Eyeglasses, finally

I wrote a couple of months ago about losing my eyeglasses. Two weeks ago I finally got around to dealing with the matter.

I had my eyes examined at the local Wal-Mart optometrist. The cost was $60, but I think $15 was for the retinal exam—at least I heard the receptionist ask a much younger guy for $45 payment. They had a machine that could do a retinal exam without needing my eyes dilated, making the whole thing much more pleasant.

The receptionist ran that machine, as well as the one that looked into my eyes and printed out my prescription. But since that clearly wasn’t worth $60, I stepped into the next room where the optometrist dialed the prescription into her own machine, then had me read lines off an eye chart. She also took a quick look at my retinas with her hand-held light. Sixty dollars, please.

Rather than going next door to the Wal-Mart vision center, I came home and made a visit to the Zenni Optical website, where it took me about ten minutes to select a pair of $7 frames and add a set of $16 bifocal lenses. Shipping was $5, and I had the glasses in a week. They are perfectly fine.

There’s no reason you couldn’t walk into a mall kiosk, look into a couple of machines, and leave with a printout of a prescription for much less than $60—except that optometrists wouldn’t like it, and have arranged things so you can’t.