heading emergencies off at the pass

March 31st, 2008

Heading Emergencies Off At The Pass

I wear glasses. I have since I was 8, so for me, they are just a part of my existence. My vision isn’t bad enough that I can’t get by without them in my house, but it is bad enough that I need them to drive or all the signs are blurry (I am near-sighted). My vision gets worse very slowly, so slowly that I don’t really notice it until I get my eyes rechecked and I get the new prescription and think “Wow, that stuff in the distance is now so much sharper!”.

I haven’t been for an eye exam in a few years now – yes, I should, but this isn’t about that. We’ve prioritized our medical money differently and I haven’t found the funds or really been that concerned about it. My birthday was this past week, and my driver’s license was expiring, so on Friday I went down to the BMV to renew my license. When I took the eye exam, I noticed that the first set of numbers they had me read seemed a little blurry to me, and I actually had to guess on one of the four numbers between a six and an eight. The other two sets of four numbers were perfectly clear. And yes, I passed the eye exam 100%, I was a good guesser apparently.

The old me would have just shrugged this off, may or may not have thought about it being time for another eye exam before I renew my license in the future, and moved on. But instead, I noted to myself that I need to get a new eye exam this year, and although chances are in the four years until my license renews again I would have had another eye exam, I might not have. So I’m heading off a potential “emergency” at the pass and not failing my next license exam and have to run out and buy new glasses, whether or not I could afford it. I can plan for the expense, research places to go, and not turn this putting things off into an emergency.

It’s amazing what a little thoughtful prior planning can do.  If we can keep this up eventually the only emergencies we’ll have will be true emergencies and not the result of procrastination, financial or otherwise.

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14 Responses to “Heading Emergencies Off At The Pass”

  1. I don’t know if you’ve ever done it or would want to, but there are some mystery shopping companies that offer payment to “shop” at vision retailers including Pearle

    https:// www. beyondhello. com/secure/index.htm

    I did a Pearle vision shop for them last year, combined with my insurance copayment I paid $5 for glasses and the exam.

    A way to save/make a little money on something you’ve got to do anyhow

  2. Going even beyond the next driver’s license exam, consider what emergencies could’ve resulted because of not 100% vision. Who knows, maybe your reaction time would be slower or you miss something… you never know. Plus, isn’t an eye exam included in your medical insurance?

  3. I really enjoy your blog, but I have to say, I was a little disturbed that you don’t seem that concerned that you’re driving without being able to completely see the eye chart. I am very near sighted so I understand, but still.

  4. Have you heard of Zenni Optical? They have great prices. I know several people who have been very happy with them.


  5. May I suggest using http://www.glassyeyes.com to find your next pair of glasses? I got a set of black metal frames with transition lenses for $50! Set is perfect! Love it!

    Much better than spending $200 for a set of frames.

  6. I’m a big fan of preventative measures. When my husband and I were doing our budget, he wanted to nix everything that wasn’t a required bill. I had to convince him of the value of a couple of our health/exercise related line items. I do yoga and he is building up a home gym. We don’t use more than $100/mo if that on this particular category but I believe strongly that if we stay fit then we are doing a lot to stay healthy.

  7. @Jim – eye exam, not so included in my health insurance. they avoid any responsibility for anything eye or teeth related. I guess they don’t like my head…

    @Rachelle – it would be one thing if I couldn’t see anything on the eye chart or what wildly guessing at every number. One set of the three sets i read was slightly blurry (all three sets were the same size, I don’t know what was different to make one set slightly different in terms of blurriness), and one of the four numbers in that set, i wasn’t completely sure if it was a 6 or an 8. I can still see all the roadsigns perfectly fine and can read ones with my glasses that some other people I’m in the car with have trouble reading, I don’t think i’m a menace on the road.

    but again, that’s my opinion. ;) I did ask if I’d pass the eye exam if I had gotten one number wrong and the examiner said yes, I can get up to 3 wrong, 4 and you fail. She also said about half the people she examines get one or two wrong.

  8. 1st-good for you on planning to get the eye exam and new prescription-that is a wise move.

    2nd-my driver’s license doesn’t expire until 2042….I had no idea that somewhere in the country people have to get a new license more than once or twice in a lifetime…very interesting :)

    3rd-It really makes me mad that insurance companies won’t cover eye glasses or eye exams. I have horrible eye sight (near sighted) and can’t see anything more than 3 feet away without my glasses or contacts….why on Earth would insurance companies not see this as a viable “cost”?

    4th- I am a menace on the road if I don’t have corrective lenses, so bad in fact that it says “daylight driving only” on my license…because I tried to “squint” my way through more than a few eye exams when I first got my AZ license. It’s better safe than sorry! Get your new glasses, be safe.

    Take Care


  9. I was going to suggest Zenni too! They are great if you need an extra pair of glasses.


  10. I have contacts, so my eye doctor will only give me a prescription for one year’s worth of contacts. I don’t always change them exactly on time, but I still end up “forced” to get an eye exam every 13 or 14 months. I actually just set up my next appt yesterday and put my last pair of contacts in the eyeballs today :)
    ps- I do go about 5 years between new glasses since I only use them occasionally.


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