Managing the Cost of Eye Care

Our eyes are a critically important part of our bodies. Without good eyesight, it’s very difficult to accomplish daily tasks.

For that reason, most of us make an occasional visit to the optometrist for an exam. While the frequency of these visits may vary, the purpose is always the same: To assess your current eyesight and to determine if there is a need for any type of corrective lenses.

If the determination is made that you do indeed need a prescription (or an update to your existing prescription), the next step is to select your frames and get the glasses ordered. This is where sticker shock often comes into play.

Glasses are expensive, and for good reason. The lenses must be precisely ground to provide the improvements that your doctor has specified. They must be made of quality glass that resists scratching and chipping, and the frames must be durable enough for many cycles of folding and unfolding, along with the typical abuse of a hard day’s work or other activities.

Speaking of work, prescription safety glasses can be even more expensive. Not only must they tolerate the ordinary use that any wearer would have, they also must provide the necessary safety features that you require for your workplace.

So how do you save? There are a number of options.

The first step is to shop around. Many times, we assume that our optometrist is the only source for glasses. That’s not true. Your doctor may not have the selection or the price that you can get elsewhere, especially for specialized products like safety glasses. You can order Wiley X Prescription Safety Glasses by simply choosing your lenses and frames, then uploading your prescription.

Next, check on your vision coverage through your employer, if it is offered. If you don’t have it, review its coverage and see if it would be worthwhile. If you do have it, see if other plans are available that might do a little better on payment. There are a lot of details in most vision plans, and some options are better suited to certain customers than others. Make sure your plan is a good fit for you and your family.

Another good move is to break up the visits. When everybody in a family of four needs a checkup, don’t take everybody at once. Get Dad in February, Mom in April, and the kids in June and July before school starts. This will break up copays and frame costs into smaller, more manageable bites.

You should also think about your glasses as an investment in themselves. That is, instead of going with the absolute cheapest pair you can get, put a little more money in them up front to reduce the chances that you’ll have to replace a damaged pair in a few months. Specialized coatings for lens protection and improved materials for frame construction will cost more up front, but they’ll pay for themselves pretty easily. Research your options and don’t just go with the cheapest glasses.

One thing you should never do is go too long between checkups. Find a way to afford the visits and the frames on the schedule that your doctor recommends. Waiting too long can lead to headaches and problems doing work at school or on the job, so be regular with your visits.

Our eyesight is a complicated and important thing. Taking good care of our vision can be expensive, but with a good strategy, you can lower those costs and keep 20/20 vision on a budget.


  1. Elaine Buonsante says

    Great ideas for saving money and taking good care of your family’s eyes!

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