The Rising Costs of Eyewear

According to the Vision Council of America, adults spend 28.7 billion dollars annually on glasses and eye care services. More than half of that is for lenses and frames alone. Most people who need glasses pay more than necessary because they don’t comparison shop. Also, people are often willing to pay more for a pair of glasses they think is stylish. Ultimately, the price for lenses and frames depends largely on where they were purchased.

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Different Types of Eyeglass Outlets

When an optometrist writes a prescription for a pair of glasses, patients can have it filled at one of the following locations:

A chain store: Convenience is the driving factor for people who utilize these types of stores. Because they are often located within a shopping mall, customers can shop while an optometrist makes their glasses.

Doctors and independent optometrists: Some people prefer to buy glasses at a medical clinic because they usually receive quality service. The staff tends to takes their time to ensure that the glasses are a good fit for the patient. These clinics are also more likely to carry name-brand frames.

Online merchant: Internet retailers can offer exceptionally low prices due to no overhead costs. Online shoppers should investigate the company’s reputations before placing the first order.

Warehouse clubs: Glasses at a warehouse club are often cheaper than a retail store. However, a membership is usually required to take advantage of the discount.

(Source: http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/yourmoney/chi-ym-spending-0722jul22-story.html)

Factors Affecting the Cost of Glasses

There are several other factors in addition to where glasses are purchased that can affect the final price. The size of the frames and the strength of the prescription are two of the most important indicators of cost. Another determining factor is the material used to make the lenses as well as whether they have additional options like an anti-scratch coating or double as sunglasses when the wearer steps outdoors. Polycarbonate and high-index lenses are typically the most expensive. (Source: http://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-11-2013/shopping-for-eyeglasses.1.html)

Repair Instead of Replace

With the average cost of a new pair of glasses at $200, people are increasingly choosing to have their frames repaired instead of replacing them. For a fraction of the replacement cost, these repair specialists use laser technology to fix broken eyeglass frames, lenses, nose pads, and bridges. Besides the cost savings, eyeglass wearers appreciate that the bond used to make the repair does not leave unsightly marks or damage the structural support of the glasses. (Source: http://www.eyeglassrepairusa.com/)

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