Tips to Save Money on Eye Glasses
by Tim Harwood
Our vision is extremely important to our everyday lives. So it is important to have regular eye tests to ensure our eye glasses are the correct prescription. Around 20% of the population either do not wear glasses when they should be or have glasses that are not strong enough. Having said this, many people are put off going to the Optometrist because the cost of glasses can be high. But this need not always be the case.
The following lists some advice on how to save money on eye glasses and to ensure you get the best deals:
Buy your glasses online:
More and more people are buying their spectacles online and the savings can be significant. The reason they can charge such low prices is because they do not have to pay for expensive rental properties or pay the high salaries of optometrists and support staff.
Generally speaking, buying single vision glasses online is likely to be problem free but it can be trickier if you are buying multifocal lenses or lenses with very high prescriptions. These glasses require measurements which are best carried out by a trained person to ensure you get the best visual performance. Some of the online glasses websites will explain how to take these measurements but they are unlikely to be as accurate as measurements at the eye doctor’s office.
Wait for the best deals:
A lot of optometrists will have sales and 2-for-1 offers which are certainly worth waiting for. You may also see daily deals websites (such as Groupon) offering limited time offers which can save you up to 50% on your glasses.
Don’t buy designer frames:
Designer frames are extremely expensive and the mark up on them can be huge. Like with most products you often pay a premium for the ‘name’ even though there may be similar quality products at a much lower price.
Choose non-branded lens manufacturer:
In the same way that you pay for the name of the frames, the same is true of the lens manufacturer and you could argue that this is even more important. If you look at someone’s glasses you have no idea if they are wearing a Zeiss or a Pentax lens. They all just look the same! More important is the fact that people very rarely notice any difference in the visual performance of a branded lens to a non-branded lens.
How well you see is down to the skills of the optometrist and not the performance of the lens. Admittedly a branded lens may perform better under laboratory tests but subjectively there is generally very little difference to the person wearing them.
Choose small frame and thick rims for high index lenses:
If you have a high prescription, you are likely to be advised to have high index lenses. This effectively means they will be thinner and lighter. This is undoubtedly a cosmetic advantage but it does come at a premium. The higher the index the more expensive the lens and this can add hundreds of dollars to the cost of your glasses.
For some people this will absolutely be worth the money but there are a few simple pieces of advice that you can follow. This may mean you do not need to have your lenses thinned down. The first piece of advice is to choose a small frame. The smaller the frame, the thinner the lenses. The second piece of advice is to choose a plastic frame which has thick rims. This enables the thickness of the lens to be hidden behind the frame which significantly improves the appearance.
Re-glaze your own frame:
This means putting your new lens prescription in a frame you already have. You may have your eyes tested and find that your vision has deteriorated but you are perfectly happy with the frames you are wearing. If this is the case, you can ask the Optometrist to put your new lenses in your existing frames, saving you the money on buying a new frame.
I hope this article is helpful in saving you money on eye glasses and encourages you to keep up to date with your eye examinations. One of the top reasons that put people off going to optometrists is the fact that they can’t afford new glasses but this need not be the case. It is much better to have an up-to-date prescription in a cheaper pair of glasses than an out-of-date prescription in a designer pair! Like everything in life, if you shop around it is incredible how much savings you can achieve. This is not just limited to eye glasses but to other areas of health including cosmetic surgeryand laser eye surgery.
(Tim Harwood is an Optometrist with a honors degree from the University of Manchester, and he has received additional training in laser corrective surgery and intra-ocular lens implantation. Harwood also writes for his website Treatmentsaver which provides information on a whole range of topics from Botox prices to laser eye surgery cost. For more information on Botox prices, please click here.)