The various trials with contact lenses, trying to find the best solution for my aging eyes have all now finally come to a close. In the end I decided that the two mono-vision contact lenses gave me the best compromise for my typical daily use. So, my left eye has a “reading optimised” lens, and my right eye has a normal “distance optimised” lens. My brain then works out which eye to use for any given focal point.
Very close work is still quite severely constrained – so fiddling with tiny grub screws and gears from the insides of a clock (for example) is still a nightmare. But then I don’t tend to do that very often, and as the optician pointed out, there is nothing to stop me from using a set of cheap +1 reading glasses in addition to the contact lenses, which will bring close work into very sharp focus indeed.
So, with that decision made, it then becomes a matter of just buying the lenses & solutions. These lenses are monthly disposables, and the optician runs a scheme to pay monthly for them. The cost works out to be £11 a month to join their discount after-care scheme (which runs for a minimum period of a year), plus £12 a month for my lenses, plus £3 a month for solutions. Grand total over a year, £312.
Which was a heck of a lot more money than I was expecting. So I went off and price-checked on the internet.
Vision Direct offer a 6 month supply of exactly the same lenses for £59. A 6 month supply of their solutions are £16. So a years supply of lenses and solutions would be £150. To keep the comparison fair I would then need to allow another £50 for my next professional contact lens after-care appointment, making £200 in total.
The £112 extra for buying from the optician appears to get me a discounted price on further pairs of glasses, sunglasses, and any additional after-care appointments that I might need for free. Alternatively you could view it (as I do) as a healthy profit margin, as it’s offering facilities that the majority of customers are probably never going to use.