Here’s the Real (No Good) Reason Glasses Are So Expensive

iStock.com/GoodLifeStudio
iStock.com/GoodLifeStudio

Anyone with impaired vision knows that eyewear doesn’t come cheap. While prices vary depending on the brand, design, and style of frames you select, a pair of prescription glasses can easily set you back several hundred dollars.

And as the Los Angeles Times explains, we’ve all been getting ripped off. The average cost of frames is $231, according to VSP Vision Care, but the actual cost of the materials is fractional. Acetate frames are made of plastic and metal, and those components can cost as little as $10, according to some estimates. That means consumers often end up paying 10 to 20 times what the frames and lenses are actually worth. So what gives?

This markup can be attributed to the monopoly held by a single company called Luxottica. The Italian company owns and holds licenses with some of the most recognizable name brand, including Ray-Ban, Oakley, Michael Kors, DKNY, Coach, Burberry, Versace, and Chanel. It also operates more than 7400 optical stores around the world, including LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, Sears Optical, Sunglass Hut, Target Optical, and EyeMed Vision Care. A lack of competition—which might drive prices down—means Luxottica can keep eyeglasses pricey.

Luxottica gained even greater access to the global market when it merged with France’s Essilor eyewear company last fall. At the time of the merger, Essilor CEO Hubert Sagnières framed the creation of the new entity—EssilorLuxottica—as a positive for customers. “The creation of EssilorLuxottica is a defining moment in our fight to elevate the importance of good vision as both a basic human right and a key lever for global development,” Sagnières said, according to the Australian ophthalmic magazine Insight.

Some groups, like Consumer Watchdog, think the true cost of eyewear should be part of the national health care discussion, right alongside the high cost of many prescription drugs. However, many companies keep that information closely guarded, as the Los Angeles Times found out, and there's little chance that those figures will be made publicly known anytime soon.

[h/t Los Angeles Times]

From Cocaine to Chloroform: 28 Old-Timey Medical Cures

YouTube
YouTube

Is your asthma acting up? Try eating only boiled carrots for a fortnight. Or smoke a cigarette. Have you got a toothache? Electrotherapy might help (and could also take care of that pesky impotence problem). When it comes to our understanding of medicine and illnesses, we’ve come a long way in the past few centuries. Still, it’s always fascinating to take a look back into the past and remember a time when cocaine was a common way to treat everything from hay fever to hemorrhoids.

In this week's all-new edition of The List Show, Mental Floss editor-in-chief Erin McCarthy is highlighting all sorts of bizarre, old-timey medical cures. You can watch the full episode below.

For more episodes like this one, be sure to subscribe here.

Game of Thrones Star Sophie Turner Opened Up About Her Struggles With Depression

Helen Sloan, HBO
Helen Sloan, HBO

Playing one of the main characters on the most popular show currently on television isn't always as glamorous as it seems. Sometimes, the pressures of fame can be too much. Sophie Turner realized this while playing Sansa Stark on Game of Thrones, and has recently revealed how being in the public eye took a toll on her mental health.

Turner took on the role of Sansa Stark in 2011, when she was just a teenager, and she quickly became a household name. Now, at 23, she's come forward to Dr. Phil on his podcast Phil in the Blanks to explain how negative comments on social media affected her self-image and mental health.

"I would just believe it. I would say, ‘Yeah, I am spotty. I am fat. I am a bad actress.' I would just believe it," Turned explained. "I would get [the costume department] to tighten my corset a lot. I just got very, very self-conscious."

Later on, these feelings led to major depression. Turner developed a sense of isolation after she realized that all of her friends and family were going off to colleege while she was pursuing a sometimes-lonely acting career.

"I had no motivation to do anything or go out. Even with my best friends, I wouldn't want to see them, I wouldn't want to go out and eat with them," Turner explained. "I just would cry and cry and cry over just getting changed and putting on clothes and be like, 'I can't do this. I can't go outside. I have nothing that I want to do.'"

The feelings of depression stayed with Turner for most of the time she was filming Game of Thrones, and it's a battle she's still fighting. "I've suffered with my depression for five or six years now. The biggest challenge for me is getting out of bed and getting out of the house. Learning to love yourself is the biggest challenge," she continued.

The actress shared that she goes to a therapist and takes medication for her depression—two things that have helped her feel better.

Between Game of Thrones ending and planning her wedding to fiancé Joe Jonas, Turner may not have the time to take on many new acting roles in the near future. However, we'll continue to see her as Sansa Stark in the final season of Game of Thrones, and as Jean Grey in Dark Phoenix, which hits theaters on June 7.

[h/t: E! News]

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