Anyone in eye care or knowlegable about contacts vs. glasses?

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Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100
Anyone in eye care or knowlegable about contacts vs. glasses?

A couple of weeks ago I got my eyes examined and ordered new contacts and new glasses. Every time I put my glasses on, I get dizzy and then have a headache within an hour. The contacts seem fine. The doctor says it's not unusual to have an adjustment period when you first put on glasses, and that it's not unusual to have a different glasses prescription. I've always been able to take out my contacts at night, put on my glasses, and not have any kind of adjustment period. My eyeglasses prescription has always been very close to my contacts prescription, last time my contacts were both -4.25, and my glasses were -4.50 (left) & -4.75 (right).

My contacts this time are:
left eye -4.75
right eye measured at -4.75 but with an astigmatism correction the prescription is -4.50

My glasses this time are:
left eye -5.25
right eye -4.50

This just seems really off. They are going in opposite directions! My insurance company is being a PITA and the doctor isn't being helpful and I'm wondering if this is something to press or if it might be all in my head.

MissyJ's picture
Joined: 01/31/02
Posts: 3218

Ugh. I'm sorry that you are having headaches. It certainly doesn't sound right at all and given your previous experience with it *not* causing you issues, I'd definitely pursue getting answers. While I know that there can be an adjustment period to a new prescription -- esp. if it has been a while since your old one -- the vast difference between the two doesn't seem reasonable. (Granted, I am definitely not qualified either to say that definitively! LOL)

Since your insurance and doctor are not being responsive, can you try seeking another opinion from another optometrist via phone on your prescription difference just to see if there could be an explanation for the difference? If not, then I would call and battle the insurance to get another visit (with a *new* eye doctor) to get a prescription that is right for you! Unfortunately, you'll likely have to fight the original doc to get the new (correct) prescription paid for since he doesn't sound willing to accept responsibility otherwise.

Hope you get answers soon!

~Missy

Sapphire Sunsets's picture
Joined: 05/19/02
Posts: 672

Something is definately off. You should not be getting dizzy and headaches within an hr from the glasses.

Press the insurance company.

sandraleigh's picture
Joined: 11/23/06
Posts: 2672

You really should seek the opinion of another optician - not necessarily even an optometrist, but an optician (the people who sell and make your glasses for you). There does seem to be a discrepancy with your new prescription between the glasses and contacts. There is no way your left eye should differ by that much between contacts and glasses.

Hope you get it sorted out soon!

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

I called a different optometrist, just picked one off the insurer's list, and asked. He said the glasses should always be prescribed first, because the contact lens prescription is based on that. If the prescription power for glasses is less than 4.00, either myopic or hyperopic, then the contact lens prescription should be the same. Beyond 4.00, for every time the glasses prescription changes by 2.00, the contact lens prescription will increase by an additional +0.25. This is to compensate for the location of the contact lens being closer to the eye than glasses.

Bottom line, working from either prescription, the other one is way off for both eyes. Now to deal with the insurance company that says I already used up my benefits. Ugh...

MissyJ's picture
Joined: 01/31/02
Posts: 3218

Oh good grief! Won't they hold the original doctor responsible for writing the wrong prescription??? I know how painfully expensive these can be. UGH indeed!

I hope your story has a happy ending!!

~Missy

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

I finally called the office and asked when this doctor would *not* be in and made an appointment with a different doctor. I figured if they made me pay for another office visit or the replacement lenses, I'd go ahead & pay and deal with insurance later. I explained the whole thing to him and he agreed that the glasses prescription seemed off. He did another exam -- which this time included both setting up sample glasses for me to look through, look around, try to read with, AND double-checking the prescription after putting contacts back in. He wrote up a new prescription and told the office manager to order new lenses & not bill me for the visit. Yay!

MissyJ's picture
Joined: 01/31/02
Posts: 3218

Oh good!! I'm glad you were able to get it worked out! Those are far too expensive AND needed to not be satisfied!

WTG!
~Missy