Author Topic: Mustachian Four Eyes: Glasses, Contacts, Lasik?  (Read 11260 times)

fruplicity

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Mustachian Four Eyes: Glasses, Contacts, Lasik?
« on: May 16, 2012, 11:49:39 AM »
Just curious to hear how those of us with poor vision get by at a reasonable price. I've heard great things about Zenni optical and other online stores that you can get a pair for as little as $25, but have never ordered. My eyes are so screwy that when I priced out my prescription it went up to about $65.

Do you think contacts or glasses are more green and frugal? I stick with glasses because I just hate the idea of having contacts inside my eyes all day. I tried them once and kind of freaked out. But now that my eyesight has deteriorated to the point that I have to wear glasses all the time, I'm getting sick of them.

Also wondering if anyone out there has gotten lasik, how much they paid,  and if they think it was worth it?


arebelspy

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Re: Mustachian Four Eyes: Glasses, Contacts, Lasik?
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2012, 12:00:37 PM »
Luckily the wife and my optical needs are covered by work.  We're both at -9.0 and -9.5 prescription.

We get free contacts through them, and we also use Zenni Optical.

Would be curious to hear other's LASIK experiences, I've considered it but can't justify it.  The wife isn't really interested in it.
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sideways8

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Re: Mustachian Four Eyes: Glasses, Contacts, Lasik?
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2012, 12:12:59 PM »
I've been wearing glasses all day every day for about 12 years. I feel like they have become part of my face so I'm personally very hesitant to get rid of them even though my sight is pretty horrible (the world looks sort of like an up-close Monet painting without corrective lenses). I'm OK with poking my eyes so I didn't mind the feel of putting in/removing contacts but I found them to usually be less convenient than glasses. Plus I'm self conscious if I don't have my glasses on. I feel naked without them!

My mom, grandma, sister, and my best friend have all had their eyes zapped and couldn't be happier. I know the price is in the thousands (my friend had hers done last year for around $3000 I think). My mom has a weak RX now and does have glasses but doesn't have to wear them all the time but she got her eyes done WAAAAY back in the 90's and her vision was absolutely 100% awful. Think huge, ugly coke bottle lenses. Anyways, like I said, they are all happy with the results and don't miss their glasses at all! Some days I think about how nice it would be to not have to pay a triple digit price for a dang pair of sunglasses that I can see through. I'd get my eyes zapped if I knew there was an impending zombie apocolypse. Otherwise, I'm sticking with my beloved spectacles (which, by the way, I did NOT love at first).

James

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Re: Mustachian Four Eyes: Glasses, Contacts, Lasik?
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2012, 12:55:48 PM »
I had laser surgery about 6 years ago and couldn't be happier.  I hated glasses and love the freedom of skipping them.  Regarding the finacial part of the decison, it just comes down to the personal benefits and value you see in it.  If I was mustachian at the time I would have waited until I had paid off my loans and saved up specifically for the surgery, but I would have gone ahead with it eventually.

tooqk4u22

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Re: Mustachian Four Eyes: Glasses, Contacts, Lasik?
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2012, 01:12:38 PM »
Just curious to hear how those of us with poor vision get by at a reasonable price. I've heard great things about Zenni optical and other online stores that you can get a pair for as little as $25, but have never ordered. My eyes are so screwy that when I priced out my prescription it went up to about $65.

Do you think contacts or glasses are more green and frugal? I stick with glasses because I just hate the idea of having contacts inside my eyes all day. I tried them once and kind of freaked out. But now that my eyesight has deteriorated to the point that I have to wear glasses all the time, I'm getting sick of them.

Also wondering if anyone out there has gotten lasik, how much they paid,  and if they think it was worth it?



Glasses for $65?  When I get glasses I seem to get nailed for like $300+ and I get the cheapest frames they have...although I think a big part is the anti-glare.   

D-Mang

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Re: Mustachian Four Eyes: Glasses, Contacts, Lasik?
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2012, 01:13:27 PM »
I got my eyes done about 4 years ago, one of the best decisions I've ever made.

I got quotes from Clearly Lasik and Lasik MD (the two competitors in town), and took the lower one to the other guy, who gave me a further 20% off that price, so total cost was just around $2000.  I felt they really tried to upsell you with fancy 'rainbow' lasers and such, but if you do some research before hand you can let them know that you aren't interested in it.

As I am fairly active, I don't need to worry about breaking/losing glasses, or having several different pairs for different activities.  Before I got zapped I think I paid ~$400 dollars for a pair, plus the $100's I was paying in contacts.  The money savings, along with the soreness I would get from my contacts makes me very glad I did it.

makincaid

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Re: Mustachian Four Eyes: Glasses, Contacts, Lasik?
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2012, 01:23:00 PM »
I use Zenni Optical, and I've had good experience.

tooqk4u22

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Re: Mustachian Four Eyes: Glasses, Contacts, Lasik?
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2012, 01:43:41 PM »
Just went to Zenni - definitely will go this way next time.  Ignore prior question about cost, now I get it - even choosing the most expensive glasses and addons only gets you a bit north of $100.  Now a feel stupid, please tell me the site came online this year so I can convince myself I had no other option last time :(

bogart

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Re: Mustachian Four Eyes: Glasses, Contacts, Lasik?
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2012, 01:49:21 PM »
My DH had Lasik done and is happy with the results (ironically he still requires glasses -- now OTC for reading rather than Rx for distance; he knew this was true before he had the surgery).  His was done about 5 years ago and I forget the cost, but am thinking $4k?  However, prices may have come down.  He's had chronic dry eye problems since, though, which may or may not be related.  Anyway, again, key point:  he's happy, but key subpoint:  the casual outside observer (say, his wife) might even today not fully understand why it was worth it, considering.  But, being a loving wife and all, she'll grin and bear it ... (also I'll note that as I don't yet need glasses I probably don't "really get it.").

michelle

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Re: Mustachian Four Eyes: Glasses, Contacts, Lasik?
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2012, 03:12:55 PM »
In 2000, I drove to Canada (lived in WA state) and had both eyes done for about $1,000.  I had a couple followups to make sure everything healed up nicely and haven't been in since.  Probably should go occasionally but haven't.  I recommend it highly, but please don't just go wherever is cheapest.  I feel very lucky with my results considering the lack of due diligence and I did in advance.

Husband finally got it in 2009 here in Houston and I think it was about $3,500.  He is ecstatic.  He had a coworker friend who had been seriously botched by a massive Lasik provider recommend a doctor.  This is the doctor who has done a couple follow-up surgeries to get his vision corrected as much as possible (double vision instead of quadruple).  The lawsuit proceeds were huge, but not worth messed-up vision

Please avoid the places that advertise on the radio.  I've heard numerous horror stories.  The appointment where they tell you if you are a good candidate should be extensive.  Get more than one opinion.

From a financial perspective, I believe Lasik pays for itself pretty quickly. 

5oclockshadow

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Re: Mustachian Four Eyes: Glasses, Contacts, Lasik?
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2012, 03:16:31 PM »
I read your whole post with my Zenni glasses... and didn't miss a word!  $12.95 + shipping a couple years ago.  I got a second "backup" pair for even cheaper; they're my insurance policy that will allow me to wait the 1 week shipping from Zenni if I ever break/lose this pair.

I would love to not have glasses, and have considered Lasix.   Unless you're >45-50, Lasix would be cheaper than contacts in the long run.  With as cheaply as one can get prescription glasses these days, however, I'm sure glasses are cheaper than Lasix.

iamsoners

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Re: Mustachian Four Eyes: Glasses, Contacts, Lasik?
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2012, 04:38:41 PM »
I dream of the day I can get Lasik.  I can't stand the feel of glasses and I spend a ton of time outdoors camping and playing sports so contacts are a must.  When I was doing 60+ nights of camping a year, I used to have the kind of contacts that you can sleep in--which were wonderful but twice the price of regular contacts.  I'm back on regular contacts now, but unfortunately I use an allergy medicine which, when combined with contacts, leads to very dry eyes. 

I've been putting off Lasik until I'm finished child bearing as I've heard that can have a strange effect on vision and my eyes have continued to get worse throughout my 20s.  Maybe we can get a his and hers vasectomy + lasik package when the time comes?

What are good mustachian strategies for getting ready for Lasik?  Maxing out FSA is about all I can think of... a HSA would work for this too, right? (neither my husband nor I have that as an option right now0

bogart

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Re: Mustachian Four Eyes: Glasses, Contacts, Lasik?
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2012, 08:12:02 PM »
Maxing out FSA is about all I can think of...

An odd and little-known quirk of FSAs, as I understand them (and have used them) is that if you have one, spend it up early in the year, and then leave that employer for any reason, the employer is required to pay up what you would have paid in from your paycheck.  So my employer allows me to put in $4K per year; if I have a procedure (e.g. Lasik) done on January 5th (let's give me some time to get over the New Year's celebrations, OK?), spend out the $4K, and then quit on the 6th -- well, my employer's stuck with the tab (less whatever I earned 1/1-1/5 and or have to pay in through deductions associated with paid time-off balances that get paid out when I leave work.

I have known 2 people who used this to good effect with planned retirements.  Check with your HR, but I'm pretty sure it's part of federal law.  Obviously only useful if you plan to leave an employer (or conversely if you get stuck leaving but have time to spend out the projected balance).

James

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Re: Mustachian Four Eyes: Glasses, Contacts, Lasik?
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2012, 08:18:37 PM »
Maxing out FSA is about all I can think of...

An odd and little-known quirk of FSAs, as I understand them (and have used them) is that if you have one, spend it up early in the year, and then leave that employer for any reason, the employer is required to pay up what you would have paid in from your paycheck.  So my employer allows me to put in $4K per year; if I have a procedure (e.g. Lasik) done on January 5th (let's give me some time to get over the New Year's celebrations, OK?), spend out the $4K, and then quit on the 6th -- well, my employer's stuck with the tab (less whatever I earned 1/1-1/5 and or have to pay in through deductions associated with paid time-off balances that get paid out when I leave work.

I have known 2 people who used this to good effect with planned retirements.  Check with your HR, but I'm pretty sure it's part of federal law.  Obviously only useful if you plan to leave an employer (or conversely if you get stuck leaving but have time to spend out the projected balance).


And if it fits within your ethics...  :)


I would feel fine about that if I was laid off, but would not do that knowing ahead of time I planned to quit.  It would be like spending money like crazy knowing you were going to file for bankruptcy eventually anyway.

Bakari

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Re: Mustachian Four Eyes: Glasses, Contacts, Lasik?
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2012, 08:32:20 PM »
He's had chronic dry eye problems since, though, which may or may not be related. 

I've read that that is very common after Lasik.
One of the main reasons I've been hesitant.

Dicey

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Re: Mustachian Four Eyes: Glasses, Contacts, Lasik?
« Reply #15 on: May 16, 2012, 11:04:11 PM »
I've been wearing glasses and/or contacts for most of my life. I have a great ophthalmologist. She knows I'v been saving for the surgery and every year I ask her if the technique has been perfected enough for me to go for it. A couple of years ago, she said when asked yet again, "Hmmm, let me check something" after a few calculations and some thought she said "That money you're saving for the eye surgery? Spend it on some other body part." Apparently my corneas are too thin to guarantee a good result. I almost fell out of the chair laughing at her response. Still deciding which other body part to spend the money on. Maybe I'll just wait until something falls off...

Anecdotally, my brother and a cousin had the surgery and LOVED the results. After about seven years, they each needed "readers". Both say they are glad they did it and would do it all over again.

herisff

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Re: Mustachian Four Eyes: Glasses, Contacts, Lasik?
« Reply #16 on: May 17, 2012, 08:20:44 AM »
I grew up wearing glasses and over time they were the classic coke bottle lenses. I was finally able to start wearing contact lenses in my 20s (when my eyes stabilized), and wore them for many years (non-disposable gas permeable lenses). However by the time I was in my 40s I started having problems w/ capillary growth inwards towards my pupils. When I switched back to glasses, they were so heavy that I was getting infections and skin breakdown under the nosepads. I spoke w/ my optometrist, who told me that my visual acuity was so bad my choices for Lasik were to go to 1 ophthalmologist in town or to go to Canada. I chose to stay local and had Lasik done in 1999 (2 sessions for each eye, and I had my tear ducts plugged as I've always had dry eyes). I knew going in that the surgery may not correct my severe astigmatism over time, but was extremely pleased that I got a year of no glasses. The glasses I currently wear are featherweight in comparison to what I started out with (no more infections!). And now that my eyes are changing again in my 50s, I can actually go without them at times when reading.

Really the only thing I do nowadays to contain costs on my glasses is to re-use the frames when possible. The current set of lightweight frames has been re-lensed at least 3 times, maybe 5. They've held up well during a move to another state, being dropped several times, etc etc etc. The color is starting to wear but they still fit just fine and are comfortable.

As for Lasik, be sure to choose your surgeon carefully. You want someone who is meticulous and has steady hands. When I met mine, I knew he would be great - not a great bedside manner but great patient care - Saturday post-op checkups for Friday surgeries, kept up on all the latest journals, just loved his work, and meticulous during his exams.

Mrs MM

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Re: Mustachian Four Eyes: Glasses, Contacts, Lasik?
« Reply #17 on: May 17, 2012, 10:05:24 AM »
Great advice here!  I had Lasik done in 2003.  I was super nervous and went to a really good doctor (he was the founder of some of the lasik equipment apparently!).  Several friends had gone to him and gave him high praise.  After the surgery he told me it was one the biggest corrections he had done - ha! - and then he gave me a hug.  :)

Anyway, it cost $3000 and was totally worth it for me.  I was a contact lens wearer from 7th grade until I got he surgery.  I wore glasses before that.  My eyes were -7 and -8, I think.

Before I got the surgery, I went to the eye doctor for months as my eyes had gotten kind of screwed up from wearing contacts constantly for so many years.  I had to wear glasses and they even thought I might have some weird eye disease and that they wouldn't be able to do the lasik, but when I went without contacts for so long, my eyes eventually regained their normal shape and we were able to go ahead.  I had to wait about 3-4 months though before getting it.

The surgery itself was so simple and quick that it was sort of ridiculous that I had waited so long to do it.  My eyes felt weird for a few days after, but I remember that my surgery was in November and at the end of December I left on a 6-week long trip.  I remember opening my eyes under water for the first time since I got the surgery and being amazed I could see!  I did get dry eyes for a while (and put drops in my eyes every morning for probably a year) and got some halo stuff at first, but now it's been nearly 9 years and I don't have any of those problems anymore.  My eyesight is 20/20 in one eye and a little less good in the other eye.  I chose to forego the free included correction since I feel like I can still see really well - with both eyes open I am 20/20 anyway.

My eyes have not deteriorated (I'm only 37 though) and my eyesight was the same from 2nd grade until I got the surgery, so I was a good candidate.

Anyway, just thought I'd let you know what my experience was...

sideways8

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Re: Mustachian Four Eyes: Glasses, Contacts, Lasik?
« Reply #18 on: May 17, 2012, 10:11:48 AM »
Herisff- I agree on carefully choosing the surgeon. It would be nice to get the cheapest deal but this is your vision... you can't replace your eyes! My mom and sister actually flew out to Texas to have their eyes done (we're from Illinois) by an exceptional surgeon. I think the guy was involved in developing the procedure or something like that.

On the Zenni glasses- WOW they have a billion different frames! My only hesitation is picking a pair of glasses only to have them not look good on me when they arrive, although I do have a general idea of what tends to look OK on me. Do any of you have experience with having to exchange/return a pair? I'm excited about potentially trying them, though, since I tend to like the more expensive frames. I don't care about brands but it seems like every time I find a pair that I REALLY like, they happen to be in the triple digits!!

James

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Re: Mustachian Four Eyes: Glasses, Contacts, Lasik?
« Reply #19 on: May 17, 2012, 10:17:51 AM »
Back before I got my lasik surgery I researched it and found the biggest impact on quality of the work is length of practice.  By far the biggest impact on complications was being one of the first 500-1000 surgeries by someone learning the practice.  If they have done a couple thousand it doesn't matter much who you see (within reason).

Workstoomcuh

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Re: Mustachian Four Eyes: Glasses, Contacts, Lasik?
« Reply #20 on: May 17, 2012, 10:33:20 AM »
I just had Lasik done 2 months ago. Best decision of the year. Bonus points was that I put money aside in an FSA to cover the cost. $4500 for the operation, but since they have a relationship with my employer they brought it down to $2900. My FSA had about $2000 left in it. I actually eneded up leaving my employer 1 month ago and don't have to fund the my negative FSA balance. So I paid about $800 Pre tax and about $900 post tax for $1700ish total. I really enjoy not having to worry about glasses all the time. I also bike to work now, so its convenient to grab any pair of sunglasses instead of super expensive sunglasses. I'm sure this will work out great financially as I won't need to pruchase anything for the next 15-20 years (before I need glasses again).

cosmie

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Re: Mustachian Four Eyes: Glasses, Contacts, Lasik?
« Reply #21 on: May 17, 2012, 02:34:30 PM »
Both of my eyes are myopic and have astigmatisms. I've worn glasses from the time I wake up until the time I go to sleep virtually every day for over 10 years (I'm only 20 and I can't remember much before I was ten). I've worn contacts before, but toric contacts are outrageously expensive; and I can't cheap out on the generics because they're so thick they cause eye problems. I tended to sleep in them though, which got me scolded by my optometrist enough that he wouldn't give them to me anymore. Rather than find a new doctor, I figured he was right.

I can't wait until I'm in a position to get Lasik. Sadly, my vision has continually changed at every visit (save for one) over the past 5 years, so I have to wait for it to stabilize. I ache for the day to be able to wear sunglasses, or see while swimming, or not be paranoid to have a backup pair of glasses readily available at all times, etc. I'm paranoid about getting it however, as my maternal side of the family is predisposed towards several adult-onset diseases that result in legal blindness (my grandmother and her 3 brothers are all legally blind, all from completely unrelated eye diseases). Because of that, my eye doctor can't decide if I'd even be a good candidate for Lasik.

shedinator

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Re: Mustachian Four Eyes: Glasses, Contacts, Lasik?
« Reply #22 on: May 17, 2012, 04:32:16 PM »
This Thread might be of interest, although it only addresses spectacles and contacts.

I've given Lasik some thought, but the dry eye thing worries me, and by my calculations it's likely cost prohibitive. My math for that is as follows:

I'm 23, and probably won't get new spectacles again until I'm 24. Between the ages of 24 and 48, I expect I'll buy spectacles 8 times, at about $80 (inflation adjusted) each time, for a total of $640. Even if the inflation-adjusted price doubles, it would only be $1280 in a 24 year span, leaving another $1720 before it meets the price of Lasik, and that's not accounting for the interest I could earn on the cash I don't spend up front.
I know a lot of people who got corrective eye surgery at some point in their lives 20s-30s, and to a (wo)man, they have all needed some kind of spectacles by the time they were in their late 40s, primarily for reading and driving. A pair of non-prescription readers runs about $10. Assuming I needed to replace them at about the same rate, that's $10/year every 3 years, which would be a savings of $70/3 years. I would have to buy $1720/70= ~24 pairs of readers before break even, or about 72 years' worth, at which point I'd be 120.

I might still get in front of a laser, especially if I can get some cost-mitigation from an insurance company, but I've resigned myself to the fact that there's not a strong economic argument for Lasik instead of spectacles.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2012, 04:41:42 PM by arebelspy »

the fixer

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Re: Mustachian Four Eyes: Glasses, Contacts, Lasik?
« Reply #23 on: May 17, 2012, 08:31:45 PM »
I did the FSA trick too, for PRK. My corneas were a little on the thin side and besides, LASIK grosses me out with the flap they do with your cornea. As far as ethics go with using an FSA then leaving your employer, I had regularly not spent enough of my FSA in past years and lost money. When that happens, that excess money your employer gets to keep. So if you spend more of your FSA than you contribute before leaving, that money is just coming out of the pool of all the other employees who contributed too much.

I heard the health care reform law is setting a cap on FSA amounts, which will make this trick worth less than it used to be.

The first year after the procedure my eyes regularly got pretty irritated by allergens, but this year has been much better.

Meg

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Re: Mustachian Four Eyes: Glasses, Contacts, Lasik?
« Reply #24 on: May 18, 2012, 08:13:20 PM »
I also use Zenni Optical. I cannot afford a Lasik and my eyes cannot adapt to contacts. I usually get titanium frames and PC lenses which are more durable. And they only cost me $50 on Zenni Optical. BTW, I just got my prescription sunglasses from them; plastic frame and tinted 1.57 lenses are only $20. The quality is good enough for the summer.

Daley

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Re: Mustachian Four Eyes: Glasses, Contacts, Lasik?
« Reply #25 on: May 19, 2012, 04:49:07 PM »
I want to try Zenni Optical, but then I keep seeing quotes like this:

The quality is good enough for the summer.

What sort of quality should I expect off these things? I'm all for frugality, and it delights my heart to see eyeglasses in line price-wise with what frames, lenses and grinding actually cost without the massive mark-up, but I also expect my glasses to last longer than six months. I want frames to last up to or longer than five years and lenses that don't scratch when you sneeze on them. I'd rather overspend $80-150 on glasses that'll be done right and stand up than $20 unwarranted glasses with a 50% restock fee and shipping even if they screw up that have a habit of falling apart in months.

Any comforting words on this concern, or is this another cheap shoes thing?

menorman

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Re: Mustachian Four Eyes: Glasses, Contacts, Lasik?
« Reply #26 on: May 19, 2012, 04:57:01 PM »
I wear glasses, have been for about 16 years now. Only costs I incur are about $200 every two years when I get new ones. Insurance covers a generous portion of the pricing, but I usually get additional options that raise the prices (multifocal lenses, Transitions lenses, different frames, etc.). Everything else is covered by insurance which (thanks to Obama) I can stay one for another 1.5 years. I considered contacts in the past because I thought it would be a good idea, but I had trouble getting them on so I figured I didn't need that in my life. Then I started reading more about the dangers of contacts in sports (which I participate in somewhat regularly) and they also would have added an recurring charge for replacements. After realizing that the military also doesn't even allow contact lenses, I figured that if glasses are good enough for a soldier they're good enough for me. I've thought about Lasik as well, but I'm not sure how much insurance would cover and astigmatism.

Mirwen

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Re: Mustachian Four Eyes: Glasses, Contacts, Lasik?
« Reply #27 on: May 19, 2012, 05:37:47 PM »
I had PRK on March 29th.  I paid $4000 to go to the most respected local surgeon.  I did not shop around because I didn't want to take any chances with my eyes.  I spoke with several optometrists and they all said they wouldn't go to anyone but Dr. Wellish.  Dr. Wellish used the Visx S4 with customvue.  I had -10 in both eyes before the surgery.  Only 6 weeks later I am seeing 20/20 in my right eye and 20/25 in my left eye with some minor artifacts like halos and ghosting.  I fully expect to be seeing exceptionally by the end of the 3-6 month healing period. 

I saved up and paid for most out of my HSA.  I can reimburse myself for the rest later once my account refills.  Because of my high Rx and thin corneas I couldn't do Lasik.  PRK is a safer procedure anyway.  I was convinced to go ahead with the surgery after seeing multiple statistics (in refereed journals) that show that more peoples eyesight (BCV) improves than worsens.  In one study on Navy pilots who had PRK only one out of 976 did not return to flight duty afterward.

I read a whole bunch of journal articles and discovered that vitamin supplementation (anti-oxidants), steroid drop schedule, and rest during the first week make a huge impact on recovery.  I kept my eyes closed and iced for the first three days while I wasn't sleeping. On the fourth day I was able to drive.  I currently have dry eye and my tear ducts are plugged.  With PRK it takes about 2 yrs for nerves to regrow and about 5 years after Lasik.  While your nerves are severed, you will have dry eye.  However, for most people, this does eventually go away.

I figured for my current use of contacts and glasses (about $250/yr) it would take about 20 years to break even.  Since I'm 33, and I couldn't function at all without glasses before, it was worth it for the convenience and safety.  I wore glasses for 27 years and I don't miss them.

I'd say that if you want to do Lasik or PRK that it can make sense, but it's a real toss-up financially so it's up to personal preference.

arebelspy

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Re: Mustachian Four Eyes: Glasses, Contacts, Lasik?
« Reply #28 on: May 19, 2012, 08:42:12 PM »
I want to try Zenni Optical, but then I keep seeing quotes like this:

The quality is good enough for the summer.

What sort of quality should I expect off these things? I'm all for frugality, and it delights my heart to see eyeglasses in line price-wise with what frames, lenses and grinding actually cost without the massive mark-up, but I also expect my glasses to last longer than six months. I want frames to last up to or longer than five years and lenses that don't scratch when you sneeze on them. I'd rather overspend $80-150 on glasses that'll be done right and stand up than $20 unwarranted glasses with a 50% restock fee and shipping even if they screw up that have a habit of falling apart in months.

Any comforting words on this concern, or is this another cheap shoes thing?

I would not expect them to last 5 years.  Two is not out of the question.  Depends on how "hard" you are on them.

IMO, stuff like that is usually worth the $20 shot, and if it fails after 6 months, oh well, you don't get it again.

The more expensive ones cost you $150/60 months (5 years) = $2.50/mo.  These, if they last two years, cost $20/24 = $0.83/mo.  If they only last 6 months, then they cost $20/6 = $3.33.  So if you get these, and they fall apart after 6 months (I'd be surprised, but you may be hard on them), then it cost you (3.33 - 2.5)x6 = $4.98 by amortizing it like that.

$5 is probably worth risking.

The break even point is 8 months.  If they last longer than that, you've saved money (comparing $20 to $150, obviously those numbers could change).
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Daley

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Re: Mustachian Four Eyes: Glasses, Contacts, Lasik?
« Reply #29 on: May 20, 2012, 07:48:05 AM »
I would not expect them to last 5 years.  Two is not out of the question.  Depends on how "hard" you are on them.

IMO, stuff like that is usually worth the $20 shot, and if it fails after 6 months, oh well, you don't get it again.

The more expensive ones cost you $150/60 months (5 years) = $2.50/mo.  These, if they last two years, cost $20/24 = $0.83/mo.  If they only last 6 months, then they cost $20/6 = $3.33.  So if you get these, and they fall apart after 6 months (I'd be surprised, but you may be hard on them), then it cost you (3.33 - 2.5)x6 = $4.98 by amortizing it like that.

$5 is probably worth risking.

The break even point is 8 months.  If they last longer than that, you've saved money (comparing $20 to $150, obviously those numbers could change).

I can't find fault with your calculations, but I'm a bit out of the ordinary for standards on glasses. My eyesight is pretty stable, and has been for quite some time. I typically only go to the optometrist when I notice my vision has changed enough to warrant it or the glasses break. This last go around? That was seven years ago, but prescriptions are only good for two years. (Only change over that entire time? +0.75 dioptre in one eye.) My wife's eyesight hasn't changed at all in four years (confirmed tested, old frames didn't hold the lens well anymore).

I need to replace the glasses soon and get the new script filled, but I've been shopping around. If I get another five years out of the next pair (cheapest local I've found is $80), the target to beat is $1.33 a month (which feels expensive after the current pair cost about $0.54/month, and I need new frames as the melamine is starting to go). Granted, the break even is only 15 months with a $20 Zinni pair, but my script is already two months old. I'm gentle on eyewear, but if they break in two years, I'm not just out another pair of glasses, I'm out another eye exam that I likely won't need. Could buy spares up front, of course... hrm. I'm feeling torn between my purchasing ethos and the raw numbers. Gotta ruminate on this one.

NestEggChick (formerly PFgal)

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Re: Mustachian Four Eyes: Glasses, Contacts, Lasik?
« Reply #30 on: May 20, 2012, 08:17:15 AM »
I haven't seen anyone mention Costco yet.  I have been getting Costco glasses since the mid-1990s.  I went to other shops a couple of times when I moved away and didn't live near a Costco, and both times I wasn't satisfied.  I have two pairs of Costco glasses now (distance and reading - and yes, I'm only 32) and the costs were $110 and $90, including lenses (but without anti-glare, since I find those hard to clean.)  These are single prescriptions and they'll charge more for bifocals, but they are still cheaper than most other places.  The one downside is that it can take 1-2 weeks to get the glasses, so this is no good if you need them right away.  If there's no rush, check them out, or maybe another of the big bulk retailers.

That said, two years ago I was unemployed so I bought a pair of glasses at Zenni.  For $20 I got a pair that didn't feel sturdy, but it's lasted 2 years so far, so that's good enough for me.  I switch back and forth between these and my Costco glasses - I need to have two pair so that I have a spare, just in case one breaks.  I may go back to Zenni for my next pair - the price is amazing, and for $20 or so, even if they don't last, it's worth a try.  The clip-on sunglasses weren't very good, but luckily my old clip-ons happened to fit, so I use those.

For those of you spending $300 per pair, consider some of the alternatives.  Unless you're one of the lucky ones who don't need new glasses often, you could end up spending a lot of money very fast.

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Re: Mustachian Four Eyes: Glasses, Contacts, Lasik?
« Reply #31 on: May 23, 2012, 10:03:11 AM »
Like Mrs. MM., I find this a fascinating thread!

I've been lucky enough to never need glasses (I had a slight need for them to see long distances when I used to work on a computer all day, but after I quit software engineering the eyes miraculously went to 20/20 within 6 months or so!).

But after seeing the effect on quality of life that the laser surgery had on my wife, I would definitely sign up for it myself if I needed it. Even though it's moderately expensive, I'd consider it a great investment. She used to spend many hours per month dealing with the repetitive maintenance of glasses and contacts. The extra productivity of having eyes that just work automatically is worth quite a bit. This especially applies to people who use contacts instead of glasses.

On the other hand, if you can see great with glasses, and enjoy wearing them anyway because they make you look cool (or maybe this is just my personal bias, knowing a lot of cool glasses wearers?), then perhaps the laser eye surgery offers no benefit. Glasses seem to be much longer lasting and less hassle than contacts.

Mirwen

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Re: Mustachian Four Eyes: Glasses, Contacts, Lasik?
« Reply #32 on: May 23, 2012, 10:42:38 PM »
Quote
I haven't seen anyone mention Costco yet...  For those of you spending $300 per pair, consider some of the alternatives.

I should mention that I used to purchase my glasses from Costco too.  I highly recommend them, they are the best lenses I have owned. 

I wouldn't be so quick to judge what other people pay for glasses though.  Those with high Rx pay more.  My last pair from Costco cost $195 ($60 of which was frames) because I need high index lenses ; regular lenses are too heavy and rub against my face.  For another $50 I could get the photochromic lenses, or I can buy clip-ons.  I have the same problem with contacts.  My eyes need the extra oxygen that extended wear lenses provide and I need toric lenses, those are expensive.  So even with shopping around, some people just have to pay more.

I'm so glad I don't have to deal with contacts anymore.