I conquered the small print blues with GlassesUSA

I’ve always taken my good eyesight for granted, and although many other members of my family wear glasses or contacts, I’ve never had to think twice about it.

Until I got to be about 45. All of a sudden (actually, it probably happened gradually and I just hadn’t noticed), that small print on product labels became a lot harder to read, and I was straining my eyes to read at the end of the day.

My frugal solution was to go down to the drugstore and pick up a pair of $3 reading glasses, and while it sure was fast and cheap, the reading glasses I bought are about as ugly as can be, and feel like they’d fall apart if they fell out of my pocket. They did do the trick of helping me see small print and to focus on close-up tasks without having to squint, but because I rarely had them with me (because UGLY), I’d often do without rather than go fetch them.

However, I recently got a great pair of glasses from GlassesUSA, thanks to a review program, and after wearing them every day for a few weeks, I’m kind of kicking myself for waiting so long to get some quality frames and lenses. I no longer have to squint and strain to read small print, and I’ve found that reading and writing on the laptop screen is much more comfortable, especially at the end of the day when my eyes are tired.

GlassesUSA has a huge selection of frames (2500+ styles), ranging from designer eyewear to budget-conscious glasses, with options for not just standard single vision, but also bifocal and progressive lenses, transitions lenses, tinted, mirrored, and even prescription sunglasses. A virtual glasses mirror on the site allows you to upload a headshot and then superimpose different frames over your face so you can get an idea of what kind of glasses design would look best on you, and this was probably the hardest thing about ordering from the company, simply because there were so many to choose from.

I ended up picking the Hero frames with a +1.25 magnification, and was able to measure my pupillary distance (PD) at home, although if you already have a prescription, those measurements can simply be entered at the time of ordering so they’re made to fit your head and your vision. The glasses came in a hard case (comes in handy due to my habit of just chucking things in a bag when packing) and included a cloth for cleaning them (which is also a needful thing when you have little kids with smudgy fingers in the house), and arrived promptly.

It actually took me a day or so to really get comfortable with the new glasses, mostly because I had gotten used to wearing crappy ones with lenses that weren’t nearly as precise and frames that were nowhere close to being as well-fitted as the Hero frames. However, I quickly came to love these new frames, and now that I have glasses that I like, and that I’m happy to carry with me and use when needed, I’m much happier about the prospect of wearing them.

GlassesUSA has complete glasses (frames + lenses) starting at $48, and free prescription lenses are included with every frame, so there’s no need to spend a ton of money on new glasses. But the company also has plenty of other higher-priced frames (although still at prices that are up to 70% off of standard retail prices), so picking the cheapest option doesn’t have to be the best way to shop, and with GlassesUSA’s options for designer frames, sports glasses, safety glasses, kids glasses, and prescription or non-prescription sunglasses, there’s something available for just about everybody. The company also offers free shipping & returns, a 100% money back guarantee (a full refund within 14 days of delivery, no questions asked), and a one year product warranty.

[Disclosure: I received a free pair of glasses from GlassesUSA for review purposes, but all opinions in this post are mine alone.]

Derek Markham

Things I dig include: simple living, natural fatherhood, attachment parenting, natural building, unassisted childbirth (homebirth), bicycles, permaculture, organic and biodynamic gardening, vegan peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips, bouldering, and the blues. Find me elsewhere at @NaturalPapa, @DerekMarkham, Google+, or RebelMouse.

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