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CostHelper > Health & Personal Care  > Opthamology & Optometry > Eye Exam

Eye Exam Cost


How Much Does an Eye Exam Cost?

 
low costInsurance Coppays: $5-$50average costDiscount Clinics: $50+high costNational Average (Without Insurance): $114
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An eye exam is required for patients who would like to purchase eyeglasses or contact lenses from a U.S. retailer. The American Optometric Association recommends that children and adults ages 6 through 60 have an eye exam every two years. For patients over age 61, the association recommends an eye exam every year to maintain eye wellness.

Typical costs:

  • The national average charge for an eye exam is $114 for those without insurance, according to the Vision Service Plan[1] . The cost varies depending upon the clinic and region of the country. Lakewood Family Eye Care[2] clinic, in Lakewood Ranch, Fla., charges $109 for an eye exam for those without insurance. Discount clinics, such as those at WalMart[3] , can charge as little as $50 for an eye exam.
  • For patients with vision insurance coverage, the typical copay will apply. For some, the vision plan covers the full cost of a regular annual eye exam. Other plans charge a copay of $5 to $35.
  • Some clinics have a separate charge for retraction, a test that determines the patient's prescription. This varies by clinic, ranging from $15 to $40 at the Main Line Eye Specialists. In many cases, this charge will not be covered by insurance.
Related articles: Eyeglasses, Contacts, Prescription Sunglasses, Colored Contacts, LASIK Eye Surgery

What should be included:
  • There are many tests included in a routine eye exam, beginning with taking the patient's medical history, asking about everything from family history to current eye issues. Then there will be an eye muscle test, visual acuity test, color vision test and visual field test. An eye muscle test involves the patient tracking a light or object throughout their visual field, to make sure the eyes are responding appropriately and in unison. During a visual acuity test, patients will be asked to name numbers or letters on a chart from a distance of 20 feet. For the color vision test, the patient will be asked if he or she can see patterns of colored dots on a page. And the visual field test checks peripheral vision. The Mayo Clinic[4] describes the specific tests conducted during an eye exam.
  • Refraction assessment should be part of the exam, unless the patient requests that the assessment not be included. During this test, the practitioner tests out different prescriptions while asking the patient which lenses promote the best vision.
  • Some eye exams also include examining the patient's cornea and eye pressure, often using a special eye drop to dilate the eye. This allows the practitioner to see deep into the cornea. The patient's eye pressure should be tested if there is a family history of glaucoma
Additional costs:
  • If the patient's vision needs correcting, corrective lenses or eyeglasses may be recommended. See How Much Do Contacts Cost?, How Much Does a Contact Lens Fitting Cost and How Much Do Eyeglasses Cost.
  • If the eye doctor noticed a more serious eye condition, such as developing glaucoma, additional visits may be required. Serious eye conditions are uncommon among those under age 50.
  • Because a prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses is only valid for 12 months, patients who wish to purchases lenses will need to return annually for an updated prescription.
Discounts:
  • Discounted and free eye exams are available through a variety of programs and foundations. The National Eye Institute[5] maintains a list of many of these programs.
Shopping for an eye exam:
  • Before setting up an appointment, call different eye clinics to compare prices. If the patient anticipates needing eyeglasses or contact lenses, ask if the exam will be included in the purchase price.
  • Patients with a personal or family history of eye conditions should consider seeing an ophthalmologist instead of an optometrist for their eye exam. Find a list of ophthalmologists through theAmerican Academy of Ophthalmology[6] or search for an optometrist through the Optometrist Network[7] .
  • WebMD.com[8] lists tips on how to choose an eye doctor.
  • Consumers with insurance should check with their providers about their coverage. Some companies regulate which providers a patient can see for their eye care.
Material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always consult your physician or pharmacist regarding medications or medical procedures.
 
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
Found a great pair of eyeglasses and got contacts too
Amount: $250.00
Posted by: Vman in Fort Lauderdal, FL.Posted: September 9th, 2011 06:09AM
Dr. Gary Enker and staff are great. My eye exam was quick and efficient because he has the newest equipment and had problems getting good contacts before but he made it easy and no problem. Found a great pair of eyeglasses and got contacts too. Their personal care and help made me fell like they really cared about me as a patient and not just a number walking in the door.
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had our contact lens exams and chose our new eye glasses frames
Amount: $420.00
Posted by: taylor213 in Fort Lauderdal, FL.Posted: August 2nd, 2011 05:08AM
We've been customers of America's Best and Eyeglass World and had no complaints but my eyes are bad, but a friend recommended Dr. Enker at World Eyeglasses and I'm delighted we switched. World Eyeglasses is a small, friendly eye center in Fort Lauderdale with an excellent selection of eyewear and glasses and an optician onsite. And Dr. Enker is an experienced eye doctor with a great no-nonsense approach, some might find offensive because it is really a very efficient office but it is very very organized. My husband and I had our contact lens exams and chose our new eye glasses frames in half the time we expected. And for half what we expected to pay!
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External Resources:
  1.  www.universityhealthplans.com/custom/VSP_NtlAvgCost.html
  2.  /lakewoodeyes.com/
  3.  www.walmart.com/cp/1078944
  4.  www.mayoclinic.com/health/eye-exam/MY00245/DSECTION=what-you-can-expect
  5.  www.nei.nih.gov/Health/financialaid.asp
  6.  www.aao.org/find_eyemd.cfm/
  7.  www.optometrists.org/eye_doctors.html
  8.  www.webmd.com/eye-health/choosing-eye-doctor
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