Now I understand you’re probably scratching your head; I mean c’mon, why the heck would anyone on the path to financial independence buy glasses when they don’t actually need them? The answer is simple. We spend plenty (read: a ton) of time staring at computer screens, iPad screens, iPhone screens – yeah, we still have iPhones – and we wanted to filter out the blue light for the health of our eyesight. Last time I checked, eyes were fairly important and I wouldn’t want to try to live without them. It’s bad enough we have to deal with aging and the natural decline of our eye function, no need to help it along!
We’re all about saving money on glasses around here, but not at the expense of our eyesight. You see, a few weeks ago I went for my annual eye exam.
Good news: My prescription didn’t change at all. Woot!
Bad news: My old glasses didn’t have the special built-in blue light filter.
In case you were wondering, excessive blue light from the devices mentioned above, can actually cause macular degeneration! Eek!
Annual Eye Exams
About two years ago I succumbed to my slightly blurry vision and went for an eye exam to get my very first pair of glasses. Blah. Much to my surprise, I actually felt cool picking out my new glasses and sporting them for the first time. I still really enjoy my glasses. After all, I can actually see clearly these days! I made up my mind to incorporate annual exams into my yearly routine. Frugality be damned when it comes to the health of my eyes!
Not too long after that, Mini boarded the I need glasses train. And with that, we became a family of 3 needing annual eye exams and routine spec upgrades.
Thanks to my W-2 job, which I love, by the way, we are able to have our annual exams along with new glasses for a tiny out-of-pocket cost. This year, I didn’t need a new prescription! My old glasses worked just fine. You know I was super excited when I found out I wasn’t going to have to drop ANY money on new glasses. I think I skipped out of my eye exam! #don’tjudge
Blue Light Filter
But wait! What?! Yeah. Did you know you can now have a blue light filter built-in to your glasses? I found this out as I was skipping through the doctor’s office after my exam.
Now I know my iPhone has a Night Shift mode which I often use to filter out blue light (I think?) before bedtime, but I had NO IDEA that I could actually have this built-in to our glasses!
What I DID know was that each of us spends exorbitant amounts of time looking at screens. We’re not proud of this, but it is true. Our little Mini is definitely an active kid, but that doesn’t stop her from winding down in the evening building fortresses in Minecraft or watching stuff on her iPad. Again, don’t judge. She reads too!
Fortunately(?), Mini got her very own pair of glasses last year for astigmatism. Poor thing. She was blind as a bat and we didn’t even know it. It wasn’t until the teacher told us she thought she was having trouble seeing the board that we picked up on it. After we talked to her about it, she told us that the board was so blurry she would just “listen” to the teacher. I felt terrible, but I guess it happens. I felt better when our pediatrician told us a similar story about his eyesight and his own mother not picking up on it. Apparently, kids hiding their poor vision from parents can be A Thing.
As soon as Mini’s exam rolls around in the fall, we plan to upgrade her specs to include a blue light filter, too!
Fortunately (or unfortunately), I am still working my W-2 job which affords me fantastic healthcare, including dental and vision. Since my prescription, along with Mini’s prescription, are fairly mild, we enjoy a very low co-pay to cover the cost of specs. We’re talking about $40 on a $400 pair of new glasses. Yeah. I am NOT complaining one bit. Mr. MMM’s glasses cost a bit more since his eyes require a bit more magnification, shall I say? 🙂
We’re all about saving money on glasses and not buying stuff but, since our coverage is so wonderful, I felt it was a no-brainer to upgrade our glasses to include the blue light filter. Interestingly, adding the filter didn’t add anything to our co-pay! I had my annual appointment about a week before Mr. MMM had his annual appointment. We both decided it would be worth the cost to upgrade, despite having the same prescription as last year.
Total out-of-pocket cost for new and improved glasses was about $250. Without our insurance coverage, it would’ve set us back a total of about $1,200. In comparison, a measly expense of $250 was worth the health of our eyesight.
The Decision To Upgrade Our Specs
They really had us at macular degeneration. Macular degeneration can actually be a result of too much blue light. Apparently, recent studies have concluded that blue light can contribute to retinal damage and possibly lead to macular degeneration. And, macular degeneration can result in blindness. Yikes. Since we really value being able to use our eyesight on an almost constant basis each day, we sprang for it and haven’t looked back. No pun intended.