General Question

Seek's avatar

Is there any way to buy eyeglasses without seeing an optometrist?

Asked by Seek (34714points) January 26th, 2010

I know what my prescription is – it hasn’t changed in a couple of years, and I’m fine with what I have.

My frames are on their last leg – my son has nearly snapped them in half. I don’t want to go to my normal eye doctor, because he charges an arm and a leg for glasses, and I don’t have insurance.

Is there any way I can just buy the glasses I need from somewhere? Perhaps online, with a steep discount? ^_^

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24 Answers

BoBo1946's avatar

here is two sites on the net that were interesting…personally, don’t have an answer, but you might want to check these out!

Buy Glasses Online
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How to Buy Quality Eye Glasses Online & Save Hundreds.. -

EmpressPixie's avatar

Take your old prescription to a local glasses place—you can go to Wal Mart or Lenscrafters if you want inexpensive glasses. I highly recommend you do not get them online. Even if you can find a place that will do it, that personal fitting, where they check to make sure your glasses fit your eyes is really key. If they screw it up, you’ll be miserable until you get a new pair.

john65pennington's avatar

WalMart and Walgreens have a good selection of reading glasses. for any other eye problems, only an eye doctor should asist you here. your eyes are too delicate to be seen by anyone or anything less. here is another thought: if you have your written prescription or not or if you have your glasses, Drs Value Vision can assist you. there is a machine that can read your glasses you have now, and another pair can be made from them. this store has a variety of cheap frames to select from.

AstroChuck's avatar

The only way I know of getting new prescription glasses without an optometrist is through an opthamologist, unless the prescription you have is under two years old. Then you can go anywhere that sells prescription glasses. Of course if the lenses you have are still good you can always have them put in new frames.

Blondy's avatar I did and i like them and the site. Lots of choices as well as sunglasses and prescription sunglasses.

Pretty_Lilly's avatar

You could just tape them !! I think you’d look cute with nerd glasses !!

Seek's avatar


Ha ha, I thought about that. Unfortunately, it’s in half the other way. Plastic frames, splitting in half at the seam. Pain in the tookus.

AstroChuck's avatar

Goyim. Oy! It’s spelled tokhes.

Seek's avatar

Duly noted, @AstroChuck

Awl nevar speel ir rong agin.

AstroChuck's avatar

What? I should care?
Gentiles! <<shakes head>>

Oh, wait. That’s right. I’m one.

netgrrl's avatar

I’ve had very good success with for my prescription glasses. I’ll never pay high prices for eyewear again. I will still visit an opthamologist from time to time checkups & general eye health.

autumn43's avatar

If your prescription is two years old or more, at least in MA and NH, they won’t give you new glasses (unless you are buying the exact frame and they can put your current lenses in them) without a new exam.

I just got new glasses at BJs and they were HALF the price of Lenscrafters (even with the 30% discount for AAA). I won’t be going back to Lenscrafters. Their customer service really stinks too!

fireinthepriory's avatar

I like, too. Just got new sunglasses from them a few weeks ago!

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

As long as your lenses are intact, you should be able to have them remounted in new frames without the ripoff prices that opticians charge.

Jeruba's avatar

If you don’t have any special correction, you can probably make use of a pair of drugstore readers as long as they are strong enough for you. My eye doctor actually suggested this to me when I was getting my first glasses: “You don’t need any special correction, just magnification. If you want to avoid expensive frames and lenses,don’t fill this prescription. Just go get a pair of readers of this strength at the drugstore.” I didn’t want cheap-looking $10 glasses for everyday use in public, but I did buy spares to leave in the car and to keep by the bed, and they worked just fine.

YARNLADY's avatar

I believe the original frames can be repaired for a small fee. Or Walmart, Cosco, and LensCrafters all have cheap frames and can easily put the old lenses in new frames.

occ's avatar

Yes. A friend of mine bought a bunch of pairs for really cheap prices – like $8 each! – online at zenni optical

I have no idea why these are so cheap, but the ones she bought basically look the same as the ones that you pay $200 for at the glasses store.

AstroChuck's avatar

@occ- I would definitely not recommend wearing those glasses unless you want to risk seriously damaging your eyesight. You really should only stick with glasses that are prescribed for you and only you.

Seek's avatar

I’ve been hearing a lot of good things about Zenni, from this site and a couple of others! I did check them out, and they can get me the glasses I need in my prescription (with the hi-index lenses and all) for $25. That’s such a good deal, I’m going to get two pairs, and for the first time since the sixth grade be able to wear a pair of sunglasses. ^_^

fireinthepriory's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Isn’t it exciting? Same situation here – I just found zenni a few months ago and got sunglasses for the first time since 5th grade. It’s amazing.

HungryGuy's avatar

I thought Vulcans didn’t need glasses, LOL.

Anyway, as people have alreay said, there are lots of places that sell discount glasses. The problem is getting a current prescription. You could try going back to the place where you bought your current glasses and get a copy of your prescription from them. If that doesn’t work, you can get a cheap eye exam from Lenscrafters or a place like that (and I happen to like Lenscrafters…with all their high-tech equipment, I think you get a better exam there than you get from an optometrist who charges you twice as much for a traditional “read the letters on the wall” exam) don’t have to buy your glasses there.

palbertq's avatar

The lens prescription is generally only good for 2 years (or sometimes 1). If your last exam was within that period, you can just call the office and have them fax the prescription to you and you’re free to take it wherever.

If it has been more than 2 years, it’s a good idea to get a new eye exam anyways.

Or take your current frames back where you got them. You’ll be surprised at how opticians are able to bring frames back from the dead. If not, they may have some warranty on the frame or offer to order a new frame for you and just pop the lenses in them,

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