My Incompetent Eyeballs, Take 2

Here is Take 1. Cliff’s Notes version: Glasses broke so I had to get new ones; oldish prescription, but still good (I thought); went to Costco for affordable frames and lenses; first pair had polycarbonate lenses and anti-reflective coating, but I had to take them back because of massive distortion; second pair had regular plastic lenses and anti-reflective coating, but I had to take them back due to not-as-massive-yet-still-as-annoying distortion; went to the eye doctor, but they sent me to Optical instead of checking my eyes against the prescription, and Optical said to have the base curve changed from 4.75 to 6; took glasses back to Costco yet again, and that is where Take 2 begins . . .

When the new glasses came back, with all the specs that Optical hoped they should have, they were not only distorted, they were also WRONG. When I had the polycarbonate lenses, everything I looked directly at was nice and sharp and clear. It was everything around what I was looking directly at that was distorted. When I got the plastic lenses, there was something weird about my left eye, and my eyes seemed to unfocus and refocus as soon as I put them on, but it still seemed like I could see okay when looking directly at something. The third pair . . . I couldn’t read clearly in the middle distance, which made the glasses completely worthless. I wore them for an hour or two, and gave up on them quickly. It was obvious my old glasses were superior to the new — which is not how it’s supposed to be! And whenever I took them somewhere to get them looked at, everyone commented on how the new prescription (2011) is just not that different from the old (2008).

So I called the eye doctor and managed, wonder of wonders, to get an appointment that same week! On a day my husband had already taken off! Hooray! I was determined to go in and not get foisted off on Optical, and, fortunately, they took me seriously when I said that something was definitely wrong, and needed to be fixed.

An optician (at least — she might have been an optometrist, because she was using the equipment) checked my eyes for me, with my new glasses and my old glasses, then checked my eyes with the equipment they use to determine a prescription. She found that my left eye Rx needed some fine-tuning, but the right eye didn’t need as much power as it had in the past. The doctor concurred when he checked, later. It just wasn’t enough to make a difference in the problems I was having with the new glasses, though. They had Optical check my new glasses out completely, and they were all to spec: Correct prescription and base curve.

What else could it be but a material issue? They called J.C. Penney, where I got my original glasses, and Costco, hoping to find a difference in materials between the two. I’d thought that I’d gotten regular plastic lenses from J.C. Penney, because polycarbonate costs more. However, J.C. Penney claimed that the glasses they sold me were polycarb! Costco confirmed the plastic (CR-something-something). SO, the doctor said that maybe I need to switch back to polycarb, but with the same base curve as what they are now.

Up to this point in the story, I’ve had two people confirm my prescription, tweaking it ever so slightly as to make almost no difference, and two sets of glasses with very little difference in prescription and the same base curve (and same lens size and shape in the frames!) but still a major discrepancy in visual quality. What else could it be but the materials?

I took them back to Costco — hoping they would be kind to me, their Worst Customer Evar — and asked if they could change the lenses, once again, to polycarb, but with the same base curve as what they have now. Almost as soon as I got the words out of my mouth, the Costco optician said that polycarb is aspherical, and cannot be made with a base curve (she was nice about it, thankfully).

Um. Well. Okay. I guess that clinches it: I’m officially back at Square One!

(Also, why didn’t the doctor know that?)

All I could figure at that point is that I’m going to have to go somewhere else for glasses. This makes me very sad. I might have to spend $100+ more to get them right somewhere else. I thought for a second, and then asked if I could just get a refund. She was totally cool with that. (Probably happy to get rid of me, finally?)

Now I just have to figure out who can make glasses for me, and how much more I’m going to need to budget for them. Meh.

I did ask the doctor whether I could be a candidate for Lasik, and he said that I would have to solve my dry eye issues first and then I could be, but PRK might be a better option, because it’s usually better for people with dry eyes. We’ll have to see . . . But that might be more cost effective in the long run than $300 every time my stupid frames break!

So, I might have another glasses saga to tell when I go try to find some new ones. But, for now, the masking tape seems to be holding my old frames together pretty well. 🙂