Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Seeing Clearly

A couple of weeks ago I stumbled upon this post about buying glasses online (something I will be trying out in 07 because even if the glasses suck I’ll happily pay $30 just to have something to blog about -- I'm considering these).

Today I went to the eye doctor for the second time in two weeks. My last visit was mainly the routine eye check up with a little complaining about my eyes stinging thrown in for spice. It turns out my eyes were stinging because they were dry because… I SLEEP WITH MY EYES OPEN! I'm a freak! Or so I thought… turns out that about 20% of people sleep with their eyes open and more than likely (since I have yet to wake up to a boyfriend screaming “zombie beast I renounce you!”) I sleep with my eyes open just a small crack – much like The Blair Witch Project sleeping with your eyes open doesn’t live up to the hype.

At this first eye appointment I was able to procure a new glasses prescription but when I asked for a contact lens prescription I was told I’d have to come back for a fitting. This seemed slightly weird since all of my previous contact lens prescription getting has only required holding out my hand post eye exam. The doctor wanted me to consider switching to daily disposables so I figured that this required some sort of fitting that my 2 week disposables (actual average disposal schedule: 4-6 weeks) could do without. So I made a second appointment to trek up to the Upper East Side in the middle of the day to visit the eye doctor.

When I arrived the doctor told me to throw away the lenses I had in my eyes (you will soon see that this was a ploy used to lower my defenses by making me blind), then she told me that I had the choice between the standard daily disposables and a new kind that should help keep moisture in my eyes. Moisture lenses seemed like a good idea for someone with a night time paranoia problem.

Eye Doctor Lady: Ok, they’re slightly more expensive

Brianna: How much more?

EDL: Well the standard package is $300 and these are $400, that includes the fitting and 3 months of lenses.

I was somehow able to contain my thoughts in my head so that they didn’t spew out all over the examination room but I’ll now share them with you.


My current lenses come in packages of 6 for $20 so a yearly supply should run me just over $173 (actual yearly cost due to me ignoring the suggested disposal time: ~$58). Unless someone was going to offer a very compelling reason why these new lenses were going to change my life I wasn’t ready to pay more than twice the cost for ¼ of the product (who knew contacts were so much like bras?).

This is the part of the story where Brianna overcomes her self esteem issues for a short moment and instead of just accepting the reality of paying $400 for dubious amounts of improvement she actually stands up for herself. If you see me later in the week remember to pat me on the back. Keep in mind that I’m having this entire conversation while pretty much blind – perhaps not being able to see the other person’s face made standing up for myself easier – perhaps I should forgo lenses all together in favor of self esteem (I love saving money!).

B: I don’t understand why this is so expensive, in the past I have never paid extra for a contact lens prescription

EDL: Well this is a fitting

B: Ok, I’ve never paid extra for a fitting

EDL: Well you get 3 months of lenses too

B: But I don’t want that, I just want a prescription then I’ll buy the contacts somewhere else

EDL: Well I think our price is competitive

(this must be a lie – I just looked up the regular Acuvue daily lenses on and a 3 month supply is ~$68)

B: Well I’d like to have the opportunity to shop around.

At this point EDL left the room. She gave no indication of where she was going or when she’d be back. Wow, I thought, I am SCARY. She came back about 5 minutes later with a EDG (eye doctor gentleman) who I guess acts as the clean up crew after a battle is lost because he just asked me two questions, told EDL to get me some free lenses, and wrote me a prescription. End of appointment.

Lens fittings? Code for “rip off.”


amy said...

good for you babe. that's crazy talk!

Anonymous said...

good for you, I was most impressed by the statement that you would like the opportunity to shop around. I would probably some how have sworn, sounded rather inarticulate then ended up being talked into the purchase and kicked myslef for months after!


themikestand said...

I think I was charged $20 for my "fitting" last week, and got quotes on the lenses, which I promptly forgot, but which might have been:

$60 for 100 pairs of dailies.
$100 for 6 pairs of monthlies.

I should really check, because right now her assertion that the dailies were more cost effective isn't holding up.

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