I soloed at age 16 and didn't need glasses but a couple of years later, I noticed I couldn't see a familiar radio tower out the window. By the time I was a freshman in college, I had to slow down on the interstate at night to read the signs in time to take my exit. I remained nearsighted and choose careers not in aviation. Turn the clock forward 40 years and I bought my dream airplane two months ago.
Last year, I had signed up for the maximum, flexible-spending account in anticipation of my wife getting some dental work. But Thanksgiving comes and goes and we still had $5,700 in that use-it or lose-it account. Then I found it also covered Lasik eye surgery and had both eyes corrected two days ago to regain my distance vision and the expected presbyopia, loss of near vision.
As expected, it will take 10-14 days for my eyes to fully recover so I still see a fog halo around lights at night but I don't have to drive with glasses. But as expected, my former, great vision within arms reach now requires reading glasses . . . $2.50/each . . . versus the $100+ for prescription glasses. As I type this note, I'm using reading glasses but this was expected.
On the drive home yesterday afternoon, I noticed reading the GPS and engine OBD scanner text required reading glasses. So I'm looking for the little, half-glasses, so I can quickly tilt my head and read the 'fine print.' But these will be inexpensive, reading glasses and I'll keep extra sets in the cars, at work, and the plane. I'll also get some 'shop glasses' for reworking N19TW, my airplane project.
I had not planned on Lasik vision correction and this was just a by-product of my wife not getting her expected dental work. But I'm not one to turn down opportunity and this worked out reasonably well.
The eye examination was done in the morning then came the sales pitch. Over the phone, I was given a $2,000/eye, low ball cost. But at the clinic, prices ranged from $2,800 to over $4,000. Without going into the terms and conditions, we agreed on $2,700 and liquidated the remaining flexible spending account money.
To avoid sticker shock, make sure to get their full price list before leaving so you can figure out exactly what you'll pay. Also, have enough time and a backup plan so you can look them straight in the face and say,"Well, guess I'll have to find another provider" and walk to the door. Better still, have the card and number for another Lasik clinic and be ready to fly there. In my case, I was in a use-it or lose-it situation with a hard deadline, December 31, two weeks away.