Eye exams/glasses - Is it cheaper to go to Lenscrafters, Pearle Vision, etc...

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by Jeanne B, Dec 30, 2005.

  1. Jeanne B

    Jeanne B DIS Veteran

    Dec 11, 2004
    Than going to my local optometrist? I have my DD12 scheduled for an eye exam with my eye doctor because she's having trouble reading anything up close (she says everything is blurry) but I'm wondering if it would be cheaper to go to one of the chain stores, especially if she ends up needing glasses. The last time I went to my eye doctor in Dec 04 the exam was $100 and the glasses were $190 (included tinting). I know the chains sometimes offer buy 1 pair get 1 free or similar offers so maybe I should just keep the appt she has with my eye doctor and get the glasses elsewhere? (I don't know if they would take offense to that but people must do it all the time). I also found that I can get a 30% discount on glasses with my AAA card at Lenscrafters.
  2. powellrj

    powellrj DIS Veteran

    Mar 2, 2003
    we have eye insurance but have started using wal-mart for our glasses. They were cheaper without insurance than our eye doctor was with insurance. I know some people don't think the care is as good, but I have not been happy with the last 2 eye doctors we have been to using our insurance, but the last 5 times someone has been to wal-mart we have been much happier (and I hate wal-mart!) They will tell you on the phone what the costs are so just call around and see! The other thing I like about wal-mart is the prices of the frames are marked.
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  4. Mskanga

    Mskanga <font color=navy>Can speak and read 4 languages fl

    Feb 29, 2000
    We all go to our regular eye doctor because our insurance pays for it and we only pay $10 copay . If anyone needs glasses I just ask for the prescription and shop around for them. The last time I purchased glasses from walmart vision center for $125 total. The first pair of glasses was a PITA , one of the lenses kept popping out eventhough the frame was nice and tight, then the frame was bent from one of the repairs and one of the lenses got a scratch too, all that within the first month. I went back to walmart after having to take the glasses three times that week to get fixed and asked them to replace them since they were under warranty , not only I wanted new lenses but I also wanted new frames that would not bend. They relunctantly agreed because I insisted that we were still within the warranty time. We got the new glasses and have not had another problem , this was last october. They finally admitted that when they cut one of the lenses on the first glasses , it was not done correctly and that's what caused the "popping out" all the time and since the technicians kept bending the frame to make it fit that's what got the frame out of whack too.
    Oh , and the scratch on the lens they told me that nothing was guaranteed. I looked at the manager and I said if you charge extra for something , it better be guaranteed of you can be ready to replace.
  5. Merriwind

    Merriwind Always looking for an excuse to go to WDW...

    May 2, 2005
    WalMart has been my eye doctor for several years. For just a routine exam and glasses/contacts, it's perfect for me. Much cheaper than an optometrist with my insurance; their contacts are cheaper than 800-contacts. I have been very happy!
  6. we3disneygo

    we3disneygo DIS Veteran

    Mar 24, 2004
    my dd12 ending up getting glasses when school started we have no eye insurance so it was all out of pocket. she got her exam at my eye dr. and then we looked all over at glasses and prices...lens crafters was to high.....for a kids pair...we ended up at Sears. good luck, I took my digtal camera with us so she could see what she looked like once we got home.
  7. budbeerlady

    budbeerlady <font color=blue>I call DH The STREAK!!<br><font c

    Apr 27, 2005
    Things were changing with my insurance at the end of last May, so I ended up last minute at Walmart to get it paid by my insurance. I was interested in wearing contacts again as I had stopped while pregnate with dd. The Walmart doctor told me I have severe astigmatism in both eyes and I should have never stopped wearing my contacts as she didnt know if I could wear them as my eyes had gottan worse. Wish my eye doc had told me that to begin with all the years I saw him!!!!! :earseek: With some trial and error she got me into some toric lenses that I really like and will keep wearing to keep the eyes in check! So long old doc, I will not be going back there! I think the problem was I had been seeing him for 20 some years and I think like with insurance for your home maybe you are better checking with someone else once in a while!
  8. aka-mad4themouse

    aka-mad4themouse <font color="blue">Budget Board Co-Host</font>

    Dec 14, 2004
    Cheaper, probably. You won't know unless you shop around.

    I do know that if you have insurance, your optometrist can't charge you any more for the eye exam than Pearle Vision will with the same insurance. But I would wager that you will get a more comprehensive exam from the optometrist in private practice than you will from the Pearle or Lenscrafters doctor.

    My optometrist (a relative) worked at a chain when he first graduated from school. Patients were scheduled so close together that he couldn't do a dialation of the pupils to get a proper look at the retina. He hated the quality of care that he was providing but did it to pay the bills until he could go into private practice. They're your eyes. Make sure that you get the best possible care for them for your money. You won't get another pair.

    As for the cost of the glasses or contacts. You might find that the optometrist is just as competitive as the chain stores. But if he isn't, don't be shy about asking for your prescription and taking it elsewhere. The price of the frames and lenses should also include free adjustments and minor repairs. For contact lenses, you should get a free trial pair to see if you're comfortable with them and your vision is clear. The contact lens manufacturers provide them to the optometrist for just that purpose, much like the pharmaceutical companies provide medical doctors with sample drugs for their patients. It can take more than a couple of fittings with contacts to make sure that you've got the right correction. My current prescription took 3 tries to get it right b/c they're bifocal contacts. Most optometrists in private practice will go that extra mile to keep a patient happy. Not all eyecare chains will.

    As a consumer, I think that you're wise to shop around. Just make sure that your comparing apples to apples when you price-shop.
  9. CarolA

    CarolA <a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/index.

    Aug 21, 1999
    Cheaper is NOT the only consideration here!!!!

    I went to Lenscrafters for years... then I got an ulcer on my cornea and did not have an MD! Considering that left untreated this could have resulted in MAJOR damage I was VERY VERY lucky that a friend got me into her eye doctor immediately. I will never take that risk again.

    Until I had the Laser Surgery I did take the contact prescription and send it to LensExperss!
  10. sammielynn

    sammielynn DIS Veteran

    Mar 10, 2005
    I go to Wal-mart. The exam was $45. The exam I received was just as good as the last private Dr. I went to. If you live near a college check and see if they have a Optical Department. My college does and my glasses were $190. I got top of the line ultra thin, no line bifocal lenses, all the coatings I wanted and free cool frames. My second pair with out the bifocal was just $45. They are just plain glasses for watching TV and such (bifocals are hard to watch TV in if you want to lay down). They have a good poly-carb lense just not the ultra thin type.
  11. Jeanne B

    Jeanne B DIS Veteran

    Dec 11, 2004
    Thanks for the input everyone!! I'm going to stick with having my DD have an exe exam by my optometrist and if it's determined that she needs glasses I may do some shopping around to compare prices.
  12. DMRick

    DMRick I prefer to be tagless!

    Jan 25, 2001
    I happen to like Lens Crafter. They aren't under my insurance, so for the first time in years, we went elsewhere. Sears took my insurance. We (hubby and I) both thought the exam was not thorough (and the first pair of mine was so terrible, I couldn't read with them and had to go back and get them redone)....and well, the glasses were what we paid for them. Cheap, cheap, cheap.
  13. christinadei

    christinadei <font color=red>Tagless for eternity (well, until

    Mar 4, 2004
    We use walmart as well. We love the eye doctor there, better than any other I've been too. THey are really cheap as well. i think it was $77 for the first contact visit and it's $44 every year after that. Not sure the price on glasses exams.
  14. nordkin

    nordkin DIS Veteran

    Apr 22, 2005
    If you have an Hour Eyes in your area you may want to go to them for the glasses. They have a program, that they do not advertise and you have to ask for, where kids glasses frames and lenses are $99 and at times they are two for $99. We just got both my boys their glasses and they had the two for $99 deal going.
  15. juliegirl

    juliegirl Mouseketeer

    Apr 11, 2004
    Had an eye exam last year at Walmart (on 12/24, I had to take what I could get - long story but every year I break my glasses on or right before a major holiday) Loved the dr, felt the exam was comparable to any I have had elsewhere.

    I would keep the appt with the optometrist and shop around for the glasses (if she needs them). Do yourself a favor and get a spare pair for her (I buy these at BJs - 2 pair for $98 right now - limited choices, but if they are just a backup, I don't really care what they look like)

    For subsequent exams (I don't think you can get an Rx for glasses filled if the Rx is more than 24 months old - in NH anyway) you can probably go to Walmart, Lenscrafters, etc, as long as there are no new problems.

    Like aka-mad said, you only have one pair of eyes, don't take chances.
  16. TEK224

    TEK224 <br><img src="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/i

    Feb 5, 2001
    I always go to my opthalmologist for my eye exam. Then I shop around for my glasses. I've used lens crafters and have been happy with them (like that I can get them in an hour). I've also recently found an optometrist office closer to my house and have taken my presecription there to get glasses. They were cheaper than lens crafters, but took about 3 days before I got the glasses.
  17. kfeuer

    kfeuer <font color=blue>My kids are going to think I'm ol

    Jan 24, 2003
    We have our exams done by an opthamologist I completely trust, but we've gotten our last few pairs of glasses at Costco. I have a very strong prescription (legally blind without my glasses) and they did a great job on them. They cost about half of what Lenscrafters would charge. I would go back to them in a heartbeat.
  18. ladyelle

    ladyelle Mouseketeer

    Jul 19, 2004
    We go to Costco for exams and glasses. I did alot of comparison shopping and found Costco to be a great deal. My son just needed glasses for school. The exam was $45 and his glasses and frames were $80.
  19. LisaNJ25

    LisaNJ25 DIS Veteran<br><font color=aqua>I paid $300 back i

    Jul 3, 2000
    We use Walmart. My insurance pays for the exam and you cant beat the prices of glasses. For the kids I get the 1 year warrenty for I think an extra $15. It was a live saver sicne my 6yo alrady broke her glasses twice this year .
  20. mcgrawfan

    mcgrawfan Peace Love Mickey Mouse

    Jul 25, 2003
    Ok...I work for 2 eye docs and our office has very high quality lenses and frames. We have a 2 year warranty also and do not care how your glasses break we will replace them or lenses once within 2 years. I know not all discount eye chains sell good quality lenses and frames. There are differences. Eyesight is very important. Our docs do very extensive and complete eye exams that you may not get at Wal Mart. Do you really want to "shop around" for something like your eyes?
  21. RangerPooh

    RangerPooh DIS Veteran

    Aug 6, 2005
    The cost of seeing our family's eye doctor even with insurance was astronomical as they don't give out your prescription so you ahve to go through them for everything! Hubby and have started going to Costco and WalMart (as our insurance no longer covers optometry). The prices are very good and we are able to take our prescription with us wich allows us to shop around. I took hubby to lens crafters a few years back thinking that we would be getting a decent deal, but we ended paying opver $200 or one pair of glasses! From then on we've always gone to WalMart and Costco. We've even purchased our contacts online through Vison Direct and 1800Contacts.

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