The other day my new prescription eyeglasses from goggles4u arrived in the mail. I wrote the prescription myself.
Online opticians like zenni, goggles4u, and warby parker only ask for prescription numbers. No signed prescription needed. Surely, an opportunity to submit a prescription of one's own devising. But first some background.
I've had mild myopia most of my life. But two years ago, my prescription increased to where the glasses felt strong--not ones I wanted to get used to. I seemed to be trading distance acuity for nearby blurriness.
So mostly I went without glasses. If I wore glasses, I used the older, weaker-prescription glasses. I put the new strong glasses away in reserve for a driver's vision test earlier this year.
I recently had a complete eye exam, and the optometrist pronounced my eyes in good health. He duplicated my strong prescription. In the confusion of dilated eyes, I didn't get around to asking about my preference for a weaker prescription and the distance/near-focus dilemma. But I was rational enough not to spend $530 for glasses similar to my existing ones that he had in his shop.
Instead I filled the prescription at warby parker, which conveniently has a physical store in Portland. I paid $125.
Then I got to reading William Bates again, the great opthalmologist who advanced the radical proposition that with eye exercises, one could reverse the inevitable course of myopia--which these days, if you believe the medical establishment, can mean laser surgery and the miracle of implanted plastic lenses. No thank you. Maybe my outlook toward medicine is medieval, but I believe the less you mess with the handiwork θεών, the better. I like Bates's argument that going without glasses can be therapeutic.
But for some weaker glasses ... I set up a Snellen chart at home and noodling around with minus diopter equivalents, my "prescription" took a diopter off each eye from the recent optometrist prescription.
So I filled out the goggles4u form, paid $6.95 [plus shipping cost] for a pair of prescription eyeglasses that once I had them on felt much more comfortable.
And more surprising, though the warby parker strong glasses gave me 20/40 on my Snellen chart, the goggles4u weak glasses also let me read the 20/40 line--if not as distinctly. A tradeoff I happily accept.
Make no mistake, I'll return to my optometrist for a yearly exam to check on eye health. That's why s/he spent four years in optometry school. But pay full retail for frames and lenses, when I can get them at nearly 98% discount?
[Note: The above post is for entertainment purposes only. It is not to be construed as medical advice. Always contact a qualified healthcare professional with any questions you have regarding medical conditions, including those pertaining to the eyes.]
Image credit: the author
Read Charlie Dickinson's story collection [and feel free to share with a friend] The Cat at Light's End, as an ebook in these downloadable formats:
.epub (most other readers)
.pdf (for PCs)
Also, a flash fiction, "Ylena Thinks Nyet," is at Cigale Literary Magazine.
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