I’m quite envious of those that don’t ever need to wear glasses or contact lenses to be able to see clearly a few feet away. I was fifteen when I realized I needed glasses and have worn them ever since. Well technically, I’ve been wearing contact lenses for a long time now, but either way I wouldn’t be able to do much without wearing anything. Even sitting in front of my computer, I would have to lean in a little bit closer to see what I am typing now.
Glasses can be horribly inconvenient even if you look good in them. They fog up at times, slip down your nose, and are another item to keep track of and spend money on. Contacts can be more comfortable and hidden, but they require daily maintenance and they can be uncomfortable at times. I’ve debated with getting surgery, but my eyes aren’t so horribly bad that I can’t manage without. Plus of course, surgery has its own risks and a hefty price tag too. For now, I can carry off glasses, and contacts are now a routine part of my life. They can get pretty pricey though, but I’ve managed to keep the costs down as much as possible.
Know your insurance
I currently get an eye exam and contact lens once a year. My co-pay for the normal exam is $10, and the one for the contact lens exam varies. I get an exam every single year because my eyes have changed and gotten progressively worse. They have steadied lately, but it’s a good idea to get regular exams when you can get them. I have good coverage that allows me to get either a free pair of glasses or four boxes of contacts each year. Of course, that would be the most basic of glasses, but it’s a good benefit to use.
Glasses vs contacts
If I really had to save money, then the smart thing to do is to wear glasses all the time. The basic frame and lens are covered entirely under my insurance, so it would be free after the co-pay for the exam. Glasses don’t take as much maintenance as contacts do. Contacts are costly and require a constant supply of contact solution. I go through periods where I do end up wearing glasses only but always end up going back to contacts. They are just more comfortable, and I’m honestly vain enough to not want to wear glasses all the time.
No brand names
When it comes to anything with a designer label or brand name, then you know you’ll end up paying more. I made sure to pick out frames that were under the amount covered. Definitely not a designer frame. I did however splurge a bit to get the anti-glare coating and a thinner lens. I wear my glasses often enough to know that I would need anti-glare for night driving. For contacts, there is no choice other than brand name contacts. I do get the Acuvue Oasys brand for comfort sake. Eye dryness is a common problem for contact wearers, but these kind are much better. I offset that by buying normal contact solution from Costco rather than the brand name no-rub stuff. It saves me a lot of money and works just as well!
Contact lens maintenance
My optometrist tells me that it’s actually fine to wear my contacts for a month since I don’t wear them while sleeping. Of course, a lot of this is personal preference and also depends on how well you take care of your contacts. I’m fine with changing my contacts out every 4-5 weeks, and I do follow the contact solution’s care instructions. Companies will tell you two weeks is the amount of time for contacts. My eyes were just checked are are perfectly healthy and fine!
One day, I will probably end up getting Lasik so that I don’t have to deal with glasses or contacts ever again. It’s become a normal part of my daily routine though, so it really doesn’t bother me much. I wouldn’t be able to drive without wearing anything, but I could get through a day just fine. Until then, I’ll continue to use my insurance to get what I need and to eke out the life of my contacts as long as possible.
What do you do to save money on glasses or contacts?