More Testing Times

So I finally got around to getting my eyes tested today after walking round every opticians in Bigtown with my poor out-of-fashion tractor-crushed glasses asking if they had anything like them in stock and booking myself in at the only place where they didn’t look at me as if I was some sort of a weirdo for wanting the sort of glasses I wanted to wear as opposed to wanting the sort of glasses the powers that be have deemed people should wear. So I actually ended up at the place where I got my eyes tested the last time and was avoiding because their lenses tend to be a lot more expensive than the bigger chains – never mind the frames, just replacing the high index lenses (essential for moles like me who don’t want to end up peering through a pair of milk bottle-bottoms) ended up costing almost as much as a new bike. But they were the ones who said, ‘certainly, we can order something like that’, rather than ‘they no longer make glasses like that; we’re sick of telling people there’s no call for them’ so I decided it was worth the expense.

squished glasses

They also have a very nice optician who explains what she’s doing when she’s testing your eyes so the whole eye examination felt more like a consultation and less like a series of trick questions. It turns out my eyes as well as being extremely short sighted are also quite variable – my astigmatism has mysteriously got better in one eye, but shifted in orientation, while my other eye has decided to develop astigmatism and both have got more short sighted. And while my close vision is still pretty good, the stronger prescription will mean that I will now start to do the thing where you want to take your glasses off to read small print, after which its only a short hop skip and jump towards needing longer arms, followed by the dreaded varifocals. ‘You’re not quite there yet,’ she said sympathetically. ‘But the time will come…’

After that, it was just a question of choosing some frames. As expected, they didn’t have anything in stock but they did know where to look on the internet and with a cry of triumph one of the assistants unearthed a couple of pairs they could order in for me to try on approval that only cost an arm or so, rather than an arm and a leg. And when I with trepidation asked about the lenses themselves, I got some more good news: not only had the prices gone down (from ‘how much?!’ to ‘ouch’) but if I waited until next week there would be a sale with 30% off the complete package, bringing it all the way down to almost reasonable. I can’t help but feel that they don’t let you know about little things like that in Specsavers…

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7 Responses to More Testing Times

  1. commuterjohn says:

    Yes, fashionable glasses….. you might not need new glasses for 2 to 3 years but these will be so dated after 1year you will be back to change them anyway!
    I like my style of glasses and must get a new pair soon but expect a similar conversation with the optician!

  2. Isn’t it incredible how opticians can display walls full of frames and still not have the style you’re looking for?

  3. Flighty says:

    Having worn glasses for most of my life I can certainly empathise with this post. I should have my eyes tested again and if I need new lenses will have them fitted to my existing old, non-fashionable, frames. I’ve had varifocals for years now and never had any problems with them xx

  4. disgruntled says:

    @John, @flighty – yes, I normally just keep my frames and replace the lenses, but sadly not an option this time around
    @Rachel – they all seem pretty much of a muchness, you’d think someone would inject some variety

    In other news, the opticians have just rung to say the frames have arrived and look very nice …

  5. cripleh says:

    As a guy who works in optics, this made me giggle.

  6. Joe has worn glasses since he was two, we went through a few opticians before we found one we could work with. Getting the right prescription is more an art than a science I’ve concluded. Do not be afraid of varifocals, only open minded. My last pair of glasses cost as much as my first car! But I lump glasses with hair cuts, as worth spending money on getting it right…

  7. disgruntled says:

    @cripleh – I’m intrigued now … what part of it? Are all eye tests secretly full of trick questions after all?
    @UHDD – Given the cost of my single vision lenses, I’ll hold off on the varifocals for as long as I can…

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