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What Is the Average Eye Exam Cost?


Having eye exams regularly is extremely important to detect and correct vision problems as early as possible. However, for Americans without health insurance, obtaining an eye exam regularly can be somewhat difficult, especially in the midst of a difficult economy. However, it is possible to find affordable eye examinations, especially if you know some of the best places to look. Specialists recommend that people between the ages of 18 and 60 visit an eye doctor at least once every two years for checkups and people older than 60 years should do so once a year. When searching for the best place to go for an exam, it can help to know some information about the average eye exam cost and where you can obtain affordable exams.

Factors that Determine Eye Exam Cost

You can obtain eye exams through several different venues, including an independent eye doctor’s office, the eye department of a multidisciplinary medical clinic, a group eye care clinic, and at an optical retailer that employs an affiliated optometrist for eye exams. In addition, large retailers often have optical departments where you can undergo a professional eye exam. Following are some of the main factors that determine eye exam cost:

  • Whether you visit an optometrist or ophthalmologist for the exam
  • The tests included in the exam
  • Whether the exam includes a contact lens fitting or other contact lens-related services

If you visit a retail store or optical chain for an eye examination, you can often obtain one for less than $50, whereas you are likely to pay $100 or more at a medical clinic or private eye doctor’s office. You are also likely to pay more for an exam if you have contact lenses, since these exams are often more costly than those that simply involve updating your eyeglasses prescription.

Things to Keep in Mind when Comparing Eye Exam Costs

When comparing eye exam costs, one of the most important things to keep in mind is which services an eye exam includes. If you are obtaining a comprehensive eye exam, it should include the following:

  • Reviewing your personal and family history to determine if you have a history of eye problems
  • Evaluating your distance and near vision with an eye chart
  • Determining whether you suffer from nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, or presbyopia
  • Performing near vision testing to determine if you have presbyopia and need progressive lenses or bifocals
  • Evaluating your eyes’ ability to work together as a team
  • Examining the interior of your eyes to rule out other eye issues such as cataracts and macular degeneration

When you visit an eye care professional and determine his or her eye exam cost, you should ask what tests are included, as some clinics may advertise a low exam fee but charge additional fees for certain procedures that may be included in a higher exam fee elsewhere.

Choosing a reasonable eye exam cost is very important to many Americans, especially those that do not have any type of health insurance that offers eye care discounts. However, you should keep in mind that the lowest prices do not always include comprehensive exams, so it is important to determine exactly which tests any price includes. Remember that it is extremely important to detect and correct vision problems as early as possible to prevent them from worsening, so you should visit an eye doctor once every two years if you are between the ages of 18 and 60 and once a year if you are older than 60 years.

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