Another question that comes up very often at the end of an eye exam at Clarity Eye Care is, “Why should I update my glasses when I usually wear contact lenses?” It’s a very good question, and very often the answer is, “You really don’t have to.” I know, it surprises people when I give them that answer. They expect me to try to “sell” them a new pair of glasses. Fortunately, I get it. I understand that the reason that you are wearing contacts is because you won’t be caught dead with a lens-holding appliance balancing precariously on your nose and two ears to help you see better. Glasses can fog up, they get dirty, and they look hideous. Well, maybe you should talk to Brian or Cindi (one of our optical team members), and I guarantee they’ll do a professional fitting and you’ll find a look and feel that’s better than you’ve ever had before. With that said, I understand that some people LOVE glasses because it is part of their personality and expression, and other people think they look better without anything on their face. I’m not going to debate that, because the preference is just that. I love helping see better and feel better about themselves whether they choose glasses or contacts.
So, why should you worry about your glasses when you wear contacts. Here’s the number one most important reason: How are you going to see if you CAN’T wear your contacts? Yeah, think about it. It’s a typical Tuesday evening, and you decide to stop for some food after work. You touch the grocery store cart handle, unaware that the space was previously occupied by a toddler with pink eye. Your allergies are acting up, so you rub your eye and…BAM!! You’ve taken a one way ticket to the daycare epidemic. You now have pink eye and your eye is red, burning, puffy and crusted shut in the morning. Guess how we’re going to treat that? Yep, you need to keep your contacts out for about 7 days and we’re going to treat you with antibiotic eye drops. Well, most people don’t want to use up their week of vacation time sitting at home with a red, irritated eye. Not to mention not being able to see the TV without putting a noseprint on it. Most of us also can’t afford to take a week off without pay. So, for the pure economic impact, you should have some sort of glasses that you can fall back on. They can be from 15 years ago when you were in elementary school if you can see at least well enough to drive and function and you don’t mind walking around with that Power Rangers frame. The key is FUNCTION. If the frame is in good shape, at least update the lenses so your vision is good enough to get by. We have budget frame and lens packages starting around $160, and that’s much less of an investment than a week off of work.
So, next time you come in for an exam, bring your glasses and we’ll check them out. You need to be able to see at least 20/40 (not a perfect 20/20) to drive legally and function in society. They don’t have to be the most up to date prescription, but they need to be good enough to prevent a week of misery. Every month, I see patients in my office who run into this problem. Their diagnosis is <Insert various eye problem here>, I tell them they need to stay out of their contacts for a week, and they don’t know how they’re going to function. Don’t be that guy.