Too Expensive?

Hi I’m Dr. Steven Pinson of Light Street Optometry and we’ve been at 1137 Light Street in Baltimore, Maryland since March 1, 1982.

We have recently undergone a transformation of our brand from Dr. Pinson/Everything in Sight to Light Street Optometry. With our new brand we are launching a new website, a series of web films on eyecare and this blog, as we think it’s important to help you take care of your eyes and everything that goes along with them.

Here is a question for you. What do you use everyday, and sometimes all day, would have a pretty horrible day without it, and yet most complain about the cost of the item? Even though you would be lost without them, most people have only one of these items.

Answer: Glasses! Think about it. Depending on your prescription, it might be the first thing you reach for upon awakening and the last thing you put away before going to sleep. And even if you are not one of those patients, you wouldn’t want to go through the day without them. Can you think of any other item that you use as much? Your watch? Wallet/purse?

If you broke or lost your glasses, how panicked would you be about getting through the day? “I am going to have to go to one of those 1 hour places, get an eye exam from some doctor I don’t know and over-pay for that one hour service.”

In 36 years of practice, I have never had a patient tell me that they thought they got a good deal when buying glasses. They are always excited about getting a new pair, but they are hesitant to pay several hundred dollars for a pair of glasses. Some of that has to do with the advertising used in the industry, which states “2 pairs of glasses for $49.” You have to think why am I paying $200-$300? Deep down you know, you get what you pay for., but still you ask yourself the question. Also many of these companies use a bait and switch technique. They get you in the door with the $49, but you wouldn’t be caught dead in the glasses they have for that price. Guess what, you spend the same amount there as you would in a private doctor’s office. Yet, in the doctor’s office you get personal and professional care. Now the market has internet glasses to suck you in with lower prices. This will be a later blog.

Do you really get your money’s worth when you pay several hundred dollars for glasses? Let’s face it. It is easy to get to $200 or $300 for glasses with all the new technology today. High index lenses, anti-reflection coatings, digital lenses, and lenses that change in the sun. All this technology is not cheap, even at wholesale costs!

Let’s do the math. Nationally, most people replace their glasses every 2.5 years. Let’s assume the high end of $300 for single vision glasses with some of the above technology and a well made frame. Two and a half years is 912.5 days (let’s put a leap year in and round off to 913 days). Now $300 divided by 913 days means that $300 glasses cost you 33 cents a day! What can you buy today for 33 cents? For every $100 you spend on your glasses it costs you 11 cents a day. Even if you included every new technology and it cost you $500, it would only cost you 55 cents a day! This for an item that you use all day, everyday, and would be lost without them.

Glasses are an integral part of your every day health, yet many of us complain about the cost of eye wear. Unfortunately, most of us complain about the cost, not realizing we are getting the bargain of healthcare. If we compare glasses with almost anything in healthcare from examinations to MRIs, they are usually a once and done. They almost always cost more than eyeglasses, yet we rarely complain about those costs.

You get your eyes for free. Take care of them with regular exams and if needed with a good pair of professionally fit frames and custom lenses from a trusted optometrist.