Seeing Is Believing
It was a cold, dark January evening back in 2020 when I stumbled out into the streets of Soho, eyes streaming and unable to count the number of fingers I held up to my face.
I was certainly in no position to drive so, of course, I ordered a taxi. The journey home that followed just made things worse, as I shrunk away from passing headlights and slunk deeper into my seat.
After groping for the handle to let myself out of the car, and unsteady steps towards my flat (somehow I had entered the right address into the app!) I eventually let myself in after countless stabs at the door with my keys.
My partner, the angel she is, took pity on me as I crawled to the sofa and curled up underneath a blanket, head and all, asking for the lights to be dimmed. She even cut up my dinner for me that night, the pathetic creature I was…
Fast forward to the following morning and, miraculously, everything was clear! The sky, my head – and my vision. For it was the first time in my life I had woken up and not needed to put on my glasses to see.
Yes, the previous day, I had gone for laser eye surgery (no, not to the pub, what gave you that idea?!)
I’ve been extremely short-sighted all my life – minus 7.75 in both eyes, for anyone who knows what that means – and had needed to wear glasses every day when growing up, switching to contact lenses when I was 15 or so.
Two decades later, I was eventually in a position financially to consider a more permanent treatment. Which is a costly procedure at £5.5k, don’t get me wrong. But then again, so was the total I had already forked out on contact lenses and glasses frames over the years.
A new pair of frames every other year for £150, and around the same annually on contact lenses, so £4.5k in total across 20 years… with the prospect of that outlay continuing ad infinitum.
Working through the numbers, it was clear that I’d be saving more in the long term, while also improving my quality of life. Which is, if you’ll pardon the pun, simply spectacular!
More of Sam’s eye-opening tips:
- On the fence about the possible savings via laser eye surgery? Most clinics have calculators on their websites, allowing you to compare the cost of treatment vs continuing to buy contact lenses or new frames.
- If you don’t need your old pairs of glasses, donate them to someone who does. Charities such as Vison Aid Overseas and Mission For Vision facilitate this, while plenty of opticians have recycling boxes ready to take your donation.