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Thread: Contact lens question

  1. #1
    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    Contact lens question

    When I was a senior in high school my parents gave me contact lenses as a graduation present. Iím near sighted and astigmatic. At the time hard lenses were the only option for people with astigmatism and Iíve been wearing them ever since. One of the benefits is that my prescription hasnít changed since I was about 25 years old because hard lenses keep my eyes from changing. When I was in my 40ís I progressed to needing bifocal contacts to be able to read. I love them and wear them from shortly after I get up until I go to bed.

    I have a pair of glasses that I got maybe 15 years ago. A friend who was an optometrist at the time gave me the frames. The problem is that they still have monofocal lenses in them so I canít read with them. The distance vision is still fine but when I need to read I pull them onto the top of my head and hold whatever Iím reading six inches from my face. This works but Iím wondering if I should get the lenses in them upgraded to bifocal when I go to the eye doc this fall.

    Barring unexpected dental expenses Iím going to have money left over in my FSA that will need to be spent on medical stuff by year end. Usually Iíd use any extra for contact lens cleaner but Iím thinking about using it for bifocal lenses for my glasses. My contacts last forever physically so I wonít need to replace them since I still see just fine. Thoughts? Should I splurge on upgrading glasses that I rarely use so that I have some at the ready in the event that I have to stop wearing contacts for some reason? Currently I just view the glasses as a backup in case I wake up in the middle of the night and the house is on fire or whatever.

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    Senior Member rosarugosa's Avatar
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    I've worn glasses since I was 7 years old. I tried contacts when I was 25, but I was so well adjusted to wearing glasses that I found the contacts to be a nuisance and never tried them again.
    It sounds like your eyesight hasn't changed much over the years, but that doesn't guarantee that it won't change in the future. I don't think I would recommend investing money in upgrading glasses you don't currently wear. Maybe invest in a couple of fire extinguishers instead, lol.

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    I would get progressive lenses, not bifocal. Progressives are best for computer use, and the lines between the lenses is imperceptible. I also have had astigmatism my whole life, and I definitely need reading glasses at this stage.

    I just got new glasses myself... I hadn't changed my glasses (or prescription) since 2016, and my old glasses had just gotten too scratched up. I went to Costco's Optical affiliate for a new prescription because my old one had "expired"--no optician would fill it because it was too old. Somehow the optician was able to file charges under a medical benefit, so even though I don't have a vision plan, it was covered ($35 Medigap deductible).

    Then I went to Zenni and GlassesUSA to comparison shop and ordered my glasses online. I can tell you, online is extremely less expensive than retail stores. My last pair of progressive glasses (with Ray-Ban frames) cost over $500. I went all out on the Zenni lenses--anti-reflective, anti-blue screen, lightweight, you name it, I took every option offered. The frames and lenses together cost $149.

    I know you are interested in replacing lenses in frames you already have--frankly I don't know how that works online. In any case, I would definitely use your FSA money to upgrade your glasses--and as I said, progressives are an upgraded version of bifocals, so I'd go that route

    I went to GlassesUSA for prescription sunglasses, and those were slightly more expensive because I wanted Polarized lenses. Those were $203. So, two pair of high-quality glasses for less than the cost of one pair at Lenscrafters.
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    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    Did you look at pricing at Costco optical? Iíve bought my contacts there for years because they are the cheapest Iíve found. I assume (hope) that it would be the same when getting replacement lenses for my glasses.

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    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    I know lots of people order online, but I respect the measuring the in-person technician does. Perhaps I place too much emphasis on that.

    My tiny town had an optician/eyeglasses shop until just last year. Kinda surprising what services this tiny town has.

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jp1 View Post
    Did you look at pricing at Costco optical? I’ve bought my contacts there for years because they are the cheapest I’ve found. I assume (hope) that it would be the same when getting replacement lenses for my glasses.
    I did, and based on the price of the frames, I couldn't imagine they'd be as cheap as Zenni. But if you're going to just do a lens replacement, that might be a very good option.

    Here's what one online source said:

    A tip for getting the best of both worlds is to shop around for the frames you like, then go to a discount store like Costco or Walmart for the lenses. The technicians at these discount stores often can put the lenses you’ve purchased there in the frames you’ve brought in for an additional service charge of under $40.

    https://www.actionnews5.com/2020/03/...g-eye-glasses/
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    Wow! Good information here, thanks everybody!

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    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    Thanks for the ideas! One question for all the older glasses wearers. My glasses frames are fairly narrow. Maybe 5/8 inch tall. Will progressive lenses be annoying in them? Or does that not matter?

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jp1 View Post
    Thanks for the ideas! One question for all the older glasses wearers. My glasses frames are fairly narrow. Maybe 5/8 inch tall. Will progressive lenses be annoying in them? Or does that not matter?
    When you take them to the optometrist, they'll be able to tell you if the progressives will work in your frames. You're right--not all frames are able to accommodate progressive lenses. 5/8 inch tall seems REALLY narrow.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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  10. #10
    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    They are actually 1 1/8 inch tall. Not quite as narrow as I thought. It may also be a case that they are simply too old for new lenses. I ran into that problem with an old pair of frames before. I ended up living with way out of date lenses in my glasses until my friend gave me these newer frames, based on the assumption that it was unlikely that I'd need to depend on them and that at least they would be better than nothing. (without contacts or glasses I would barely be able to walk down the street, much less drive or read a computer screen or anything.)

    glasses 2.jpg

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