Prescription glasses are not a cheap item, no matter how you look at it. When you buy glasses, you have to pay both for lenses and frames, not to mention the cost of the exam itself. If you need glasses, knowing how much to expect to pay ahead of time is very helpful.
The Cost of Frames Varies
The cost of the frames for your prescription glasses varies tremendously from pair to pair. Designer frames can cost several hundred dollars. For that price, you get designer frames that would be the envy of any Hollywood star. You can also buy more affordable frames at discount prices for around $50 or less. Online merchants make it possible to get frames for even less, sometimes close to $20.
There are some special features that can increase the cost of frames. For instance, frames made out of a titanium-based allow known as Flexon are able to return to their normal shape after being damaged. These are great for people who work in high-impact jobs or play sports on a regular basis, but they also cost more. This lightweight, corrosion-resistant material is very popular, making it very popular, and therefore more expensive.
The most affordable frames are plastic frames, but again, designer models will cost more. There are many different metals used to make eyeglass frames as well. High-end frames are often made out of titanium or aluminum, creating a polished look. Monel is the most common metal used in eyeglass frames.
The Cost of Lenses
Frames are not the only things that cost a lot when you are buying eyeglasses. Lenses also contribute to the price of your glasses. Single prescription lenses come in a variety of materials and with several coating options, and each of these adds to the cost.
The cheapest option for your lenses is plastic. Plastic lenses are lightweight and fairly durable, but they do scratch easily. You will pay more to get a scratch-resistant coating on these glasses, but you may find that it pays for itself by making your glasses last longer. You will also pay more if you need special features like slim lenses, which are often necessary if you have a strong prescription.
Polycarbonate is another option you have for your frames. These are lightweight and provide added UV protection, but they cost more than plastic. If you have a strong prescription and wear your glasses all of the time, the lighter weight and UV protection may make the cost worthwhile.
If you have bifocals or trifocals, your lenses will cost even more. Remember, these glasses are two or three pairs of glasses in one pair of lenses. Other additional features, such as glasses that darken when you go in the sun or glasses with a glare-resistant coating, will increase the cost. On average, the frame can cost between $50 and $300, depending on what you choose for them.
Options for Saving Money
Since a pair of glasses could cost as much as $400, depending on the frames you choose and the lenses you need, you are probably wondering how you can save money on them. One option is to shop online. But cutting out a lot of the overhead that a brick and mortar retailer has online retailers, can offer the same lenses and designer frames for a much more reasonable price. Look for a site that has a money-back offer, however, because you do not want to be stuck with a shoddy pair of glasses by a less-than-scrupulous company.
Another option is to shop at a ‘big box’ retailer. Discount stores like Wal-Mart and warehouse stores often have optical departments. These locations typically have a lower cost for their materials because they buy in such tremendous quantities, so you will save money. Remember, you have options if you shop around, so take your time to find an affordable eye care provider.
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