January 29, 2015

The Eyes Have It: Vision Tools

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Green boy nerd bubbleI remember getting my first pair of glasses. Going to the eye doctor was a big deal. Picking out the frames was a big deal. Waiting for the glasses took forever and was a big deal. Every step took time, money and expertise.

It’s hard for me to believe that this sacred ritual could disappear because of technology. Here are some tools that are changing the way we maintain our eye health.

  1. No more trips to the eye doctor
    Opternative is a site that lets you do a vision exam online and get a prescription for $30, a fraction of the cost of an office visit. Ummm… well… call me old fashioned, but I think I will stick to my local optometrist.
  2. No need to pick out frames at a store
    The online world is full of lower-cost eyeglass sources, and some cool techniques for finding the right pair. Download the Glasses.com app, and you can virtually try on glasses with your mobile device. Ditto.com lets you do the same thing with your webcam and laptop. If you need to hold the pair in your hand, Warby Parker has become popular for both its $95 glasses and its try-on policy: just pick out a few pair, and they come to your mailbox. Then you find the one you like the best and send back the rest.
  3. No need for glasses at all?
    A couple of apps supposedly help exercise your eyes to improve or at least maintain your vision. One of my readers swears this helped her avoid bifocals. GlassesOff lets you download the app for a discount (sometimes free), then it’s extra if you want to keep using it past the trial period.

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