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Eye Care

When Is It OK To Buy Cheap Glasses?

Americans spend about $16 billion on eyeglasses every year. If you wear glasses, you probably know that some of them can cost $1000, while others go for $9.99. Your eye doctor might tell you that buying glasses online is a stupid idea. Commercials promise two pairs of no line bifocals in designer frames for less than the price of a dinner at Applebee’s. How do you know when it’s OK to buy cheap glasses? I’ve been a private practice optometrist for over 13 years. I make money from selling glasses, and I’ve seen it all. Today, I’ll give you the honest truth about when it’s OK to buy cheap glasses. Amount of Prescription Years ago, people with really bad prescriptions had to wear thick lenses in their glasses. Remember Grandpa’s “coke bottles?” Any prescription over three units looks better with thinner and lighter lenses. If you look at your written prescription, and the first number is higher than a 3, this means you. A higher index material or a composite called polycarbonate is used to make them thinner, but it also refracts light at a higher degree. You don’t need to understand the optics behind this, but sometimes people have ...

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How To Be A Stellar Contact Lens Patient

Every once in a while I like to take off the personal finance cap and throw on the optometrist one. Actually, the two go hand in hand because taking care of your eyes can save money in a variety of ways. I’d like to share some tips on how to keep your eyes healthy by being a stellar contact lens patient. Let me say that eyes are remarkably resilient, but when something goes wrong, it’s generally very painful and inconvenient. 80% of contact lens related problems are from non-compliance, which means you know what to do, but choose not to. Before I send you to time out, you have the opportunity to redeem yourselves. There will be a quiz later. Over Wearing Contacts is Not a Good Way to Save Money Most of the problems I see in contact lens wearers are due to over wear. Do you honestly know anyone who throws away their contacts after two weeks? Me neither. I don’t think it’s always on purpose, but we just forget. If you are someone who makes a monthly lens stretch for 3 months to save money, let’s look at some numbers. The most expensive disposable contacts I sell ...

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My Child Needs Glasses, Now What?

After being an optometrist for almost fourteen years, I’ve examined hundreds of children who needed glasses, and I’ve seen many different reactions from children and parents alike. I also was a child who wore glasses. From my experience, I’ll share when to worry, when to let things slide, when to think about contacts, and maybe how to save yourself a little money along the way. It’s easy to go to the doctor and be diagnosed with less than perfect vision, but if your child needs glasses, what do you do next?

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Does LASIK Surgery Make Financial Sense?

If you are one of the lucky ones who have perfect vision, this information might not be that interesting to you. Go on over and read about rental property. If you or a family member wears glasses or contact lenses and have wondered if you should have your eyes corrected with LASIK, keep reading for a brief overview about good candidates and if surgery makes good financial sense. Who Are the Best Candidates for LASIK? People who are nearsighted and/or have astigmatism- When you have LASIK, your cornea is altered with the LASER. Essentially, corneal tissue is removed. With nearsightedness (can’t see far away), your eye is too long, so it is easy to flatten your cornea. With astigmatism (can’t focus adequately far or near) your eye shape is more oval than round, and the cornea can be reshaped. If you are farsighted (trouble focusing, mostly at near, but can also be in the distance), your eye is too short. It is much harder to reshape into a steeper cornea , and the results are more variable. Farsighted people can have LASIK, but should really to do their homework in finding a good surgeon. If you are presbyopic (need reading glasses over age 40),  this condition affects the lens in your eye, so LASIK on the cornea does no good. People with stable prescriptions- If ...

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The Low Income Clinic Experiment

Working as an optometrist, I see the realities of people who are uninsured or under insured. Most people wouldn’t consider eyecare in the top categories as far as need. Obviously if you have cancer or need a heart transplant, that would take presidence, but eye care can be quite complex as well. If you are diabetic, have high blood pressure, or take a number of high risk medications, eye health can be severely impacted with few symptoms until the condition is advanced. If you can’t see, it is very hard to perform at your full capacity at work or school. I run a for profit business. If you don’t have insurance or the ability to self pay, you don’t get an examination. My thoughts on this issue began to change a few years back when I received a letter from a patient. She had a friend who had very poor vision. He worked construction for a roofing company. After falling off a couple of roofs, his employer realized he couldn’t see and had to let him go. She explained that he had made some poor life choices, but was trying to do better when he lost this job and had no insurance or extra money to ...

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