In a survival situation, not being able to see well, or at all, could drastically reduce your chances of making it through unscathed. With that in mind I am going to give you some things you can do preemptively as well as a couple things you can do if you happen to be caught unprepared.
While I don’t think that vision preparedness in case “it” hits the fan is the only reason to get Lasik, it was one of the reasons I got it done. My vision was 25/20 before Lasik. The day after Lasik, it was 20/15 and at my eye exam yesterday it was 20/20. I wore contacts and/or glasses for twenty years. Having Lasik done was one of the best decisions I’ve made.
It’s expensive but some health plans will cover a portion and I believe you can use an HSA as well, if you have one. I was told that there is a very good chance I would need to use glasses later in life for reading. I don’t mind that. It beats wearing glasses and contacts for the next 10-20 years. Enhancements are covered for life through the facility I used, if there is a need. If my vision starts to get worse, they’ll do Lasik again for free.
I was told by the doctor who performed my Lasik that all someone needs to do to be certified to do Lasik treatment is attend a weekend seminar. Make sure you go to someone who has done hundreds, if not thousands of these procedures.
“Back Up” Pair of Glasses
Whether you wear glasses or contacts full time, you should have a pair of backup glasses. I got bit by this before I was a Prepper; I wore contacts and didn’t own a pair of glasses. I got an eye infection and was told I couldn’t wear contacts for two weeks. They were able to get me a pair of glasses in a couple of days, but I went a day or two without and paid more to have them rushed.
Zenni Optical is an online store that sells glasses from $6.95 to $49.00. While I have never purchased from them, I have heard several good things. I looked through and they have some good looking frames. Whether you use these as your main glasses or buy a few cheap pairs to put in a hard glasses case and toss them in the glove box, BOB or anywhere else, I think this is a solid idea. You’ll need to know your prescription and pupillary distance. There are options available that can raise the price to over $100, but if you’re buying a backup pair, just go bare bones.
I have a pair of the geeky goggles we had to wear in science class in my car. My thinking is to keep water out of my eyes if I need to change a tire in the rain or to keep debris out. They’ll protect my eyes in just about any scenario.
Eye Glass Repair Kit
This is a must have item. In fact, they’re cheap enough; have a couple. This way you’ll increase the chance of finding one when you need it. You could also use it as a barter item or just save the day when a neighbors glasses need some tightening.
Options in a Pinch
If you don’t have a backup pair of glasses and a lens breaks, you still have a couple options; one is to use duct tape as my friend, James Hubbard MD The Survival Doctor explains. There is a video of this on his site. Essentially, you place duct tape where the lens goes and poke some holes in the tape where your pupil is. See his article and video for full details. It is good information to have.
If you break your glasses and don’t have duct tape handy, you can use cardboard or any other item you can poke small pin holes in.
As you can see, as with almost everything else in preparedness, there are many more options before the fan, than after it.