View Full Version : Glasses are 'spensive!

11-28-2007, 04:32 PM
I went in for my annual eye exam (6 months late though), and I need a new prescription. The new ones cost me $439, and they're not even the ready-in-an-hour glasses. :zombie: Why are glasses so freaking expensive? Granted I picked out some nice frames, and added transitions and anti-reflective coatings, but still... I feel like we just got ripped off. Seeing clearly shouldn't cost this much. We don't have vision insurance, so everything was full price. And we go to a "discount" eye doctor. BLAH!

I have a friend who spent over $800 on her somewhat average looking glasses. Crazy.

I'm just ticked off and had to vent. :doh:

How much were your glasses?

11-28-2007, 04:45 PM
I hear you. I have eye insurance and my glasses STILL cost me almost 300 bucks. The only frames covered by the insurance co-pay are ugly ugly ugly cheap ones. At least my exam is covered and I think they cover the lenses. Ugh...I just wanna see my yarn!

A friend of my stepped on my glasses and snapped them last weekend (and these frames are less than a year old). I did some fancy voodoo torch action and nail polish painting repairs...NO WAY was I gonna fork over $$$$ for a new pair so soon! :teehee:

11-28-2007, 05:14 PM
yep. I have vision insurance, and my glasses cost me $284 after insurance. I have single vision, anti-reflective, transitions, and polycarb. it sucks. I want prescription sunglasses but cannot afford them.

11-28-2007, 05:32 PM
I want prescription sunglasses but cannot afford them.
Me too. I wanted to get new lenses for my current glasses and Rx sunglasses (I already have the frames), but all of that woulda added another $300 to my bill! :!!!:

11-28-2007, 05:35 PM
Yes, they are!! But ya gotta have 'em! I wear contacts during the day but still have to have glasses... and I left them, lens case and solutions at my daughter's house last weekend and I'm LOST without them.... I replaced my len's case and solutions (pricey stuff, too) but I miss my glasses sooooo bad!!! :waah: Thank goodness she lives close and I'll run over and get them this weekend, can't imagine having to buy new ones... You poor baby!

I need to thank you, Silver, for your wonderful and detailed "Sock Tutorials" :muah: , working on my 6th pair and what special Christmas gifts they'll be!!! Mary

11-28-2007, 05:36 PM
I just got new glasses and went to a store called Specsavers...They were buy one get one free!!!! I chose Red or dead and FCUK they are gorgous 130 for the two pair x

11-28-2007, 05:46 PM
Eurgh, they are aren't they >_< My vision is very bad so I do get a teensy bit of help from the NHS, but because we're on a certain type of tax credits or something like that at the moment I got my contact lenses FREE this year! :woot:It's a money off scheme too but the worse your sight is the more you get off, and because mine is SO bad the voucher covered the whole bill. I'm hoping we're still on that when I go for a check up next year and I can get some new glasses. I've done that before bet we still had to pay some money on top because I wanted the lenses reduced (they're still really thick even with reduction :( ).

11-28-2007, 05:51 PM
I love getting new glasses. I can't wait every year for my appointment to come around so i can get new ones. Though i am only eligible for new frames every two years. I just got new glasses and they cost me $127 with the exam and materials and all that. The guy who was helping me pick new frames seemed obsessed with finding me another purple pair (as i had purple and green ones i wore into the joint.) i didn't really have a need for another purple frame but the ones he picked out were really cute. They were Fendi frames. I was just about to consider them an option until I looked and noticed that the frames were $407. My insurance would have only made a small dent in that cost...lol. So those went back on the shelf. I now have a pair of silver frames with black bows that came with a magnetic sunglass clip (the coolest thing evah!), the purple and green pair which is my favorite pair, and the burgundy pair that i am wearing today. I also have another pair of sunglasses that i had made out of an older frame but off the top of my head i am not sure where those are...lol.

When I got laid off my last job i had a bunch of money still in my health account that i had to get rid of so i went and bought the two pairs of glasses and an extra sunglass clip for when i lose the other (because it is inevitable...lol)

all that being said, if i were without the insurance, and the FSA to save up for the glasses throughout the year, i probably wouldn't even wear them. (i can still get by with it at this point. not sure how much longer that will be true though. :) )

11-28-2007, 06:23 PM
Just think of it as a casualty of knitting - you want to knit so you have to see. Dang! :D

11-28-2007, 06:33 PM
I feel for ya... We have a place called Lesco here... Single vision glasses are $29. Bi-focals are $39, tri-focals are $79. The transitions adds about $100.

They have nice frames, too, although probably not designer ones, although I've never asked. Couldn't afford glasses if we didn't have them!

11-28-2007, 06:36 PM
:blush: Well, I guess I am lucky... I need glasses but I do not have to spend that much because my baby sister is an ophthalmologist (sp?) technician, so she can get me glasses for as low as $60 bucks... but of course, without all that transitions "luxuries" :teehee: I just pay for the lenses. She says that they use to charge 5 bucks for the case!!! when those cases are sold to them for only .99 cents!!!! And she also says that sometimes they buy the frames very, very cheap and sell them to patients for a couple hundred dollars. It is how they make money.

11-28-2007, 06:51 PM
Mine were about $500. I just scratched a lense so there goes another $50. I would kinda wonder though why your prescription changed that much. I remember it wasn't all that long ago that you got the glasses. Maybe you should consider seeing an opthomologist (M.D.)

11-28-2007, 07:00 PM
I have vision insurance and I go to the provider where I get a discount through my insurance, and I still paid around $260 out of pocket. That was two years ago, though. I'm due for another exam next year.

11-28-2007, 07:24 PM
Yeah and I forgot to mention above that my lenses are *just* plain old lenses...single vision, no extra coatings for glare/scratch/etc. And I can't wear contacts. :sad:

Jan in CA
11-28-2007, 07:42 PM
Yeah, they are ridiculous! I went to Sears Optical because they had a "deal" and I got them for about $300 because I wanted the coating and new frames.

So this was about 8 mos ago and you know what? I still can't get used to the progressives. After much fooling around they finally just took out the distance vision (it was very mild) so I just have clear above and "reading" below, BUT I really can't read with them well. They drive me batty! About all I use them for is knitting. They work great for knitting and TV or social knit nights because I can see out the top of the frame. PLUS after wearing them for awhile I don't see correctly.. when I am outside I see slightly double. That can't be right?!! Arrrggghhhh!!

11-28-2007, 07:45 PM
:passedout: I used to spend that much every year or two. I HATED it. (I did like pretty new frames though) I'm 30 now and figured the cost of glasses and contacts compared to lasik was worth it. Lasik cost me around $3500, which in 15 years time will be the cost of exams, glasses and contacts. And I have a warranty, so that if anything needs a touch up (even due to aging) it is free. I know some people are afraid of lasik, and I highly recommend going to a place that has done thousands of them, but I urge people to consider it. My lasik dr said I MIGHT need reading glasses when I'm older, but I can live with that.

11-28-2007, 08:12 PM
I would kinda wonder though why your prescription changed that much. I remember it wasn't all that long ago that you got the glasses. Maybe you should consider seeing an opthomologist (M.D.)
It didn't change much, just enough that I wanted new glasses. I've had these for almost 2 years, and I'm not entirely sure they were the right prescription to start with. But I really wouldn't know considering it was the first time I've ever worn glasses. Doc says my eyes are very healthy though. :shrug:

I know the cost is mostly due to my own pickiness (frames, special coatings, etc). I'm just irked that eyeglasses can be so expensive in general. I mean, the Transitions coating is $100. That's ridiculous, but it's still cheaper than a pair of prescription sunglasses. :doh:

11-28-2007, 08:23 PM
I get money off on NHS cos my eyes are so bad (-12) so I get a 50 voucher. If I wanted plastic bottle ends it would be cheaper, but I would never wear them so I pay extra for the high index glass. My last pair still cost me 300, and that was getting the frames on sale etc. I need a specific type and size of frame so the time before that I think it was 400

11-28-2007, 08:35 PM
I feel your pain. I spent around the same as you for single vision glasses about a year ago. They're Anne Klein frames, big whippity doo dah, and they are flimsy and made in China. I feel like I was ripped off and now I'm starting to notice that my right eye isn't seeing as well and no doubt I need new glasses but I can't force myself to go drop a wad of cash on a new pair already. I'm a contact wearer but need the glasses for nighttime and occasional wear. There is no way that it costs that much to manufacture a cheap frame out of China and grind a single vision lens. Ugh!

11-28-2007, 08:36 PM
you might think I have some prejudice against optometrists, but it was only after visiting an ophthalmologist that I have been prescribed the right glasses!! while I went to optometrists the glasses never fixed my vision! once an aptometrist gave me progressive lenses!!!! a total mistake!! I couldn't use those glasses for more than a few months.
so, it might me even more expensive to go to an ophthalmologist, but if any of you out there are experiencing trouble or change in your vision or any of you eyes, I urge you to visit one!!!

11-28-2007, 10:19 PM
I feel your pain! :grrr:My last pair of glasses were over $600 after insurance. Between the trifocals, transitions, and anti-reflective coating (a must if you work a computer like I do), they were very expensive.

And now I need new ones. I've had these about three years and my prescription has changed again. Since I am already farsighted, it will only get worse as I get older.

Either I need to keep getting new glasses or longer arms... ;)

11-28-2007, 10:20 PM
I'd like to know where you guys are getting your glasses. My last two pairs have been between $750 and $800. My son's were $400. Our insurance covers only a $100 exam - one exam per year per family member.

11-28-2007, 11:42 PM
I have a very strong prescription (-650 and -450) with progressive lenses and go to Costco. The anti glare, hi power prescription (must get the thinnest lenses they make) with progressives and a nice frame = $200. They do not mark up their eyeglasses like everyone else. Both my husband and I have been very happy with ours - we can see and they are stylish too :-)

Sewing Angel
11-28-2007, 11:44 PM
I just got glasses a month ago. At the Dr's office it would have been 360.00 for one pair after insurance. I went to Costco and got a pair of sunglasses (with progressive lenses) and 1 pair, with transitions and progressive lenses. It was 380.00 for both pairs and my insurance will pay $100.00. So I got 2 pair for less than 1 at the Dr. I would also recomend looking at Sams Club, as their prices are similar to Costco. The frames I chose were $48 and $58 as opposed to $260 at the Dr.

11-29-2007, 12:15 AM
Before I had insurance I'd used Costco and LensCrafters (they have good coupons sometimes and AAA discount) but I only need them for night driving and movies so I just got basic glasses without all the extras.

Now I splurge a bit since I've got insurance and I get the transistions so I can use them while driving during the day and they were probably around $300 after insurance.

11-29-2007, 12:46 AM
The cost of new glasses was one of the major reason for me to decided to have laser done. I figured all the money I had spent over the years on glasses, perscrip sunglass and contacts...
I think I spent $2400.00 to have the laser done, and it's been almost 9 years.
I have reading glasses now, but just because I have reached that "age".
And I get them at the dollar store for a buck. And have about 10 pairs of sunglasses.
It's something to consider.....
I live in Canada so I'm not sure what the costs are in the states?
But you never know.

11-29-2007, 08:40 AM
Thanks for the Costco idea.. I wonder if BJs is similar. I think I'll check them out for my second pair and my sunglasses.

11-29-2007, 09:02 AM
I'm showing this thread to my husband. He's the one who discouraged me from going to Sam's (we don't have a Costco near us). When he sees the price difference, I think he'll agree to Sam's next time!

11-29-2007, 09:44 AM
BJ's is similar! that's where I'm going next week..... I totally feel your pain! I've considered the transitions, but I think I'm going to go with the clip on sunglasses. now I have 2 separate pairs or prescription, regular and sunglasses. I'm going to need one more, for the computer I think.... (sigh)

11-29-2007, 10:04 AM
I was watching the news a few weeks ago and they went around and bought glasses at several of the optical outlets in the US. Of the four or so that they went to, Walmart vision, Costco and one other one I can't remember the name of were the only ones who ground the lens prescription correctly. Lenscrafters had the worst, that's where I got my glasses. So they didn't bias the test, they went to different stores around the US and the conclusion was that Walmart, Costco and this other place used the same lab so that's why they had near perfect lenses. You would think someplace like Walmart would be the worst, but it wasn't at all.

11-29-2007, 12:59 PM
I bought my prescription sunglasses at Costco for $150 with taxes. I got an "expensive" frame for $99 with polarized lenses. It think the frames are Adrienne Vittadini. My husbands frames (wire on top, rimless on bottom) were only $40! I have a very tiny head and have a problem finding frames that fit. I was amazed that I found a pair at Costco that worked out.

Also, I had to have lenses made for a frame that is not from Costco, they sent them away and I got them back within a week. The lenses were $79. They are anti glare but not transitions.


11-29-2007, 01:08 PM
I think it is boarderline criminal what they charge. I have trifocals and even when I get one of the "bargain" frames (which I always do out of necessity) my glasses cost over $500. If I picked the designer frames that I really would like it would cost me between 600 and 700!!!

11-29-2007, 02:16 PM
I just got some glasses at Walmart for $165. That included transitions lenses and antiglare coating. I picked out the cheapest frames they had. But what I was really surprised at was that they replaced the lenses free since the Opthomologist had given me a Rx that was way too strong. I was reexamined at the hospital clinic at no exta charge. They're worth a try.

11-29-2007, 08:19 PM
Figured I might as well ad my two cents as I am currently carrying a new prescription around with me wanting new glasses, but not wanting the bill. My job offers us a discount eye plan - we get a 20-50% discount for going to preferred providers. Personally feel like the preferred providers have higher prices so I really end up somewhere btwn full price and Lens Crafters. I can sorta justify the cost of lenses as I get the hard scratch proof ones with a one year warranty b/c it never fails that btwn work, dogs, and motorcyles I scratch mine good. I CANNOT get over the price of frames !! Seriously a pair I looked at last week were like $500 !!!

11-30-2007, 08:34 AM
In Israel glasses are very expensive too. My frames cost about 150$, they have this mechanism for opening wider (i'm wide-headed :teehee:) and the lenses were another 100$. This year i had to change my sunglasses too, because it was impossible to drive without optical lenses anymore and the lenses alone cost me 220$! And i only have -0.75 and -0.5 vision, it's the cylinders that ruin it.

11-30-2007, 11:12 AM
I spent over $500 on two pair of glasses this year. It was a "b1g1" sale so I feel I made out, but I remember when I used to could buy cool frames with lenses for only $100 and it wasn't that long ago either. Of course now I get the ones with UV protection and have gone to progressive lens bifocals (which I :heart: :heart: :heart: !) I can knit so much better with them. I'm wearing the fun funky red pair today (vs the ultra cool black pair). My frames alone were $132! It does shock me when I see the prices. So glad my kids don't need glasses yet!

11-30-2007, 11:15 AM
I CANNOT get over the price of frames !! Seriously a pair I looked at last week were like $500 !!!

Did you know that you can order frames on line and generally for much less than they cost at the stores? Then you can take your frames to glasses place and have the lenses made. I wish I had found that out before I bought my frames as I found my $132 frames online for $50 (after the fact!) Next time I'll buy them online. I'll go to a store to try on glasses, write down the designer and style numbers, buy them on line and then go have lenses made!

11-30-2007, 01:51 PM
I have been wearing glasses since i was 7 and contacts since I was 16. I didn't know there was a difference between opticians! What is the difference between an optometrists and an ophthalmologist??? I've seen it written on signs but didn't think much about it.
I too thought Lasik would be cheaper and more conveniant in the long run but most places here wont touch you if you are over -8 with astigmatism. As a -12 (and my eyes are still getting worse) I have been told I could get lenses implanted in my eyes, but i'd never get perfect vision. Don't want perfect, but being able to see in the shower and the alarm clock beside my bed would be good! Plus can't be spur of the moment in staying over at friends' houses if I know I have to bring contact lens fluid etc.

Becky Morgan
11-30-2007, 10:24 PM
Take a look at these...
I'm ordering a pair as soon as I can dig up my prescription. Everything we've bought from MG so far has been good. I hope the sunglasses are.

11-30-2007, 10:57 PM
I understand that glasses are way too expensive because companies just rip you off but.....if they are so much money then why get all the additions? I have never gotten the fancier lenses with scratch proof, transition, anti-reflection and who knows what else because that is where all your money is going.

I am not sure where everyone goes, but I have been to Sears and found frames for about 90-100 dollars, and the lenses (just plain ol' basic lenses) were about 60. I have also been to another doctor where the frames were about 90 dollars but was able to get a discount on the lenses.

I understand people want fancier or name brand things, but there are cheaper alternatives when it comes to buying frames and lenses.

There is no way I would EVER pay 400+ dollars for glasses.

12-01-2007, 01:21 AM
I understand that glasses are way too expensive because companies just rip you off but.....if they are so much money then why get all the additions? I have never gotten the fancier lenses with scratch proof, transition, anti-reflection and who knows what else because that is where all your money is going.
It's the fact that the coatings and frames ARE so expensive. Obviously I pay for them, but that doesn't mean I have to like it. I know I could get cheaper glasses. But I shouldn't HAVE to.

The "fancy" coatings and frames may seem like unnecessary luxuries to you, but they're important, even necessary to some of us.

Getting the Transitions coating is cheaper than a separate pair of prescription sunglasses. And I wear my glasses during all waking hours, so I HAVE to have either transitions or sunglasses. Also, as a graphic artist, I need the anti-reflective coating since I spend a fair amount of time staring at a computer screen. The AR coating also reduces glare while driving at night.

Sure, the $180 frames aren't necessary, but I'm not going to wear ugly glasses out of principle. I'll pay for nice frames, but like I said, that doesn't mean I have to like it.

Glasses are just overpriced. Period. :ick:

Sewing Angel
12-01-2007, 02:44 AM
I agree Silver, it is a rip off! I also wear mine from the minute I wake up till I go to bed. Its an absolute necessity. I did splurge on the sunglasses, as I drive quite a bit and my transitions don't work quite as good in the car. As with most "medical items" they cost way more than they should.

12-01-2007, 10:35 AM
I buy my glasses without all the fancy stuff and they still are way overpriced. I wear glasses only for nightime and emergency wear if my contacts are bothering me so I can delete alot of the add on stuff that everyday wearers must have. I have a pair of dollar store, Foster Grant reading glasses that are made better than the ones I bought from LensCrafters. I'm seriously thinking about taking those frames in to have lenses put in them. The mark up on prescription glasses is horrible, mainly because it's a necessity and not a luxury, they know you can't go without glasses so they gouge you to the core. I also think demographics has alot to do with it, if you live in Peapicking USA, you probably aren't being gouged as much as some poor soul in a metro area.

12-03-2007, 12:10 AM
My DH and I got eye exams and glasses ( glasses and sunglasses for him , and contacts and glasses for me) and we paid almost 800 for it all earlier this year.
I have to have the feather weight lenses, since I have such a strong prescription -6.00 in each eye .

I agree glasses cost to much overall.