glasses http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/1009/all en-US 14 Secrets to Saving on Eyewear http://www.wisebread.com/14-secrets-to-saving-on-eyewear <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/14-secrets-to-saving-on-eyewear" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_wearing_glasses_86229369.jpg" alt="Woman learning secret ways to save on eyewear" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Eyeglasses and contact lenses are a necessity for more than 150 million Americans. Unfortunately, eyewear is not a cheap purchase &mdash; so we've compiled some tips to help save you money on the cost of glasses and contacts.</p> <h2>1. Purchase Your Glasses Online</h2> <p>Along with enjoying huge savings on your new set of glasses, you can also take advantage of online services to ensure that the glasses look right with your style. This will allow you to casually try the glasses on at home so you can take your time choosing the right ones. Once you find the right pair, they will likely be shipped in no time (even faster than you would get them at the optician's office.)</p> <p>If you have issues like astigmatism, you may not be able to shop online and it might more prudent to have your doctor custom fit you for the right pair of glasses. You may also want to have a professional help you at an optical store and once you find the glasses you like, you can search for the frames online for the best deal. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-ever-buy-eyeglasses-online?ref=seealso">Should You Ever Buy Eyeglasses Online?</a>)</p> <h2>2. Purchase Your Contact Lenses Online</h2> <p>Websites like <a href="http://1800contacts.com">1-800 Contacts</a> can save you money on your contacts, compared to what you would pay at your optician's office. You can also often get discounts if you purchase more than one box of contacts at a time. Buying in bulk will also save you money on shipping and allow you to lock in today's rate.</p> <h2>3. Find Trial Offers</h2> <p>Certain contact lens providers, like Acuvue and Dailies, will offer free trial lenses, so you can try them before you buy them. This will help ensure that the contacts fit comfortably, so you know you'll get your money's worth.</p> <h2>4. Look for Online Deals</h2> <p>Take advantage of online coupons and deals from services like Groupon. This can save you quite a bit of money on glasses, contacts, and even your eye exam. Just make sure to read the details thoroughly as some coupons only cover the cost of the frames, and you will have to pay for the lenses out-of-pocket.</p> <h2>5. Ask for a Price Match</h2> <p>Many optical shops will offer a price match, if you ask. Some shops will even offer a price match and a rebate, so you'll actually spend less than you would online.</p> <h2>6. Keep the Same Lenses or Frames</h2> <p>If your lenses are still in good shape and you still have the same prescription, consider reusing them in a new frame. Many optical shops will help you find a similar style frame and can apply your old lenses so it looks like a new pair of glasses.</p> <p>The same rule holds for your frames. If you like your frames, but your prescription has changed, take advantage of a <a href="http://www.replacementlensexpress.com/">prescription eyeglass lens replacement service</a> that will replace the lenses in your existing frames.</p> <h2>7. Opt for Cheaper Glasses</h2> <p>If you tend to wear contacts and only reach for your glasses when you're home, then you don't need to spend a lot on designer glasses. Instead, opt for the cheaper glasses since no one will see them anyway.</p> <h2>8. Don't Replace Your Glasses Every Year</h2> <p>If you don't need to replace your glasses, then it's best to just keep the same pair for as long as you can. After all, it can take a lot of time and energy to find the perfect glasses, so why replace them after only a year?</p> <h2>9. Skip the Add-Ons</h2> <p>Unless your prescription is above +/- 3.00, professionals recommend skipping the add-ons like antireflective coating, light adjusting lenses, or high index or ultrahigh index lenses. Skipping these add-ons can save you quite a bit of money and won't really make a difference in the long run.</p> <h2>10. Shop at Costco</h2> <p>According to Consumer Reports, Costco received the <a href="http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/eyeglass-stores/buying-guide.htm">highest overall satisfaction rating</a> of any eyeglass retailer. Not only do they offer better service, but you can also save money on your favorite pair of glasses.</p> <h2>11. Take Advantage of Free Repairs and Adjustments</h2> <p>If you choose to purchase your glasses in-office, then take advantage of free adjustments to ensure your glasses fit perfectly. Inquire with your optician's office about whether they offer any free replacements or repairs.</p> <h2>12. Take Advantage of Insurance</h2> <p>Before you get started, it's important to find out if you're covered by insurance. Even if you don't have a separate vision insurance plan, you may be covered under your regular medical insurance plan. Many insurance plans include a basic eye or dental care plan, so you may be covered without even realizing it.</p> <p>Before visiting your eyeglass store, first find out if they accept your vision insurance. If they accept it, find out what your insurance covers. Take advantage of whatever you can so that you get your money's worth every year. If they do not accept your insurance plan, inquire from your plan's administrator about whether they will offer reimbursement if you decide to pay out-of-pocket.</p> <h2>13. Use FSA Funds</h2> <p>If you have an FSA (or flexible spending account), take advantage of this pretax money to pay for eligible medical expenses such as prescription glasses and contact lenses. Keep in mind that FSA funds might not pay for extras like extended warranties. The goal is to use up all of your FSA funds before the end of the year, but it's important that you don't wait until the last minute to use it or you may rush to pick your new glasses, even if they aren't the most flattering option or don't offer the best deal.</p> <h2>14. Do Your Research</h2> <p>Before scheduling your eye test, research the options available to you so you can determine where you'll get the best deal for your money. Call your eyeglass store of choice to inquire about whether they currently have any coupons or deals to cut the cost of your new glasses. If you know the glasses that you want, you can search online for the brand and model number to compare prices.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-secrets-to-saving-on-eyewear">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-cash-back-sites-to-earn-you-thousands-per-year">30+ Cash Back Sites to Earn You Thousands Per Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-amazon-deal-hacks-you-may-not-already-know">16 Amazon Deal Hacks You May Not Already Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-you-should-never-buy-on-groupon-or-livingsocial">5 Things You Should Never Buy on Groupon or LivingSocial</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/31-foolproof-ways-to-lower-your-grocery-bill">31 Foolproof Ways to Lower Your Grocery Bill</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-online-retailers-who-let-you-stack-coupons">9 Online Retailers Who Let You Stack Coupons</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping contacts deals eye doctor flexible spending accounts glasses insurance online shopping optician saving money trials Thu, 15 Sep 2016 09:30:29 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1792246 at http://www.wisebread.com Should You Ever Buy Eyeglasses Online? http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-ever-buy-eyeglasses-online <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/should-you-ever-buy-eyeglasses-online" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_wearing_glasses_000018151945.jpg" alt="Woman deciding if online eyeglasses are actually worth it" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Have you considered buying your next pair of glasses online? In most cases, you can save a ton of money this way. In fact, you'll often spend up to 10 times more for the same pair of glasses by purchasing them at your local optician's office.</p> <p>Shopping online for your next pair of glasses is very convenient and will allow you to compare various prices and frame options to find the very best pair. Most places also offer free shipping. Here's how to get started.</p> <h2>1. What You'll Need to Know</h2> <p>In order to find the perfect pair of glasses online you'll need to collect some details about your eyes and your prescription first.</p> <h3>Your Prescription</h3> <p>If you can still see fine with your current glasses, then call your optician for your current eyeglass prescription. If your vision has changed, then you will need to schedule a new eye exam. You'll need your OD (oculus dexter), OS (oculus sinister), and the SPH (spherical correction).</p> <h3>Your Pupillary Distance (PD)</h3> <p>Typically, your optician will provide you with your pupillary distance (PD) measurements following your eye exam. If you do not have this information, you'll need to measure the space between your pupils using a mirror and a ruler. You can reference this <a href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-10948456-1447513355000?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.zennioptical.com%2Fmeasuring-pd-infographic">PD measuring infographic</a> for assistance or use your computer's webcam to take a photo for Warby Parker's <a href="http://www.shareasale.com/r.cfm?u=255320&amp;b=478961&amp;m=47174&amp;afftrack=&amp;urllink=https%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ewarbyparker%2Ecom%2Fpd%2Finstructions">PD measurement service</a>.</p> <h3>Lens Materials and Coatings</h3> <p>There are several add-ons that you should consider, such as what lens material and coating you'll need. Some of the most common lens types are polycarbonate, high-index, and regular plastic. You can get ultraviolet (UV), anti-scratch, and anti-reflective coatings, as well as tinted lenses.</p> <h2>2. Virtual and Home Try-On Services</h2> <p>With most online eyeglass services, you can have several sample frames sent to your home to try on for a few days. Warby Parker, for example, will send you up to to five frames for a week, so you have time to see how you feel about them.</p> <p>Other services (like Glasses.com) will also allow you to try on glasses virtually, using one of your own photos &mdash; or you can try the glasses on a model of your choosing. This can save you even more time and help you choose the perfect glasses for your face and personal style.</p> <h2>3. Return Policies</h2> <p>Most online retailers offer some sort of return or refund policy if you aren't happy with the glasses. In fact, many stores (such as 39DollarGlasses.com) offer a no-hassle return policy and a satisfaction guarantee, so you can rest assured that you will be happy with your purchase. You most likely won't get the same option at your optician's office.</p> <h2>4. Which Services Are Best?</h2> <p>Some of the most popular online eyeglass retailers include:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.shareasale.com/r.cfm?B=712943&amp;U=255320&amp;M=47174&amp;urllink=">Warby Parker</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.pntra.com/t/S0BEQ0tKR0BFSEdJQERGS0dERg">Zenni Optical</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-2822544-10458428-1431975340000">39DollarGlasses.com</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-10937779-1444419098000">Glasses.com</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-2822544-8153086-1424276660000">FramesDirect</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.dpbolvw.net/click-2822544-12343034-1446149091000">Coastal</a></li> </ul> <p>While Warby Parker seems to be the highest rated service online, some stores offer an unbeatable selection &mdash; Like FramesDirect with nearly 35,000 frames to choose from. There is no one standout service, so your best bet is to compare the various product and price options at several different retailers.</p> <p>Some services charge different prices based on the frames you choose, starting as low as $6.95 &mdash; while other services (like Warby Parker) offer set rates, like $95 total for each complete set of eyeglasses. Others (like GlassesUSA) will offer a best price guarantee, so you can feel confident you are getting the best deal. However, it never hurts to compare the prices at several top competitors.</p> <h2>5. Vision Insurance</h2> <p>Your vision insurance will most likely only cover frames that you pick in-store. If you have vision insurance, you will need to find out <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-you-must-know-about-health-care-open-enrollment">what exactly your benefits cover</a>. On the other hand, some online retailers (like EyeBuyDirect) now accept Flexible Spending Account dollars, so you can put your FSA debit cards to use.</p> <h2>6. You Might Need Professional Assistance</h2> <p>Most online eyeglass retailers make the process as easy as possible for their buyers. However, if you don't know which measurements or coatings are right for your glasses, you may want to have an optician help you. In this case, it may be easier for you to just purchase glasses in the store. Getting your glasses at a local shop may also ensure the best possible fit. If your new glasses don't feel right, your shop can adjust them for free, or for a low fee. You won't get these same types of adjustments with online retailers.</p> <p><em>Have you purchased eyeglasses online? What was your experience like? Please share your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-ever-buy-eyeglasses-online">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-secrets-to-saving-on-eyewear">14 Secrets to Saving on Eyewear</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-hair-growth-products-for-men">The 5 Best Hair Growth Products for Men</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-anti-itch-creams">The 5 Best Anti-Itch Creams</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-hair-growth-supplements">The 5 Best Hair Growth Supplements</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-shampoos-for-frizzy-hair">The 5 Best Shampoos for Frizzy Hair</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Shopping eye doctor glasses optometrist prescription vision Thu, 31 Dec 2015 16:00:03 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1629157 at http://www.wisebread.com Armor Etch can be a cheap fix for your scratched eyeglasses http://www.wisebread.com/armor-etch-can-be-a-cheap-fix-for-your-scratched-eyeglasses <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/armor-etch-can-be-a-cheap-fix-for-your-scratched-eyeglasses" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/goggles4u-glasses.jpg" alt="Torley&#039;s glasses" title="Torley&#039;s glasses" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>My wife recently scratched up her eyeglasses which we bought at a bargain from an online store (perhaps another story for another post). Holding them up to the light, the flaws were visible. Thankfully, searching the web yielded answers in short order, although they took some time to compile, so I'm sharing my experiences with you.</p> <p>Many reviewers have suggested <strong>using Armour Etch to remove glasses' antiglare coating</strong>, and thus, the scratches. Note that this ONLY applies to plastic/polycarbonate lenses in general &mdash; <font color="#ff0000"><strong>do NOT use it on actual glass glasses</strong></font>, because it'll &quot;frost&quot; and RUIN them. I also recommend not doing the following if you only possess one pair of glasses... have a backup! After weighing our options: ~US$50 for a new pair of glasses vs. $10 for a small (3 oz.) bottle of Armour Etch, we opted to use the latter for an experiment.</p> <p>I procured a bottle from eBay, and the <strong>process was very simple</strong>.</p> <h2>Here's exactly what I did:</h2> <ul> <li>Wear vinyl gloves.</li> <li>Hold the glasses facing away from you, with one hand holding onto the frames.</li> <li>Pour a gumdrop-sized dollop of Armour Etch on each lens, then rub it in circles with your fingers. It'll feel sort of gritty and textured. Rather relaxing, really.</li> <li>Avoid rubbing Armour Etch onto the frames &mdash; my wife's glasses didn't experience problems with some slop, but others have reported discoloration and other adverse affects.</li> <li>Keep rubbing for about a couple minutes or so.</li> <li>Rinse the glasses under warm water, taking care to remove as much residue as possible. This is tricky.</li> <li>Dry your glasses off with a soft cloth. Don't make the mistake of using paper towel as I initially did, because not only is it composed of abrasive wood fiber, it sheds off onto the glasses, defeating the purpose of cleaning with them.</li> <li>Hold your glasses up to the light to view the results.</li> </ul> <p>Then, I placed the glasses back on my wife's face. She was wowed by the noticeable difference, and while they appeared visibly more glare-y (obviously since the antiglare coating had mostly been removed), the clarity of vision is worth it so far.</p> <p>It's not as comprehensive as a new pair of glasses, and not even as reassuring as getting those new glasses on a budget &mdash; US$100 is just too much, see <a href="http://glassyeyes.blogspot.com/">GlassyEyes</a> for why! &mdash; but it's a <strong>fun little experiment to try at your own risk</strong>. I was comforted having read through dozens of reports before me. Also, some have suggested cleaning with other materials like toothpaste, but I haven't tried that yet. Maybe next time, or if you have, do tell.</p> <h2>Related resources</h2> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.thriftyfun.com/tf947057.tip.html"><strong>Repairing Scratched Eyeglasses</strong></a> - The bulk of the reviews I read.</li> <li><a href="http://www.kk.org/cooltools/archives/002890.php"><strong>Armour Etch mentioned on Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools</strong></a> - KK is an influential voice if he quotes you, and not just because one of his books was required reading for the stars of <em>The Matrix</em>: at times, he's like a high-tech Heloise.</li> </ul> <p><strong><em>Do</em> you <em>have an eyeglasses-related tip? Share it with us in the comments!</em></strong></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Farmor-etch-can-be-a-cheap-fix-for-your-scratched-eyeglasses&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FArmor%2520Etch%2520can%2520be%2520a%2520cheap%2520fix%2520for%2520your%2520scratched%2520eyeglasses.jpg&amp;description=Armor%20Etch%20can%20be%20a%20cheap%20fix%20for%20your%20scratched%20eyeglasses"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Armor%20Etch%20can%20be%20a%20cheap%20fix%20for%20your%20scratched%20eyeglasses.jpg" alt="Armor Etch can be a cheap fix for your scratched eyeglasses" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/torley-wong">Torley Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/armor-etch-can-be-a-cheap-fix-for-your-scratched-eyeglasses">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-1-cent-cell-phone-protector-and-other-hacks">The 1-Cent Cell Phone Protector, and Other Hacks.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/instructables-for-the-extreme-cheap-lifestyle">Instructables for the Extreme Cheap Lifestyle</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eyeglasses-stores-are-for-suckers-readers-tip">Eyeglasses Stores are for Suckers (reader&#039;s tip)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stylish-but-cheap-gift-warp-ideas">Stylish but Cheap Gift Wrap Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/60-halloween-costume-ideas-that-can-save-you-money-and-time">60+ Halloween Costume Ideas That Can Save You Money and Time</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY armor armour cheap cool etch eyeglass eyeglasses fix glass glasses scratch tool workaround Wed, 04 Mar 2009 06:15:40 +0000 Torley Wong 2890 at http://www.wisebread.com Is Plastic Killing Us? The True Cost of Convenience http://www.wisebread.com/is-plastic-killing-us-the-true-cost-of-convenience <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/plastic_sm.jpg" alt=" " width="199" height="296" /></p> <p>Plastic is really hard to avoid. In fact, it&#39;s everywhere. Clothing, mattresses, furniture, carpet - plastic is used to prevent fires as well as <a href="http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/9.10/abfabs.html">food stains</a>. </p> <p>And now, plastic is in an even more exciting place! Your bloodstream. Can Teflon-coated arteries be far behind?</p> <p>The recent stories about the return of serious metastisized cancers in public political figures Elizabeth Edwards and Tony Snow tripped my anxiety switch a bit. Less so than with the impending recession, but enough to get me worried. Almost everyone knows someone who is living with, or has died from, cancer. My own grandfather had colon cancer. Half of my mother&#39;s friends appear to be recovering from breast cancer.</p> <h4>It all started with Eve</h4> <p>Recent studies are placing some of the cancer blame on female hormones. Man, women get blamed for everything. But seriously, estrogen just doesn&#39;t seem to do anything right. First, we were using it to ease symptoms of menopause in women, then it was found to <a href="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12468039/site/newsweek/">increase cancer rates</a>. Estrogen released by sewage systems is <a href="http://www.sciencedaily.com/upi/index.php?feed=Science&amp;article=UPI-1-20070116-08190400-bc-us-sewagefish.xml">causing problems with fish populations</a>. And now, it seems, estrogen, or chemicals that mimic estrogen&#39;s properties, are causing cancer left and right.</p> <p>In lab rodents, anyway.</p> <p>As reported in the <a href="http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/sciencemedicine/story/B0650EC0CEF08246862572950012A655?OpenDocument">St. Louis Post Dispatch</a>, scientists are just now discovering the link between plastics and estrogen. And it&#39;s kind of scary.</p> <p class="blockquote">In studies with mice, researchers have found that adult females exposed to bisphenol A in the womb have irregular estrus cycles and stop cycling earlier than unexposed females. The animals exposed to the chemical had changes in a part of the brain that controls ovulation and cycling, Soto said. Female rats exposed to bisphenol A in the womb developed carcinoma in situ and pre-cancerous changes in their mammary tissue as adults, she said.</p> <p><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bisphenol_A">Bisphenol A</a> is a compound that was studied in the 1930s for purposed of birth control, so its link to estrogen-like behavior is clear (estrogen is used in birth control pills to prevent pregnancy). The fact that bisphenol A molecules can link together to form a type of plastic is what makes it fascinating. Its potential for industrial use is why it was never actually used for birth control.</p> <p>Well, just because you&#39;re not popping it in your mouth everyday at the same time in the form of a pill, that doesn&#39;t mean that you don&#39;t have bisphenol floating around in your body.</p> <p class="blockquote">The chemical is ubiquitous and almost unavoidable.... Most people carry the chemical around in their bodies at low levels — about 1 part per billion in blood, urine and tissues. &quot;That seems like a staggeringly small number until you realize that the natural hormone it&#39;s acting like works at levels 10,000 times lower than that....&quot;</p> <h4>Is there a frugal angle here?</h4> <p>Some of you Frugal Freaks are now saying, &quot;Um, Andrea? That is your name, right? Well, I like my Wise Bread posts to be about money and how I can save it. Not about dumb things like health care and cancer and how cancer affects me and the public... and the uninsured... and job performance, and as an extension, taxes and healthcare costs as they apply to the insured... and... OK, Andrea, I get the damn point. Cancer is affecting us, and trickle down economics means that, even if I don&#39;t get cancer, it the rates are skyrocketing, it will affect my bottom line somehow.&quot;</p> <p>Excellent, I&#39;m glad you understand. If you like, we can put aside the emotional impact of living and dealing with cancer. If you get really cold and calculating about it, <a href="http://www.kaisernetwork.org/daily_reports/rep_index.cfm?DR_ID=43674">cancer is expensive</a>, in terms of time and money and productivity. <a href="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16441782/">Cancer costs</a>. And as baby boomers age, it&#39;s going to cost all of us more and more.</p> <h4>What can we do?</h4> <p>San Francisco, my favorite bastion of forward-thinking, politically active and highly paranoid citizens, was thinking of <a href="http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2005/03/31/BAGIOC13FM1.DTL">banning the chemical</a> in children&#39;s products back in 2005. I&#39;m having trouble finding out if the ban actually occurred, but the plastics industry went completely insane. You can read a great rebuttal from a Plastics Council hack <a href="http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2006/01/17/EDGJNGOA9R1.DTL">here</a>, or enjoy a <a href="http://www.coalitionforconsumerchoice.org/">&quot;consumers&quot; group</a> that is completely dedicated to keeping bisphenol A in our products.</p> <p>I wonder if there was a similar consumers group that was pushing to keep saccharine in our diet drinks?</p> <p>Industry reps, of course, deny that there is any problem with bisphenol A, using this brilliant logic:</p> <p class="blockquote">&quot;This isn&#39;t a basketball game. You don&#39;t just count up studies and see what the score is,&quot; said Steven G. Hentges, executive director of the Polycarbonate Bisphenol A Global Group of the American Chemistry Council. </p> <p>Actually, you CAN add up the studies and see what the score is. That&#39;s the whole point of studies. I mean, yes, many scientific studies are flawed, and other factors must always be taken into consideration. For instance, what if it turned out that every person tested in the bisphenol studies was a pack-a-day smoker. We&#39;d expect to see elevated levels of cancer in smokers. But in this case, we&#39;re talking about 140 government-sponsored studies, not a few rogue studies by whacky environmentalists.</p> <h4>The Great Divide</h4> <p>As usual, this controversy seems to be divided along political lines. People who really love bisphenol A are either industry reps or Fox News contributors who run web sites that mock the hell out of Al Gore. Many sites that seem to take the concerns about BPA seriously are run by environmentalists.</p> <p>But the Nation Institutes of Health is looking into this matter, so for now, the best we can do is really push for further studies to see if the amounts of BPA that we have in our bloodstream are really dangerous to us.</p> <p class="heading">OK, fine, but really, how do I avoid this stuff?</p> <p>Well, I wish that I could simply give you a list of things to avoid, but unless you are going to get Lasik surgery (since bisphenol A is found in glasses and contact lenses) and throw away your Nalgene bottle (and a host of other products), then really this is one of those issues where you have to get politically involved. </p> <p>OK, fine. Here&#39;s a list of products that may contain bisphenol A, and some possible alternatives: </p> <ul> <li><strong>Hard, clear plastic baby bottles</strong> - EVERYONE knows that breast is best! Or use glass bottles like my parents did.</li> <li><strong>Hard, clear, sometimes tinted, plastic water bottles</strong> - I never liked those Nalgene bottles anyway.</li> <li><strong>Hard, clear plastic bowls, tableware, storage containers</strong> - Use glass and ceramic.</li> <li><strong>Liners inside food and drink cans</strong> - You shouldn&#39;t be drinking stuff from cans, anyway.</li> <li><strong>Dental sealant to prevent cavities</strong> - Brush your teeth! Don&#39;t let them seal your teeth with plastic!</li> <li><strong>Electronic equipment</strong> - Read a book. I can&#39;t think of anything else, because I love electronics equipment, and that&#39;s a broad category.</li> <li><strong>Sports safety equipment</strong> - I&#39;m not going to suggest that you don&#39;t wear a helmet. WEAR A HELMET.</li> <li><strong>Medical devices</strong> - Too darn bad. Can&#39;t do without those.</li> <li><strong>Pet carriers</strong> - Would it be uncouth to suggest just bounding and gagging the little critters?</li> <li><strong>Spray-on flame retardants</strong> - Nope. Can&#39;t avoid these. Unless you shop for natural furniture and floors.</li> <li><strong>CD/DVDs</strong> - iTunes, baby.</li> </ul> <p>Pretty tough to avoid all that stuff, isn&#39;t it? </p> <p>Unfortunately, I&#39;m not sure that there is a great answer out there as to how to deal with something as ubiquitous as this chemical. Plastics are an undeniably amazing product. But I&#39;m starting to question just how many bits of Tupperware I need.</p> <p>Also, I&#39;m feeling bad about mocking the <a href="/life-without-toiletpaper-bum-deal">New York lady</a> for taking her food to work in a mason jar. Maybe she has the right idea.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-plastic-killing-us-the-true-cost-of-convenience">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-baby-bottles-cause-diabetes-and-heart-disease">Do plastic baby bottles cause diabetes and heart disease?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-wonderful-uses-for-witch-hazel">15 Wonderful Uses for Witch Hazel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-cheap-and-easy-homemade-mosquito-repellents">4 Cheap and Easy Homemade Mosquito Repellents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-hair-conditioners-you-can-make-at-home">5 Hair Conditioners You Can Make at Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-you-really-need-soft-water">Do You Really Need “Soft” Water?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living Health and Beauty bisphenol A BPA cancer coating contact lens DDT estrogen female hormone glasses plastic polymers Wed, 28 Mar 2007 23:43:15 +0000 Andrea Karim 410 at http://www.wisebread.com Eyeglasses Stores are for Suckers (reader's tip) http://www.wisebread.com/eyeglasses-stores-are-for-suckers-readers-tip <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/eyeglasses-stores-are-for-suckers-readers-tip" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000066907347_Large.jpg" alt="woman in eyeglasses" title="woman in eyeglasses" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Tired of paying outrageous prices for your glasses? Our reader Kris Wolff gave us a great tip on <a href="http://glassyeyes.blogspot.com">Glassy Eyes</a>, a blog about one man's quest to find reasonably priced designer eyewear.</p> <p>Glassy Eyes is a good place to find deals for glasses and share stories with fellow ocular bargain hunters. Ira (the blog's author) also writes detailed reviews of his favorite online vendors.</p> <p>Do these deal sites actually work? Are you going to go blind wearing this stuff? Our reader Kris was able to find $26 glasses that could've easily cost her $400:</p> <blockquote><p>I tried one of the companies [Glassy Eyes] recommended, goggles4u.com. I got my glasses with all the usual coatings (UV protection, scratch-resistant, etc.) at no charge, there was no charge for regular shipping, and I got a free hard case and cleaning cloth. My glasses came in about 10 days.</p> <p>How much? $25.99.</p> <p>They look very similar to a pair of DKNY glasses that a big chain store was going to charge me $400 for. I am really happy with my glasses and just wanted to share this with other people &mdash; I had no idea websites like this existed</p> </blockquote> <p>After saving that much money, Kris couldn't resist buying a few more pairs:</p> <blockquote><p>I ordered a second pair of glasses from another site that Glassy Eyes recommended &mdash; <a href="http://www.pntra.com/t/S0BEQ0tKR0BFSEdJQERGS0dERg">Zenni Optical</a>. They have some cheaper glasses than Goggles4u starting at $8.95, but as you can imagine those are not so stylish.</p> <p>Of the $19 plastic selection, I found two or three pairs that I liked, and ordered one, which was pictured in the tortoise shell color only, but said that it was also available in &quot;light blue.&quot; The anti-reflective coating was an additional $4.95 and shipping was another $4.95 for a total of $28.90.</p> <p>They came in last night, about 10 days after I ordered them, and also came with a hard case and cleaning cloth. Unfortunately I was a bit disappointed by the &quot;light blue&quot; which could better be described as &quot;crystal blue&quot; &mdash; clear, with only a slight tinge of blue. The nice thing about Goggles4u is that they show every pair of glasses in every color available, so you have a better sense of what the color is going to be. It's like when catalogues use colors like &quot;loden,&quot; &quot;moss,&quot; or &quot;forest&quot; and you don't know if they are all about the same color or wildly different. </p> <p>At these prices I'm going to go buy another pair from Goggles4u (who offer a 15% discount on repeat orders). And Glassy Eyes often has discounts posted for the various online eyeglass stores, so people should check there before placing their orders.</p> </blockquote> <p>Thanks for the great tips Kris!</p> <p>I know many people are wary of buying cheap glasses. &quot;You only get one pair of eyes,&quot; my mom used to tell me (usually when I'm entering my 18th hour of Starcraft nerdery).&nbsp;Similarly concerned for our welfare, an optician actually contacted Ira about the dangers of buying cheap glasses. Here's Ira's response:</p> <blockquote><p>OPTICIAN: You may be able to find a silhouette frame a little cheaper online but you are also forfeiting correct measurements and the service provided (future repairs and adjustments, complimentary ultrasonic cleanings, etc). </p> <p>IRA: I wonder how many people you sell on ultrasonic cleanings. In theory it sounds like a good idea, but I think $320 is a bit much for an extended service plan. </p> <p>OPTICIAN: Stores also have more overhead (salaries for qualified and experienced opticians, ulitity bills, etc) so you are paying for more than just the frame&hellip;you are paying for the overall service. </p> <p>IRA: I can appreciate that. That's the reason I've gone to the same opthalmologist for the past 25 years. I want a qualified person checking my eyes &mdash; <strong>after that it's numbers on a card and money-grubbing</strong>. </p> <p>OPTICIAN: Also, let&rsquo;s not forget that by patronizing local stores, you are helping the local economy. I would gladly pay just a little extra to support my community. </p> <p>IRA: Don't start with the shop locally argument. I shop locally as often as I can. I'm a huge fan of the disappearing mom and pop shops of all kinds and will patronize them over a big-box store whenever possible. I support my community with volunteering AND my dollars. I'm not going to be screwed for it however.</p> </blockquote> <p>Way to stick it to the man, Ira!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/will-chen">Will Chen</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eyeglasses-stores-are-for-suckers-readers-tip">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheat-sheet-retail-markup-on-common-items">Cheat Sheet: Retail Markup on Common Items</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/armor-etch-can-be-a-cheap-fix-for-your-scratched-eyeglasses">Armor Etch can be a cheap fix for your scratched eyeglasses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-ever-buy-eyeglasses-online">Should You Ever Buy Eyeglasses Online?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-secrets-to-saving-on-eyewear">14 Secrets to Saving on Eyewear</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-6-shopping-challenges-will-keep-you-stylish-without-breaking-your-budget">These 6 Shopping Challenges Will Keep You Stylish Without Breaking Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping eye glasses eyeglasses glasses glassyeyes Fri, 09 Feb 2007 23:07:38 +0000 Will Chen 263 at http://www.wisebread.com