Eye exam without purchasing glasses

I’ve experimented with buying eyeglasses through an online vendor, and I was pretty pleased with the results. If you have your prescription in front of you, and can take the sizes from an existing frame, then it’s pretty straightforward. However, I used a prescription that’s a couple of years old, from the last time I got an exam and bought glasses during the same visit.

Now I’m looking at going in for an eye exam and then just taking my prescription and leaving after the exam is over, instead of just being passively routed to the racks of sample frames. My question is: Have you done this, and if so, how did it go? I’ve heard that glasses are like the snacks sold at movie theaters: they offer the exam at a loss and then make it up by soaking you on the frames and lenses. I’m wondering if I can expect some pushback if I decline to buy glasses after the exam. I have absolutely no qualms about asserting my right to get the exam and leave, but I’m wondering what the reaction (if any) will be.

If you’re tactful about saying ‘Thanks but I won’t be buying glasses today’ I can’t imagine there will be any problem.

I don’t think it would be an issue. I’ve done eye exams where my prescription hasn’t changed enough to need new glasses, and no one seemed disappointed.

The easiest way to accomplish this is to get the eye exam at a place that doesn’t sell eyeglasses. An ophthalmology clinic would work.

Federal regulations require any optometrist or ophthalmologist to give you a copy of your eyeglass and/or contact lens prescription after the exam, whether you ask for it or not.

My optometrist moved from a large practice that sold a variety of reasonably priced frames, to his own practice that sells a small selection of outrageously expensive frames that are a bit too cutting edge for me. I really like him, and have been seeing him for almost 25 years, so I have continued to have him do my eye exams, but still purchase the frames from his old practice. I just ask for a copy of my prescription at the end of my appointment, and there’s never been a problem.

I bought my first pair of real glasses last year. I had my eye examination and prescription filled at an optometrists: paid for it and left with it. No one batted any eye. (Ha)

The next day I ordered glasses from Costco.

It’s not a big deal.
I’ve really like Zenni. I just broke a pair of glasses. (stepped on them) So I ordered 2 pairs from Zenni, with the best coating for the lens and had them express shipped to me. Ordered on Jan 2, I got them on the 9th.

Two pairs, $72.

The last time I got glasses, they asked if I wanted to look at frames. I told them no, so they handed me the prescription and let me go. I did go back there, but I could have gone anywhere.

Note that this was a small, independent optical shop. I wonder what might have happened if I tried it at Lenscrafters (who refuse to release information that online vendors need to make glasses from their prescriptions).

Like Voyager said above, shouldn’t be an issue. You’re there for the exam. Walk away with the Rx and if offered to view their selection of eyeglasses simply say Thanks but no thanks. You are under no obligation to buy their eyeglasses or contacts.

Heck, you’re under no obligation to buy any glasses or contacts from anyone, if you choose to walk around with vision needing correction.

Typically, though, the prescription won’t include things like the temple length and pupillary distance, which are needed to order the glasses. It’s not an issue if you’re buying the glasses in person but if you want to use a mail-order house like Zenni Optical, you need to know these numbers.

You are advised to see an optometrist for a check up and if you don’t need new specs, don’t buy new specs.

I guess they know if you need new lenses or not, but you are just like the eye test client who didn’t need new lenses.

Here in Australia they do their own testing with my Medicare card… they first try to charge Medicare for the higher grade exam and when that fails they have to revert back to the ordinary grade exam… They are allowed to charge more at the ± 6 diopter level, but only once a year… so if some other optometrist got the yearly bonus, they accept the ordinary level.

I was just reading a related xkcd … its recent so its not likely to be “not again”… I hope…

Yeah the profit is in the specs… They ARE approaching $1000 for me ! May as well get Google Glass … I wonder if an image processing algorithm can correct -8 ?

In Texas the people who do eye exams are not allowed to sell you glasses. Makes it simpler. PS I recommend Walmart for glasses (altho I know they’re roundly hated here). They did a great job at a very reasonable price (considering the complexity of my prescription).

Walmart, IMHO, is the place to go. I recently had my glasses smashed after tripping in a race, and went to Walmart since I had a recent prescription. $340 (titanium frames, progressive lenses, etc.) I called my optometrist office which has an optician located in the office. That quote was $400.

I get my eyes tested and a new script every year and if needed order my glasses from Zeni or other online vendors. My prescription sunglasses ran me $30. They fit perfectly and the lenses are perfect. I simply could never justify paying $300 for something that is likely marked up 200%.

BTW, does anyone know if any of the glasses from Zenni Optical qualify as safety goggles? I wear prescription eyeglasses and sometimes need to enter a construction area that requires safety goggles.

My husband and I have both had eye exams that dictated using glasses. We were give our perscription, without any pressure to buy glasses from the perscriber.

I highly doubt it. And you probably require side shields anyway in a construction zone. Your work doesn’t provide prescription safety glasses?

It’s not part of my regular duties to enter the construction area, and the safety goggles they hand out are uncomfortable on top of my prescription eyeglasses.

As a retiree, I can get free glasses from the Navy, but they will no longer do the free eye exams for retirees. So I go to an optometrist, get the exam, thank him, and then take the script to the Navy clinic to order the glasses.