March 22, 2011 3 Comments
It has been a LONG time since I went to the eye doctor. Since I was in graduate school. I had two pairs of glasses and a box of contacts (about a year of “normal” use) when I moved from San Diego to the Midwest for my post-doc.
After a year and a half I finally gave up the ghost of trying to wear contacts that were LONG due to be replaced. I still kept one package of unopened contacts and then one other pair for working out. I’d put in the contacts, go work out, come back and take them out. But most of the time I’d just wear my glasses. They’re cute Vogue frames, and I get lots of compliments on them – so it isn’t like I was slumming it wearing my glasses over my contacts. But there is a self esteem issue for me of me feeling like I look better when I’m wearing contacts vs. glasses.
One thing that was really bothersome about wearing my contacts is that I would just have a constant headache when I wore them. It was painful. So I just couldn’t wear them anymore without having to take them out 2-3 hours later.
Finally I decided that over spring break would be a good time to FINALLY after over 3 years go to the eye doctor. Turns out, all that glasses wearing has been GOOD for my eyes. My prescription went from -3.50 in my right eye to -3.00 and from -3.00 in my left to -2.50 in my left. That’s right my eye sight got BETTER from wearing glasses.
According to the eye doctor what was happening was that I wasn’t cleaning my contacts well enough and wearing them for far too long so my eyes were straining to see through the protein build-up in my contacts. Now that I’m wearing glasses more my eyes have gotten the oxygen they need and have stopped straining so much – causing my prescription to be lower!
So that also means that I’ll need to get new lens for my glasses as well.
The total for the contact lens exam and an optional addition test I had done on my eye for $181. To get the lens replaced in one pair of my glasses was another $130 (with a two year warranty on the lens against scratching).
I didn’t order any contacts because I don’t have enough money in my HSA account to afford to buy them. I found a years worth of contacts online for $162 (in the doctor’s office them said it would be $270).
My work gives me $118/month towards an HSA account that I can use for health related expenses. Co-pays, deductibles, eye exams, dental, etc. I paid for the initial exam and the lens in my glasses frames with the money from this account. Now there is only around $40-50 left in it. So my plan is to keep wear the pair of contacts that the eye doctor gave me until my new frames come in, then wear the new frames until I have enough money to afford a year of contacts in my HSA account, then order them. I can wear the contacts from the eye doctor when I go the gym and work out.
So I’ll be saving up for the contacts and waiting until I have enough money in the HSA account to pay for them, which should just be a month or two. No biggie. I’ve been wearing glasses almost exclusively for two years now, another few months shouldn’t be too bad. =)