Playing Blind Woman’s Bluff
Yep, I’m blind as a bat. I’ve got my first pair of glasses in the eighth grade, prehistoric times, about 1962, then graduated to contact lenses, all iterations of them – hard, in the days when I had to carry a machine that boiled the darn things and when you’d lose them behind the eye even, to soft, to dailies, until my eyes just couldn’t take contacts anymore. The dry eye, the irritation, the nuisance. Done.
So back to glasses I went and still am today – adding the nice old-age problem of bi-focals, needing both distance and reading. What next, a cane and a shawl?
I get an annual eye exam (which was part of the EOS Wellness Week) to make sure there are no signs of glaucoma creeping in or macular degeneration. I’m good to go in both regards, but my prescription did change, both distance and reading.
Then had to sit down when I got the bill. For two sets of lenses, no new frames, and the full eye exam, you guess. I’ll give you a hint. The eye exam was only $120.00.
a. $ 765.42
b. $ 512.17
d. $ 997.31
Yes, one of these amounts is the actual price tag of being blind.
So why not go under the knife of an eye surgeon and correct them? My astigmatism seems to be holding up the absolute yes reason for going ahead. My eye doctor said that Lasik doesn’t definitively resolve people with my particular eye problem. Here’s what the American Optometric Association says:
Astigmatism can also be corrected by reshaping the cornea using a highly focused laser beam of light. Two commonly used procedures are photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) and laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK).
PRK removes tissue from the superficial and inner layers of the cornea. LASIK does not remove tissue from the surface of the cornea, but only from its inner layer. To do this, a section of outer corneal surface is cut and folded back to expose the inner tissue. Then a laser is used to remove the precise amount of tissue needed and the flap of outer tissue is placed back in position to heal. Both procedures allow light to focus on the retina by altering the shape of the cornea.
The question remains, whether I repair my eyes or stay with glasses, why on earth are lenses so darn expensive? I asked my eye doctor today when I went to pick up both pair. He’s a dear, a doctor I’ve used for 25 years and in whom I have trust and faith (blind faith??).
He said, call Essilor. They are, according to their own website, the leading manufacturer of eyeglass lenses and have 128 labs in the USA. They make progressive lenses, with no line for the bi-focal user like me. They make No Glare lenses. They make them all and it’s the choice my eye doctor says is worth the expense. Quality.
In case you want the answer to the quiz, it’s C, $1220!!!!!!! $510 for one set of lenses. $590 for the other pair. Maybe I should go buy some Essilor stock. As it turns out, not a bad stock pick:
Year over year, Essilor International SA has been able to grow revenues from €3.9B EUR to €4.2B EUR. Most impressively, the company has been able to reduce the percentage of sales devoted to income tax expense from 4.30% to 4.28%. This was a driver that led to a bottom line growth from €462.0M EUR to €505.6M EUR.