part works for what, and it seemed fine, I saw better with it, but he told me it would take some getting used to, and to give it about 2 weeks to adjust. He said for older people it often takes longer to adjust but at my age I probably should be able to adjust quickly.

But the thing is, I wasn't adjusting. I would turn my head quickly and get extremely dizzy. I would be able to see things with the lenses but everything would seem like it was flickering. I would wear them, but my eyes would tire quickly and I wanted to take them off as quickly as I could. And because I have anxiety, I was worried that these glasses were wrong for me, and that wearing them would mess up my eyes, because why were things appearing weird, flickering sort of, if it was the right prescription. And my depth perception was a little weird. 

And then I looked at my prescription and compared it to the last time I had glasses and saw that the eye that usually has a lower prescription has a higher one in these new glasses, and then I started getting worried that maybe they made the glasses wrong, maybe they switched the lenses and they were in the wrong eyes and thats why things seem funny. Or maybe my eyes were bad that day because of what I was going through but now my eyes were better and the prescription was now wrong. 

And I just got worried. I didn't want to wear the glasses- wearing them made me anxious because "what if they actually were wrong"? So I occasionally wore them, but most of the time just went with no glasses or with my old glasses. And thought I probably threw $733 in the garbage.

And then when enough time passed and even with the glasses I was seeing funny, I went back to the optician with my complaints. See, this is why I'm glad I didn't go to Zenni.

I asked him if it was possible the prescription on my glasses was wrong, that the lenses got switched, or that they weren't accurate. He told me that every time a new batch of glasses arrives, he checks to make sure that the prescription is accurate to what he ordered before he calls to let us know they're ready. But to allay my fears he checked them again.

Then he tested my vision close and far, both with my old glasses, and with my new. And then he sat me down in the chair and tested my eyesight again, to make sure that the prescription he gave me was accurate, and it was completely correct (no, the eyes weren't mixed up).

But even with the right prescription, things seemed off. Things still looked like they were slightly flickering, my vision was being disturbed.

And then he had me close my eyes for a few seconds, and then tested to see if I could see better.

I could.

We tried that again when they started flickering. Closing my eyes for a few seconds and then opening it again made things all right again, and I saw clearly.

You know what the issue is?

He pointed out that I have dry eyes. I need contacts for dry eyes, so that seems obvious now. Because my eyes are dry, the tiny particles in my eyes aren't getting washed away fast enough so that's making my vision seem weird, and closing my eyes for a few seconds gets enough tears to come out to clean them.

Simple fix. Wow.

I am so glad that a small cheap bottle of eye drops is all I need to get my vision normal. I don't need new glasses (again). My prescription is steady.

I didn't manage to get to the pharmacy yet, but with that reassurance I started wearing my new glasses more and more. And when things start to appear a little weird, I just close my eyes to get them wet and my vision is back to normal.

(Oh, and guess what- hashimotos hypothyroid is connected with dry eyes. This all makes sense!)

This is so simple its amusing. But it definitely makes me feel like I saved money, because we figured out the issue without needing to go through a whole long expensive process again.

Its nice to be able to see.

Have you ever had what you thought was a big issue, and turns out the solution was a very simple fix like this? What was your issue? How did it get fixed?

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