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Saved a Few Bucks
Old 03-07-2004, 03:19 PM   #1
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Saved a Few Bucks

This may not appeal to everyone, but I just saved a couple hundred dollars on eyeglasses by buying online. I spend so much time at the computer that I decided to buy a pair of computer glasses. I also like to watch TV from a reclining position and have been wanting a pair for that (so I don't need to look over the top of my my bifocals). Since they aren't glasses for all-day use, I didn't want to spend much. I paid $39 each (no tax and free shipping if you buy two pair) and got them here:

http://www.39dollarglasses.com/

They work great and I can't tell any difference from other glasses I've paid far more for. There is a real difference at the computer. They come with the thin lenses and UV/scratch protection.

Then I found another place I could have obtained the above two pair of glasses for less, and ordered a pair of bifocals from there. Those haven't arrived yet, but I got a pair of stainless steel frames, the thin lenses, scratch/UV/anti-reflection, and bifocals for $60.85 total. We'll see how they turn out. Here's where I got those:

http://www.zennioptical.com/

So for what it's worth, it may be a way to save a few bucks without sacrificing much.
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Re: Saved a Few Bucks
Old 03-07-2004, 08:53 PM   #2
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Re: Saved a Few Bucks

My father-in-law, with 30 years as a CBS technician, points out that German-made camera lenses cost less per ounce than your average pair of prescription eyeglasses.

It's frightening how fast your eyeball's lenses will crystallize and keep you from focusing. It seemed to only take a few weeks. I finally realized that it was eyestrain, not ER fatigue!

I got a prescription and I was able to find a close match at Wal-Mart's display of reading glasses-- $12. But my eyes don't appear to have reached equilibrium yet, so maybe next month I'll be at http://www.39dollarglasses.com/ ...
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Re: Saved a Few Bucks
Old 03-07-2004, 09:28 PM   #3
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Re: Saved a Few Bucks

Good post, I may be needing some glasses in a year or so. I made use of my old companies "one set of glasses for free every 2 years" by writing that into my calendar. I have about 6 sets right now, but one is a much older prescription and two have a few little scratches.

Costco has some cheapo glasses and does $29 lens refits, but these guys have some frames at $19 that I wouldnt mind wearing outside the house.
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Re: Saved a Few Bucks
Old 03-07-2004, 09:43 PM   #4
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Re: Saved a Few Bucks

At Walmart the other day I bought two magnifying glasses for $1.20. Then I came home and tied them together with old dryer sheets and strapped them to my head.
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Re: Saved a Few Bucks
Old 03-08-2004, 10:58 AM   #5
 
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Re: Saved a Few Bucks

I had laser surgery about 3 years ago. Wore glasses for 30 years. It is truly a miracle! It is very routine now and I highly recommend it. Go to a very respected Opthamologist that will turn you down, if you are not a good candidate for it.

Bi-focals were getting expensive and not working all that well. While the laser surgery cost a few bucks, I am sure that it will save me money over my lifetime. It it truly is a joy to be free of glasses in over 40 years.

I now only need the cheapie drug-store cheaters for reading etc.
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Re: Saved a Few Bucks
Old 03-08-2004, 05:09 PM   #6
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Re: Saved a Few Bucks

Cut-throat, do you have a ballpark figure on what it costs now? Does it last a lifetime, or will you need to have it done again?
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Re: Saved a Few Bucks
Old 03-08-2004, 05:25 PM   #7
 
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Re: Saved a Few Bucks

Bob,

It does last a lifetime! Mine was done 3 years ago and I have perfect distance vision!

I paid $4,000 for both eyes - This was the most in town, but this was also something that I did not want to scrimp on!

I have seen it as cheap as $1K. The price continues to go down.

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Re: Saved a Few Bucks
Old 03-08-2004, 08:51 PM   #8
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Re: Saved a Few Bucks

Quote:
Costco has some cheapo glasses and does $29 lens refits, but these guys have some frames at $19 that I wouldnt mind wearing outside the house.
My current glasses are from Costco; very inexpensive and I found a pair of frames for about a quarter of the cost of similar frames at the local eyedoc. There's also something to be said for trying them on to see how they look, and having someone adjust the glasses if necessary, so you don't get a headache.

Time to get a new pair, alas. Since I have bennies I may as well go for the expensive pair, but it's hard to tell the difference.
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Corrective Surgery
Old 03-09-2004, 06:46 AM   #9
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Corrective Surgery

The laser surgery was really new when I had my eyes done a few years ago, so I opted for RK which was more mature at the time.

It is so incredibly nice to see well and not mess with glasses or contacts!

However, I'm not convinced this surgery has been around long enough that anyone can be sure it's permanent. So far I've had no troubles, but my mother had one eye regress; but in her case that eye was corrected for close reading and not 20/20 (they call it monovision; they can do that so you won't need reading glasses), so I don't know if that precipitated the regression or if it's because of the older RK surgery or if the planets were in bad alignments.

Also, it doesn't eliminate the need for reading glasses unless you do the "monovision" thing and have one eye for distance and one for reading, but that has its downsides, too.

I highly recommend finding a doctor you really trust. So many of these guys are just assembly lines; I drove a friend to get her laser surgery done, and I really felt like were were treated like cattle herded from checkpoint to checkpoint. They had "appointments", but in reality many people would show up at any time, and there were stations for exams, eye drops, consultation, payment, etc. and the patients--and me, the impatient--waited in the waiting room for hours being called up every now and then for the next station to complete the next task. We had to come back a different day for the surgery and waited again for hours. I had no reason to doubt the competency of the doctor or the safety of the procedure, but the people handling was very unpleasant. My experience before was much more personal and amicably timed.
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Re: Saved a Few Bucks
Old 03-09-2004, 10:42 AM   #10
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Re: Saved a Few Bucks

The RK is more likely to "go bad" over time than the laser, but even the laser treated eye can "go bad". The problem with the RK is curling of the areas of the lens that have been radially cut. What happens with both RK and laser is that as you age the lenses in your eyes harden and become radially smaller and thicker. The later you have laser surgery, the longer it'll last. But someone who has laser in their 40's might need a mild eyeglass prescription in their 70's or 80's.

I'm a good example of making sure you should check things out. A cheap laser mill told me 2k to do my eyes and it was absolutely no problem. An opthamologist did a survey and said that I had the worst astigmatism she'd ever seen and laser surgery was absolutely not an option. With an astigmatism you have 'bumps' on the lens that create multiple focus patterns on the retina. Your brain usually picks one pattern and goes with that, and if you're lucky the pattern it picks is a good one. I'm lucky...everything at every distance appears to be about 5% out of focus so my glasses are very mild prescription. Its sort of the "aging actors vaseline on the camera lens" trick. In fact, I never knew I had a "vision problem" until I was in my mid 20's. I quickly discovered that everything, including myself, looked a little better slightly out of focus.
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Re: Saved a Few Bucks
Old 03-09-2004, 12:14 PM   #11
 
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Re: Saved a Few Bucks

Quote:
I had the worst astigmatism she'd ever seen and laser surgery was absolutely not an option. With an astigmatism you have 'bumps' on the lens that create multiple focus patterns on the retina.
TH,

Actually the newer laser systems are very much a solution to astigmatism. It will smooth out the bumps that you refer to.
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Re: Saved a Few Bucks
Old 03-09-2004, 01:05 PM   #12
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Re: Saved a Few Bucks

Its been 3 years since I checked, so maybe things are different now. The story I got then was that simple astigmatism where the cornea is simply misshapen is correctable, but the type I have where both the lens and cornea are not just misshapen but have "bumps" on them isnt correctable with todays technology. Well three years ago technology anyhow.
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Re: Saved a Few Bucks
Old 11-23-2006, 07:15 PM   #13
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Re: Saved a Few Bucks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob_Smith

I found another place I could have obtained the above two pair of glasses for less, and ordered a pair of bifocals from there. Those haven't arrived yet, but I got a pair of stainless steel frames, the thin lenses, scratch/UV/anti-reflection, and bifocals for $60.85 total. We'll see how they turn out. Here's where I got those:

http://www.zennioptical.com/

So for what it's worth, it may be a way to save a few bucks without sacrificing much.
Thanks for the tip, Bob!

I just ordered two sets of single vision from Zenni for about $65 total, including shipping. Heck, I think the fancy le garden optique place I get my eyes checked at usually charges me that much just for lens coating! I always think of that commerical where the lady kicks the pretentious guy in the knee...

I'll let the forum know what I think when I get them.
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Re: Saved a Few Bucks
Old 11-23-2006, 07:57 PM   #14
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Re: Saved a Few Bucks

Quote:
Originally Posted by This space for rent
The story I got then was that simple astigmatism where the cornea is simply misshapen is correctable, but the type I have where both the lens and cornea are not just misshapen but have "bumps" on them isnt correctable with todays technology.
I must have the simple version because everytime I ask an eye doc to explain to me what is wrong with my vision I get the "slightly misshaped" explanation. Mine is so mild that it really only is a problem in low light situations. I use my glasses to drive at night, to shoot, and to watch a movie on the big screen. Last time I checked, Lasik could fix the astigmatism, but the potential for the starbust effect at night made it a draw - which problem could I live with - so I stuck with what I know.

Thanks for the tip on the cheap glasses - my prescription hasn't changed in 25 years, but I hate paying for a new script and glasses every couple of years to replace an old pair.

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Re: Saved a Few Bucks
Old 11-24-2006, 09:20 AM   #15
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Re: Saved a Few Bucks

Thanks Drip for resurrecting this 2.5 year old thread! Bob_Smith's website is still there and the glasses are still cheap. Going to order a pair of bifocals for Greg. Bob, if you are hanging around, did the glasses end up working for you?
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Re: Saved a Few Bucks
Old 11-24-2006, 07:35 PM   #16
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Re: Saved a Few Bucks

Martha, yes, the glasses I bought here worked great for me:

http://www.39dollarglasses.com/

I have purchased three pair and I still use all three. One is strictly for computer use, one is for TV, and the third is a pair of bifocals I wear most of the time.

The first pair of bifocals that I bought from Zenni optical had a different "base curve" than the glasses I had been wearing, so I never quite got used to them. A few months later I bought another pair (with the same base curve as my old glasses) at 39dollarglasses and they worked great for me. So I have been very happy with the glasses I bought at 39dollarglasses.com. They're as good as glasses I had in the past that cost 5 X as much.

As far as I can tell, the only thing you miss online are the adjustments that the optician does. Mine fit fine right out of the box, but even if they didn't, there's an optician in my town who will adjust them for less than $10. I haven't had to use her services, but my wife replaced those little plastic pads that sit on your nose for $2.00, and it took 5 minutes. The optician said she was very glad to do it, even though the glasses weren't purchased there.

The only other thing I would suggest is to check with the last place you bought glasses that worked well for you, ask for the "base curve", and make sure the glasses you're getting online have the same base curve. They don't specifically ask for it online, and the prescription doesn't usually include it. Apparently it isn't an issue for most people. It was for me. Another thing you can do is ask if they'll measure the base curve on your current glasses when you get your new prescription. The idea is to keep it the same if you can.

DRiP Guy, I had better luck with 39dollarglasses.com than with Zenni, but that was due to my situation with the base curve change in the lens they used. Otherwise the glasses were just fine. Also, Zenni was cheaper, but I thought the glasses were a bit less sturdy. But I only tried the one pair of wire rimmed bi-focals from Zenni, and the quality was sufficient, IMO... just not quite as sturdy as the glasses I got from the other place. Let me know how it goes for you.
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Re: Saved a Few Bucks
Old 11-25-2006, 01:45 PM   #17
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Re: Saved a Few Bucks

Thanks Bob, we are going to first try a pair of the cheapy glasses and see how they work.
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Re: Saved a Few Bucks
Old 11-25-2006, 04:17 PM   #18
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Re: Saved a Few Bucks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob_Smith
Cut-throat, do you have a ballpark figure on what it costs now? Does it last a lifetime, or will you need to have it done again?
Hi Folks,

I had LASIK down 6 years ago by one of the top Doc's in the country and a pioneer in it.

My eyes were horible. Couldn't see the E on the chart. Doc had to make me coun fingers from about 6 feet away. My distance vision was slipping at a rate of -.25 evry year or two for 6-8 years. Pulled th trigger at a cost of $2500 per eye.

Absolutely phenomneal results. Had 20/20 in one eye and 20/10 in one for a few weeks. Felt like Steve Austin. That eye slipped quickly to 20/20..

Presently at 20/30 on both eyes, maybe 20/35 on one. So in my case not forever. Got a pair of glasses about 6 months ago. Really need them for night driving but trying to avoid using a lot.

I am a firm beleiver from my past that the quicker you get stronger glassses the quicker you eyes weaken and you need stronger glasses.

Still the best $5k I ever spent. Coke bottles to nothing was absolutely amazing.

Take Cae

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Re: Saved a Few Bucks
Old 11-29-2006, 06:02 PM   #19
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Re: Saved a Few Bucks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
Thanks Drip for resurrecting this 2.5 year old thread! Bob_Smith's website is still there and the glasses are still cheap. Going to order a pair of bifocals for Greg. Bob, if you are hanging around, did the glasses end up working for you?
Hey, for those of us recycling dryer sheets, why let a perfectly good 2.5 year old thread go to waste?

Interestingly, my experience so far is not 'total delight' in that while they accepted and even shipped my order, the USPS tracking number provided was non functional, and they have not yet replied to my request for a fix. Of course, I will likely get the spex tomorrow and then a revised tracking number the day after that... :

Again, will keep everyone posted on the quality when they come.
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Re: Saved a Few Bucks
Old 11-29-2006, 06:05 PM   #20
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Re: Saved a Few Bucks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob_Smith

Zenni was cheaper, but I thought the glasses were a bit less sturdy. But I only tried the one pair of wire rimmed bi-focals from Zenni, and the quality was sufficient, IMO... just not quite as sturdy as the glasses I got from the other place. Let me know how it goes for you.
You bet, and I thank you for the original tip seen here!
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