I can see!–Getting prescription glasses in Mexico

You can't buy happinessbutyou can buy new glasses which is almost the same thing!

A few weeks ago I realized I couldn’t see a thing. My transition lens had snapped, crackled and well, not quite popped, but you get the picture. They were more than 6 years old and I use them every day, riding the moto in sun, rain, wind and occasional hail, so I guess I certainly got my money’s worth.

I really didn’t want to bother with new glasses. I dug out the pair circa 1990. Voila! Well, of course, I look like an owl, but I’m too old to worry about fashion, right? I started calling them my night-vision goggles because they were so clear I could practically see in the dark. And that was a problem. Yep, I can’t see to drive with them as they MAGNIFY the sun’s rays to the extent that I’m nearly driving with my eyes closed. Not safe.

So I started researching if I could repair my crackled glasses myself–maybe if I took the protective covering off? I tried fingernail polish remover. It didn’t work. The wonderful world of internet suggested Armour Glass Etching Cream.

Only I couldn’t find Armour Etch in any of our local stores. Amazon had some, but a bottle was more than 600 pesos. I only needed a little bit! My sister found some at a craft store and picked up a bottle for me. I’m waiting for it to arrive and do its magic.


Meanwhile, I decided that a pair of prescription sunglasses was what I needed. I stopped at one optometrist the afternoon of the teacher meeting (See Mexican Educational Reform and Political Wrangling) that I missed so that I could make my lab appointment. (See All Around the Health Care Bush) I went in, looked around and knocked on the glass display case. There was no one there. I waited a bit while I perused the frame options.  Finally, the clerk dashed into the store with a bit of donut on her cheek. She had stepped out for a quick snack apparently.

I asked if it were possible to repair the glasses I already had. She hemmed and hawed and basically said no. I could replace the lenses if I like, but she couldn’t guarantee that they wouldn’t break the frames when they put the new ones in. Did I know what the prescription was for these lenses? No, well, then I would need an eye exam too. The exam would be 400 pesos and the two lenses would be 700 pesos, plus new frames because hey, the new lens insertion process might just break them. Ok, well, I’d think about it.

So I went to another place. The eye exam would be 250 pesos and I could go right in. The optometrist was about 70. His diploma (with picture) showed him at about age 20 and from the looks of the wood paneled office, that’s about the last time the office was remodeled. I swear his eye checker machine was used as a prop for the series Little House on the Prairie when Mary was going blind, but I suppose it was in working order.

He called out for his secretary to check the prescription of my glasses. That little procedure seemed to be top-secret, but there must have been a machine in the outer office that would determine the prescription of my lenses because less than 2 minutes later she was back with the prescription. Must be something the girl at the first place knew nothing about. The comparison of my eye exam and my lens prescription showed that my eyes had changed very little in the last 6 years. I didn’t need an eye exam after all. At least, it was only 250 pesos.

The elderly optometrist said that I would be a good candidate for a surgery that was not LASIK surgery to correct my eyesight. I certainly wasn’t interested in that! What if something went wrong and I ended up blind—that’s sorta permanent you know. Glasses would be fine.

The elderly optometrist also gave me a list of vitamins he said I should take–Resvit (a vitamin capsule), Blefa-ir for blefaritis (burning of the eyes), Luvit (couldn’t find any information on that), and Lagrilub (which is a company that specializes in pharmaceuticals).

I don’t know about you, but I have never had an eye exam that ended with a list of vitamins in the US. I was suspicious of this snake oil salesman tactic. Besides, my eyes only started burning when the optometrist put in the yellow burny drops to check who knows what in my eyes. I told the secretary (who was probably the wife) that I didn’t get paid until Monday (which was true) and that I only wanted to pay for the exam today. I picked out frames but didn’t pay for them–remember payday was still 3 days away. I made sure it would be ok to pay part on Monday and pay the other half on the next payday and it was. My glasses would be more than I make during one quincena (2 week pay period) That just made my day!

I went back on Monday afternoon, having already successfully had a blood draw in the morning (see All Around the Health Care Bush), and put down a deposit. The office girl (probably the daughter of the secretary and optometrist as she very clearly resembled them both) wrote me out a receipt and said the glasses would be there “en 8 dias” (one week) but that there was no problem in picking it up on the 15th. Yippee!!

Well, the place is only open on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and the 15th fell on a Tuesday this year, so I had to wait until the 16th to pick up my glasses. They were there all right and everything was hunky dory. I let her clean the lenses but didn’t wait for much else before snatching them up and putting them on. Oh HAPPY Day! I could see! I placed my magnifying night-vision goggles in the glass case and skipped back to my moto.

So, since I opted for the sunglasses rather than the transition lenses, I do have to change my glasses when I go inside, or when I’m outside and it’s dark, but overall, I’m pleased with this particular health care transaction.


My new shades–because the future is so bright you know!




Filed under Health

2 responses to “I can see!–Getting prescription glasses in Mexico

  1. This is a much easier outcome then most of your other health care rigmaroles. So glad you can see now!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: All Around the Health Care Bush–the monkey chased the weasel | Surviving Mexico

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