I have lost count of the number of pairs I have had for past 9 years. These tips are based purely on my experience.
1. Choose an affordable but accountable shop.
There are three categories… Optician based shops where the seller is not really an eye doctor but a technician who knows about specs. These guys are good when it comes to bargaining. However they are notorious when it comes with warranty and ripping you off if you have no idea of how much specs cost.
Opthamologist based shops where the one who screens your eyes is an actual eye doctor and knows what she or he is doing. You get good lenses and frames. They actually assist your actual eye problem.
Brand based shops may or may not have a real opthamologists in different branches. The good thing with brands is reliability and accountability. They wouldn’t want to tarnish they work especially with social media at play. Some brands lime optical do testing for free as compared to others however you can’t use their results to get specs elsewhere. In short they don’t share your specs specifications unless you get an inside guy who will need a cut and trust me that’s just not the way to go.
2. Choose lenses you need
A normal short-sighted lenses (myopic) are pretty cheap. They shouldn’t be over 1000 shillings in Kenya though I believe if you bargain and they are doing the technical side for themselves, it shouldn’t be an issue. That’s the diagnosis side. That’s what you need.
For example normal optician shops sell them at 500 per one glass and plastics a little bit more Expensive while common brands can even sell plastics at 800 for both. So do you study well. Lenses are still lenses. Difference is if they are plastic or glass. I prefer plastic though it needs soft cloths and alcohol to have a clear glass while glass are easier to clean but easier to break.
The rest of the blue block, photochromatric (turn black in sunlight) and anti glare are just bullshit unless u have an actual problem with devices for the anti glare, photo for light and blue light for just stupid blue light that have no evidence is it is harmful. The rest of these is what they make their money from.
3. Do not buy the Oxygene Frames
First of all. Cheap is expensive and at the same time expensive may not make sense. The best brand in Kenya to use is Cactus in terms of affordability. Oxygene attracts you with how cheap it is but if your diagnosis makes heavy lenses means you will keep going back for other frames once the warranty period is over. They will say that it’s the way you hold your specs but truth is Oxygene is not made of good plastic quality. Yes, it might help you out thru some months once you know lenses plus frames will be less than 2K but it won’t last forever.
Designer specs are not completely immune to breakage. Unless you are using insurance or you have fed the people who live next to you and hungry, you can as well chuck all that money to get frames but really what’s the need? As long as the specs align with ur PD and let’s u see, what’s with the big deal with frames?
A scientist who writes about her daily experiences. Most are drafts but some are publicly shared, like this one you just read.