For over seventeen years, hubs and I have been getting both our eye exams and eye wear at Wal Mart. What started off as being a bargain in eye care has now turned in to a very expensive proposition, as is with most other eye care centers. Eye exams at Wal Mart, provided by an optometrist used to cost $45. Today? That same eye exam, which is more computerized than ever, is priced at $100. That’s an increase of 122%! Ditto for their frames. We used to get nice looking frames for around $29, with single vision lenses priced at only $10 or so. Now? Frames are priced in the hundreds of dollars and single vision lenses are priced more than double of what they used to be.
Eye exams and related prescription glasses aren’t covered under Medicare. So, it’s important to shop around and look at prices as well as an optometrists’ qualifications. You don’t want to skimp on the eye exam, nor the filling of the RX lenses. That’s a given. As we age, our vision is very important. You can bargain hunt, however, for frames.
The same optometrist at our local Wal Mart has been treating my husband and I for the past seventeen years. We have no intention of finding another doctor. His exams have been excellent. His prescriptions even better. For the first time, I’m using reading glasses and I am astounded at the difference it has made in my life. Lately, I noticed I couldn’t get my eyes to focus on a page. Reading off my iPhone or iPad was becoming blurry. My computer vision was OK but how long can one sit in front of a computer and read? It was tiring, so without realizing it, I stopped reading.
Once I got my new reading glasses, the world of books and social media reading exploded! Pages look bright, crisp and clear. My eyes no longer tire. Social media no longer looks blurry. I’m back at my local library and renting out volumes of books. I calculated I’ve started reading one book every few days or so.
The frames, however, I purchased at Wal Mart are a different story. Wal Mart isn’t in to ‘trendy’ nor ‘fashionable’ eye wear. I may be older but that doesn’t mean I still can’t make a statement in my eye wear. I bought two pairs of glasses: one for reading, one for distance and I looked awful in them. The two pairs of glasses, with single vision lenses came to $151 (in addition to the $100 eye exam) for a total of $251. Not cheap.
I found the perfect pair I had been dreaming of (the new trend today is to get big, bulky, nerdy eye glasses). If I bought just the one frame, it was $109 with tax BUT if I bought two pairs, the total came to $95 and that included RX single vision lenses at no extra charge and no tax! So for $95 I bought two trendy, fashionable eye glasses, had my RX filled (one for distance, one for near) and it cost me $56 less than what I had paid at Wal Mart. Which I promptly returned and got a full refund ($151) from Wal Mart under their 60 Day guarantee, when I got back home.
The lesson learned: it pays to shop around. Even when you are on vacation!