I will never forget my very first pair of glasses. They were Kickers. And they were so in. I remember crying when the optician told me I needed specs. But by the next day I had forgotten my woes and excitement had taken hold. I was eight years old and initially only needed to wear glasses when looking at the blackboard. (That’s how old I’m sounding now – my class had a blackboard, not an interactive whiteboard!) But when I found that embarrassingly I couldn’t make out my friends when entering the dining hall, I realised that I probably needed to wear them more often!
I started wearing my glasses full time when I was around ten, which means that I have been wearing specs for over twenty years now. Yeesh! The game-changer that is THE CONTACT LENSE entered my life when I was about fourteen and since then I have literally spent heaven knows how much money on just being able to see.
I’ve gone through about ten pairs of glasses, registered with four different opticians, and tried a variety of contact lenses – including the coloured ones! During my competitive swimming days I even had a pair of optical goggles, which I often ended up wearing on poolside as well just to be able to see my team-mates! *CRINGES WITH EMBARRASSMENT*
I do sometimes wonder what life would be like with 20/20 vision. No stumbling around in the morning trying to locate my specs. No need to wear them in the bath if I want to enjoy a soak and watch The Real Housewives of Cheshire on the laptop. No missing an obvious stray hair when shaving because my specs are all steamed up and I can’t bloody see. No losing a contact lens in my eye and then nearly losing my eye trying to get the darn thing out.
Of course I have thought about laser eye treatment. But from what I’ve researched it seems to be more popular amongst people who aren’t as visually challenged as I am! I’m -5 in one eye and -4.75 in the other (those who are short/long sighted will understand these numbers, for everyone else – basically you are a blur to me) and I’m not sure how successful treatment would be. I’m also terrified of something going wrong. Eyes are very complicated and for the sake of vanity I wouldn’t want to put my eyes at risk.
Don’t get me wrong, I do actually like wearing glasses. They’ve become something of a fashion statement and I enjoy switching up my frames and trying new colours and styles. I just wish it wasn’t so expensive!
Which brings me to the point of this post. I have definitely been overcharged for my glasses / contact lens prescriptions and orders in the past and last year I decided that enough was enough. I buy my specs in Cyprus because they are far cheaper (check out my youtube video this weekend!) but I wanted to find a decent opticians who I could rely on and would not charge me ridiculous amounts.
I tried Vision Express and a couple of independent opticians but wasn’t fully happy until I registered with Boots. My parents had popped into their local Boots opticians simply to have an introductory eye test and had been so pleased with the service that they suggested I try there.
I had to book a separate eye and contact lens test but you can get a free contact lens assessment and trial if you just want to try. What I was even more impressed with was the Boots Contact Lens Reward Scheme which for some reason, I didn’t sign up to straight away but since registering have definitely saved myself a few bob.
Basically you set up a standing order to receive lenses regularly and you can choose how many you wish to receive on a regular date – I receive 60 pairs every 3 months. I’ve made a conscious decision to wear my glasses more regularly to give my eyes a breather and to save money on lenses! Previously I would buy 30 pairs each month which not only cost more (£33 for 30 pairs, now I pay £26 for 30 pairs), but was also a hassle as I had to order and pay each time either on the phone or in the store and wait to collect them. Now they are simply delivered to me. I can order more whenever I like (I just recently did a separate order to take a few extra pairs on holiday) and this doesn’t affect my standing order. By signing up, the scheme offers a number of benefits including 10% off Boots branded products, ½ price glasses and inclusive eye tests and lenses check ups.
I don’t even use all the benefits but the scheme really has made a difference to my bank balance. So it seems that after twenty years I’ve finally sorted out my sight and savings!
I’d love to know where my fellow glasses/contact lens wearers get yours from so do leave a comment below if you have any recommendations!
And if you have just started wearing glasses and are feeling a bit down about your eye sight – or lack of (!) then don’t be. I read somewhere that needing glasses doesn’t mean your eyes are weak – quite the opposite, it’s because they’re working too hard and are basically doing overtime. So there you go.
Happy Eyes = Happy You.
DISCLAIMER: This post is in no way sponsored by or affiliated with Boots. Shame.