I haven’t had an eye exam in almost two years, partly out of laziness and also partly out of cheapness. It’s frustrating when your vision insurance requires a co-pay of only $20 for an eye-glass exam but a nearly $60 co-pay for a contact lens exam. Why the discrimination? Because I hate wearing glasses, I need to pay three times as much for my exam, especially when we all know that maintaining contacts overall is far more costly than wearing eye glasses?
Regardless, I only wear contacts at most once or twice a week. I wear them when I have special occasions (like weddings), or when I want to wear my regular good-looking, non-prescription sunglasses. I carry my eye glasses around when I know I need to see far or am on my way to the theater. My optometrist was amused by this and said, “so, you just walk around blurry most of the time? Well, that actually isn’t terrible for your eyes, so maybe it’s a good thing!”
This is only the second time I’ve seen him, yet this time, we actually had a pretty good conversation about blindness, the optometry profession in general, and how passionate he is about using technology to solve for vision problems he’s seen in his nearly 20-year tenure in the industry. He works in two practices, frequently gives lectures at different optometry schools, and also is employed in a health technology company that is aiming to create tech to solve for different types of blindness. His grit and passion were evident. He joked and said that he rarely has time to date, but when he does tweak his online dating ads, he always says he’s unavailable during the day on Saturdays and Sundays.
I don’t often have such lengthy conversations with my doctors, but this one was quite inspiring. His level of empathy and caring were a bit surprising, but I guess empathy isn’t necessarily a trait that is straight-up taught in medical or optometry schools according to what he told me.