Whitesburg KY

Ike’s $40 glasses — the stuff of miracles


As you already know if you were reading this column last summer, I went through cataract surgeries in May and July that were lifechanging in that I started seeing stuff that I hadn’t really seen in over 10 years. I finally realized what all the fuss over high definition television had been all about and I could sit on the front porch and count individual flowers in our flowerbed some 50 feet away.

However, upon completion of my final post-surgery examination, Dr. Ewen explained that, although I had perfect distance vision in my right eye and perfect close up vision in my left, I would always have problems reading with my right eye or seeing much distance with my left.

“Glasses would correct that,” he told me, “but there’s really no sense of urgency in getting them as long as you are content to read with your left eye and watch television, drive, etc., with your right.”

He talked me into going through a complete sight evaluation and wrote a prescription for lenses then and there.

That was in mid August and the prescription had been laying on top of the pile of stuff in the glove box of our car ever since.

Then, on December 7, when we were meeting with our health insurance agent to see if we needed to make any very-last-minute changes to my Medicare supplement, the subject of glasses came up and I discovered that I could get an 88 percent discount on them if I had the script filled before the first of the year. Before you get your hopes up, this loophole is only available to people who have had cataract surgery and a Plan F or N supplemental health insurance. It’s probably even better than that if you have vision insurance. I’m also sure that there’s a big discount on post-cataract surgery for glasses through regular Medicare but I don’t know the details.

Points East

The short end to the longer story is that a pair of glasses that would have, otherwise, cost me well over $200, minimum, wound up costing around $40, but only because I selected the “budget” $50 frames.

What a preposterous racket! They actually had frames priced at well over $500 at the place I went to and I only went there because they had the best deal I could find in central Kentucky and, believe me, I shopped pretty much fulltime for well over a week before I settled on them. Would somebody please explain to me how drug and dollar stores can sell perfectly good and sturdy reading glasses for less than five bucks and these eyeglass rip-off places start their frames at $50 and go up and treat you like a charity case if you insist on the least expensive model.

As far as I’m concerned, anyone who runs out and pays $500 for eyeglass frames has way more money than brains. If you have that much money, give it to somebody who needs it. Do glasses wearers have such inflated vanities that they believe somebody is going to talk about them if they wear $50 frames instead of the $500 or $1000?

And please don’t try to make me believe the pricy jobs look or feel better. I tried on at least two dozen pairs of glasses, including some priced at $699, and I could not tell a speck of difference.

But I will say this, I would not sell my new $40 glasses for $50,000 if I knew I couldn’t get them replaced.

I really do believe that my cataract surgery was nothing short of a miracle. Now I feel the same way about my glasses. If I had not experienced how much better I can see stuff on television and my computer monitor, I would not have believed it possible. My nighttime driving had previously been so bad that I dreaded getting out. Now I bug Loretta to get out at night just to see the Christmas lights because I can see them so much more vividly and I no longer see half a dozen headlights coming at me on cars that only have two.

In fact, these glasses are probably the best Christmas gift I’ve ever had.

Merry Christmas and happy New Year, one and all!

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