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optometrist with equipment

How to Obtain a Low‐Cost Eye Exam

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One of the most important aspects of maintaining a healthy lifestyle is having good eyes and clear vision. To accomplish this, however, it is essential to get regular eye exams, which can be somewhat expensive if you do not have optical insurance. Regardless, experts recommend you have your eyes checked once every two years if you are between ages 18 and 60 and once a year if you are 61 or older. Additionally, you may need to visit an eye care professional more frequently if you have a family history of eye diseases or if you have been diagnosed with any type of vision-affecting eye disease. Because it is necessary to get eye examinations regularly, it can help to know how to obtain a low-cost eye exam in your area.

Places to Find a Low-cost Eye Exam

Finding a low-cost eye exam can be extremely easy, especially if you know where to search for one. Eye exams are available through several different venues and can range in price depending on the eye doctor you want to visit. Places that offer eye examinations are independent eye doctors, eye departments of a multidisciplinary medical clinic, group eye care practices, and optical retailers or optical shops that employ an affiliated optometrist. Depending on which of these venues you decide to visit, the cost for an eye exam can vary greatly. Following are some of the factors that influence the cost of an eye exam:

  • Whether an optometrist or ophthalmologist performs the exam
  • Testing that the exam includes
  • Whether the exam includes fitting for contact lenses or other contact lens-related services

Eye exams generally range anywhere from less than $50 at a retail store or optical chain to more than $100 at a medical clinic or private eye doctor’s office. In addition, eye examinations that include fittings for contact lenses are usually more expensive than those that simply require your eye doctor to update your eyeglasses prescription.

Services a Low-cost Eye Exam Should Include

When comparing costs for eye exams, you should ensure the cost for each exam includes certain comprehensive services, such as:

  • A review of your personal and family medical history
  • An evaluation of your distance and near vision with an eye chart
  • An evaluation for nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia
  • An observation of your eyes’ ability to work well together as a team
  • An eye pressure test and examination of your optic nerve to rule out glaucoma
  • An examination of the interior of your eyes to make sure you do not have other eye problems such as cataracts or macular degeneration

When searching for a low-cost eye exam in your area, it is important to make sure any exam you receive includes the same number of tests and procedures. For example, some cheaper exams may require you to pay an extra fee to have your eyes dilated, whereas exams that are more expensive may include this procedure in the cost. Additionally, it is important to search for not only a low-cost eye exam, but also a high-quality one, so you should make sure any eye care professional you visit has positive reviews from previous clients.

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