My $500 eyes

The world is full of light and everything looks shiny but it all looks strange through my newly minted spectacles. I went for an eye checkup last week because I noticed myself getting closer and closer to the monitor whenever I use the computer, certainly an indication that my eyesight’s getting worse. Last time I had my eyes checked was about three years ago, I’m definitely overdue.

Unlike in the Philippines where eye exams are not done for free by the optical shop, optometrists here charge for this service seperately. I could either opt for bulk billed eye examinations where I would not pay anything out of pocket or have it done by non-bulk billing optometrists and shell out some cash. I think the second option would involve a more comprehensive exam where they would check for glaucoma and test the pressure of your eyes aside from usual test for prescription glasses. Since this is the first time I’d be doing this here, I thought perhaps it may be a good idea to keep it simple. I went with the bulk billing way, promising myself that I’d go for the comprehensive exam next time.

Two Fridays ago, I booked an appointment with the optometrist at Merrington’s and looked at their small selection of frames but didn’t find any to my liking. I then went to the other optical shops in Chadstone in search for a good selection. I found OPSM‘s range to be adequate plus they are currently offering $100 off the price of their glasses so I resolved to have my glasses made there. Next day, I had my peepers peered into by the optometrist and tried several lenses in reading those miniscule letters in the board. After the exam, the optometrist asked me what I’d like to do as my glasses doesn’t fit my prescription anymore. I politely asked for the prescription so he wrote the script and I went straight to OPSM after that.

After selecting a pair of frames, I talked to a sales person and we talked about the features and costs for my lenses. The lenses for my specs are supposed to be impact resistant, non-reflective (invisibles) and have thinner profiles. None of those Coke-bottle lenses for me, thank you very much. I was tempted to go for the sun protection feature as well but thought that it was way too expensive and that I might as well just get another pair of prescription sunnies. Here’s the cost breakdown for my new pair of eyes:

Revlon frames ……………………………. $299.00
2 Polycarb S/V Active Asp SV N …………….. $209.00
Total without discount ……………………. $508.00
(Less discount) ………………………….. $100.00
(Less frames benefit paid by health insurance) . $ 70.00
(Less lenses benefit paid by health insurance) . $ 70.00
Total out of pocket expense ……………….. $268.00
Cost of seeing clearly ……………………. Priceless!

Optometrists recommend that eye exams be done every 2 years and I guess that I’d be doing this again in 2007. Maybe I should consider LASIK eye surgery as it would treat my near sightedness as well my astigmatism, if only I would stop being so chicken about it. Maybe in a few years.

Published in: on April 23, 2005 at 9:13 pm  Leave a Comment  

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