The Optical Dilemma

Every time I get ready to leave my apartment, I find myself engaged in different methods of preparation. Sometimes I shower, ensuring that every last inch of skin glows while emanating a floral scent. Other times, I know the dive bar I’m heading to will be as filthy as my kitchen sink piled high with neglected dishes, so I settle on just brushing my teeth. I also consult the weather when choosing each piece of attire as I ponder whether pants or shorts are the best option. And of course I play with my hair, asking myself: “Straightened, or slightly wavy? Up or down? Ponytail? Bun? Bandana?”

The amount of questions I silently pose to myself are varied and depend on a myriad of constantly changing factors like my mood, the temperature, the destination, and how late I’m running. Even when I think I have a recipe for dressing myself, an equation which cannot fail, some new rule or situation destroys my previously conceived solution, and so I start from scratch as I create my outfit for the day. However, despite this seemingly random collection of questions with no discernible pattern, there is one constant in my pre-departure rituals. Prior to applying my makeup, but after selecting my clothing I literally squint at myself in the mirror and address my low-to-mid grade myopia with the following question: “Glasses or contact lenses?”

This binary question’s answer isn’t as straightforward as one might think. While in the past I reserved my contacts exclusively for those “special” occasions like a date or a concert where I knew elbows would be flying, and plastic frames would be a hazard, there are a number of other factors that now come into play. Do I want to pull off a pseudo-hipster look with oversized frames? Maybe I will look more fashionable for my job interview if I wear contacts and amazing eye-makeup? My parents will see the dark circles under my eyes no matter how much cover-up I wear… better put on my glasses for dinner.

The Glasses v. Contacts case is ongoing and won’t reach a conclusion, unless I opt for Lasik surgery. Since that’s not something I foresee happening in the near future, I oscillate between the two forms of corrective lenses, trying not to show favoritism as optical variety is an easy way end fashion monotony. But it’s hard to feel like a smart shopper when you have to worry about buying contact lenses. However, student discounts are available for those of us who need to address our eyesight issues while still having fashion flexibility as there are plenty of opticians in New York who understand the plight of the stylish, yet visually impaired student.

One place that falls into this category is Optyx. This optometry shop has multiple locations in the city and is offering students their 1-day contact lenses at prices as low as 77 cents per pair. And while 1-day contact lenses may seem like an unnecessary luxury when there are some brands that can last up to a month, the reality of contact lenses is that for those with sensitive eyes like myself, the 1-day pairs tend to be less harsh due to their being placed in a milder cleansing solution prior to wear. Additionally there is less chance of getting an eye infection when using 1-day pairs. And a trip to the doctor for an ocular issue is much more unfortunate and expensive than buying affordable 1-day-wear contact lenses.

This summer I have embraced the freedom of choice. As much as my friends and I may complain about how long it can take to get ready sometimes, I think the general consensus among all of us is too much choice is better than no choice at all. Thanks to student savings from places like Optyx, I no longer have to worry about when I’ll be able to afford my next batch of contact lenses.

-Alex Agahigian, NYU-

I have lots of other things to say

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2 Responses to “The Optical Dilemma”

  1. Janice says:

    Hmm, I wear two week contacts and never thought about the one-a-days. Now that I know they are so cheap, I will definitely check them out!

    The glasses versus contact dilemma was solved for me–my glasses broke D: And you know how expense new glasses are these days ><

  2. Emily Rose says:

    Ah! I had the same problem as Janice, with broken glasses. Putting in contacts every morning is a pain tho, and thankfully I finally got my glasses fixed at the beginning of the summer.

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