My Incompetent/High Maintenance Eyeballs, Take 5

I’m going to make this quick, because this has already drawn out so far, and I’m just kinda done. Not that I’m actually done with it, but I’m done with the whole stupid saga, and I wish my eyes were normal but they’re just not. I’m back to square one, folks — but now armed with more information and better insurance.

In case you’ve already lost track, or are seeing this for the first time, here’s the saga so far:

Take 1
Take 2
Take 3
Take 4, Part 1
Take 4, Part 2
Take 4, Part 3
Take 4, Part 4

In the last post, I mentioned that I had some hope of a less-expensive option when I discovered Zenni Optical. Here’s a brief rundown of my experience with them:

Zenni Order 1:

I had a lot of trouble trying to find someone to measure my PD (Pupilary Distance — the distance between the center of each pupil, across the bridge of your nose). No one will do it if you haven’t had an exam or bought/are buying glasses from them. Okay, I get that. But the optician at the very place I had my exam and a few special tests (field of vision and I think some further nerve testing — all “normal”, apparently, even though I had some concerns about the behavior of my eyes while those tests were being done that I was never able to ask about) also refused to measure my PD unless I bought glasses from them.

This was ridiculously depressing, and only fed into my growing belief that eyeglasses are a total racket. I don’t want to sink several hundred more dollars into glasses I’m not sure are going to work, only because I had my exam at that office. Give me my freaking PD and let me shop elsewhere! Also, I didn’t like that optician, and didn’t want to do business with her, because I didn’t want to be fighting with another person who looked at me like I’m another problem customer, because I want them to explain things to me and I want to see well. Maybe that optical shop would have helped me — and maybe they would have been just as difficult to work with. But my first impression made me want to run far and fast, which is probably a reason to seek another doctor sometime (more on that later).

ANYway, it turns out you can measure your own PD. Of course, there’s no way one can totally mess that up.

So, naturally, I messed that up, and made my first Zenni order.

I bought the cheapest frames that looked like they’d be okay on me, and sent in the most current Rx I had from PNW Eye Assoc — and a bad PD. There are two reasons I had a bad PD: One was that I printed the Zenni PD ruler for myself (and while I was pretty sure I followed the instructions, I guess I didn’t choose the NO SCALING option, and it printed improperly), and the other was that I didn’t compare it to a real ruler to make sure it was correct. Totally my fault.

But I only spent about $38 on them! Even though I screwed them up, they were super cheap, and that cost is MUCH easier to swallow if I had to eat it than $380+. They came quickly, too, which was nice. I wasn’t super enamored with them, which is a good thing since they were wrong, and it was clear the moment I put them on. But I learned my lesson with the PD and made sure to measure it several different ways before trying to make another order. Unfortunately, I waited longer than the 30-day window to return them, because I was supposed to be having the field of vision testing and nerve pictures (or whatever), and a pressure check. If any of those things were to change my Rx, I didn’t want to have to go through the process of returning glasses a second time.

Zenni Order 2 (and 2.5):

A couple months later, I ordered some other frames from Zenni and made sure my PD was properly measured (and that it matched, for the most part, the PD measured from my other sets of glasses). I decided to try for the narrowest frames I could, to attempt to rule out the base curve issue. I think I expedited them, too, so I paid about $10 more, but they were still under $50. When they arrived a week or so later, I put them on and knew they were wrong. They also had a chip in the corner of one of the lenses. However, they were really cute (and also so cheap that there’s no way anyone from any other optical shop would replace the lenses only), so I thought I’d at least contact Zenni to see if it was worth going through the return process. First, however, I took them to PNW Eye Assoc and had the optician measure them for accuracy (which they will do, even though they give you the side-eye for not buying them there). The optician said that it matched the Rx I gave her (the one from their office) but the PD, which should have been about a 64, was an “uneven 65”. So I emailed Zenni, gave them the information, and after waffling a bit over whether I should return them or just eat the cost (because they couldn’t do a base curve any smaller than 4), I decided to just go through the process to return them for correction (at which time I confirmed the first order was non-returnable for correction, so I have another pair of new glasses that are little more than decoration, not that I didn’t know that was a possibility this time. I also confirmed that they are not able to do special base curve adjustments).

I mailed them back, and when they returned I had a lot of hope that they were finally right. The base of the lenses were a little strong, but I thought at first that maybe it would act like a mild magnification. After wearing them for a couple days and getting headaches and dizzy spells (I played a computer game with my youngest son, and ended up feeling nauseated for hours afterward), I decided to relegate them to reading/computer glasses only. But they still weren’t right for that, as I would still get the “squeezing eye” feeling, and then some wicked tension in the back of my neck from the strain.

SO — here I am, back at square one. I haven’t pursued buying new lenses for the ProOptix glasses, or getting new glasses altogether. I have, however, recently obtained an option for vision insurance through TriCare, which was not available to me before this year. This insurance should (hopefully) provide discounts on lenses, and even on visual therapy — which I didn’t even know was a thing until recently, and now I really want to look into it. I’ve been signed up for it since January, but have been putting it off because I’m easily distractible and am kind of not looking forward to hunting down another doctor that may or may not listen to me. I need to do it, though, because my vision is getting progressively worse, and is now more often affecting my vestibular sense, so I get dizzy more often with certain movements, especially on “bad eye” days. And these glasses don’t have an oligophobic coating, so keeping them clean is SUCH a pain.

Anyway, I’m going to close this chapter of the saga. I might pick it back up, or do a follow up if I find something that finally works. I’ve kind of resigned myself to having to pay $300+ every time I get glasses, because nowhere that sells inexpensive anything will be able to work with my issues. I guess that’s not so bad in the grand scheme of things. $300+ every year or three is better than a $300/mo drug prescription. Just gotta keep it in perspective…