I visited Groovy Glasses today to get my eyes tested thoroughly and to see if I can sort out the problems I am having with eye strain. If you haven't been to an optometrist it is actually very interesting and fun. I had all kinds of eye exams including a glaucoma test (normal, thank goodness), which involved puffs of air suddenly being shot onto my eyes allowing the pressure to be measured. I had my retinas photographed and spied on from all angles. Very elaborately veined they are too- and I saw where my optical nerve joins on to the back of my eye.
It wasn't long before it became apparent that the astigmatism diagnosed on a previous visit to another optometrist was indeed a factor in my eye problems. My astigmatized (my word) eye is not able to cope with the load and is really becoming stressed and tired. I also have long vision problems now, but as the main issue is with managing to read and use the computer, I now need specific reading glasses. The long vision problems will need to be dealt with as I get older (sigh). My last glasses could be worn all the time because they magnified slightly on the bad side, but the glasses I'm getting will prevent me from seeing long distances, so I'll have to adopt the "over the glasses" peer when I want to talk to people away from me. They are to be worn for all reading and computer stuff to prevent the eye strain.
It was quite a fiddly process to find just the right lenses for my glasses, and involved lots of looking at things and swapping lenses in the crazy apparatus worn like glasses. The lenses were tested individually and together and covered with more lenses and tested, then tested with lights in different places. I'm really hoping I managed to make the right judgments about the best focus with each option. The wonderful box of lenses looked remarkable and is probably worth a fortune.
After all that I had to choose frames, which wasn't simple because not I had to consider how they fitted as well as how they looked. Groovy Glasses are purveyors of interesting and vintage styled glasses and I could have bought heaps of the ones I tried on, but John was the conservative word of reason. There were wonderful bejeweled examples and fabulous shapes. I ended up with a pair on the reasonably priced end (the most expensive I tried on were over $900 just for the frames), and are a contemporary twist on a vintage shape, sort of. Not really the kind you would find in a chain store, but conservative enough not to raise eyebrows too much, I think. Johnny really liked them (I was slightly disappointed that the ones with flowers and sparkles did not pass muster). In fact Dame Edna was mentioned. They will be ready early next week.
I'm so pleased that I chose to go to an independent optometrist. Groovy Glasses is a Christchurch business that has lost their premises twice in the earthquakes. They have a very comfortable and interesting shop, with a wonderful vintage style and friendly service.
I see all of these chain store optometrists in the malls and think they must be killing off the independent businesses, which is such a shame. They advertise amazing deals ("complete glasses for $69" is one example), but when you look a bit deeper, the frames on offer at that price would be more suited to serial killers or army issue. Once you are in there you then realise that to get anything with any style, you have to pay for it. Someone I know spent almost $900 for one pair of plain optical and one pair of optical sunglasses at one shop that advertises "two pairs for $269." Interesting.
I say support your local independent businesses. They are local people just like you, doing something for themselves and their communities.
Ps. I'll show you the outcome next week, but tune in tomorrow for gratuitous kitten photos.