I have a regular optometrist who, at one time, stocked frames and sent them out to have the prescription filled. As I said, he charged $600 once. The lady who is his office person is a lady I used to run with. She said that he had a very high mark-up on the frames. She had urged him to lower the prices because people were going elsewhere where they could buy them cheaper and get BOGO, but he wouldn’t do it. This optometrist finally got his own optician in the facility (and, moreover, he sold it to a new optometrist).
They were very good in getting adjustments to my glasses over the years, including replacing nose pieces, screws, etc. without charge. I’ve found that glasses get loose because they need new nose pieces. If you buy on line, you cannot get that service. I don’t know how good Wal-Mart will be with their service, but they probably would adjust them, replace a lost screw, etc. with no charge either.
I’m now on my second pair of glasses since the cataract surgery. I will see my opthalmologist in May for another check-up and, probably, a new prescription. This opthalmologist told me that he would put in lenses that would correct my astigmatism and correct one eye only to around 20/60 so that I could read without glasses. He said if that didn’t work out, he would re-do it. I’m quite disappointed that it hasn’t worked out as he said and he’s not going to re-do it. He blames it on my previous radial keratotomy I had in 1991, which, he said, is the cause of my astigmatism (2.25 diopters) and that it cannot be corrected. Medicare covered the basic cost, but I had to pay an additional $500 an eye for “the orange light” he had to use because of the RK, and I thought that would take care of the astigmatism. Anyway, what’s done is done, and I can see well now with my glasses. Glasses were not able to correct me to 20/20 due to the cataracts.
Medicare will pay for one pair of glasses within one year of the cataract surgery. After my check-up in May, if that’s the final check-up, I will get a pair from my optometrist, with all the bells and whistles, because Medicare will cover it.
Anyway, you cannot get service from an online place. Wal-Mart and several others offer glasses quite cheaply, often with the second pair free, and you will get them serviced when you need it, which you will.
As far as needing a prescription is concerned, I don’t know. I’ve had glasses made from a shard of glass after I broke my glasses when I was young. The prescription can be taken from any shard of glass. In any event, as previously noted, the eye doctor must, by law, give you the prescription for eyeglasses, but does not have to for contacts.