As Eye See It

IMG_1252 2My dad always told me “once you get to be over 40, you’ll need glasses”. In my 20-something invincibility I was like – right, Dad, whatever. I’d always had 20/20 vision, and was really proud of it (I was one of those rare beings that was born with perfect eyes that would last a lifetime).

My 40th birthday came and went. And my eyes were still perfect (duh). I was so thrilled – not that I was right, and maybe my Dad was wrong (he wasn’t around anymore, so I couldn’t even discuss this with him, which really bummed me out), but I was just happy that I STILL didn’t need glasses. Although I must admit – I thought glasses looked kinda cool, and sometimes I would secretly try them on when Greg was at the eye doctor, and admire my more “studious, smart” self in the mirror.

At 42, I was spending more and more time on the computer and reading, and I felt maybe, just maybe, I needed to be checked for reading glasses. I wasn’t sure, but sometimes I felt like I had to squint a bit to see something on the computer. So the next time Greg went for an eye checkup, I went along with him.   Lo and behold, I was no longer 20/20 for near vision… although I was only VERY SLIGHTLY in need of reading glasses.  In fact I could pick some “readers” up at the local drug store if I wanted to. No, this was my opportunity, I was getting glasses, even if they were just to “look smart” in, every now and then. Sure, I planned to use them occasionally, at the office on the computer, and while reading a book at home. I still thought I was cool – I was 42 (2 years over 40!) and I only VERY SLIGHTLY needed glasses.

Fast forward to age 43, we made the move here to Costa Rica. About after a year of being here, I noticed I definitely needed my glasses when reading – like all the time. I thought, this is so weird, I’m “retired” now, not working a 9-5 job, my eyes should not be getting worse, they should be getting better. Although I do work on the computer for a large part of the day, and read my kindle quite a bit. Then I realized that this doesn’t have anything to do with my workload, I’m just getting older. Major unpleasant breakthrough.

So this is our experience of going to an Eye Doctor, for the first time, here in Costa Rica.  It was greatly needed for me and Greg needed new lenses (his were divot-ed and scratched up), it was time.

Enter Dr. Tanya Monge, Optometrist. She works at Centro Optica Monge, right in downtown Grecia, and had been recommended to us by a couple of friends. It also helped that she spoke English.  Her small shop is nice and clean, with several options of lenses and other eye glass care available:


tanyaDr. Tanya is very nice and laid back, and took us through the normal eye tests (which lens looks better – 1 or 2, 1 or 2, 1 or 2?). She did put eye drops in our eyes (which is a huge phobia of mine, but somehow she pried my eyes open and got them in there, whereby they watered so profusely I was nervous that she’d have to put them in again) – this was to check for glaucoma, or something like that.

I was right, my up close vision had definitely gotten worse (although long distance is still 20/20!). Greg’s prescription had stayed the same, which was good news for him, but he needed new lenses anyway.


In summary:
One Eye Exam Cost: ₡5,000 ($10)
One Prescription Lens Replacement (I had her replace in my current frames): ₡30,000 ($60)

Here’s her info:
Dra. Tanya Monge R., Optometrista
Centro Optica Monge
Phone: 2494-4220
Facebook Page: click here

optica map

Greg and are both having 2 pairs of glasses done – one by Dr. Tanya, and the other from this cheap website Greg found in the States: (2 pairs on this site cost us a TOTAL of $48!). Since Greg and I see eye to eye on these things (ha!), we are expecting to get what we paid for from this site; but won’t know for sure until we get to the States in May.

Here’s me with my new “reader” lenses from Dr. Tanya – I can see clearly now!
IMG_1243That’s all for now! Ciao! — Jen

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16 Responses to As Eye See It

  1. Hi Jen,
    Thanks for the good information! I think you will like Zenni, as well. I made a purchase from them and was pleased.

    Pura Vida!

  2. Hey Four Eyes….Ya Look Good. I happen to love my Tico glasses which
    go dark in the sun to protect my eyes AND add allure to my persona.
    Dr. Allan Mora Vargas, 2772-0349, Perez Zeledon, perfect English AND
    good jokes.


  3. Love zenni!! They don’t last forever, but its really nice to have options. I have several pairs from zenni, everyday, computer distance and sunglasses.

  4. Great post, Jen! I love the level of detail and depth of sharing. You let us peek into your life, and it is always interesting. Your writing style is evolving in a wonderful way. I look forward to whatever you write about.

  5. So nice to read your blogs. I have progressive lenses in my glasses from Zenni and love them! The local shops wanted $475 and I paid $105 from Zenni and have had them for a little over 2 years. Needless to say I will be a return customer of Zenni.

  6. Great post and information. I feel your pain. My dad says your arms get shorter after you turn forty. Thing is I’ve always had better than 20/20 vision. It feels like I’m losing my super powers. Thanks for posting.

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