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America's Best eye doctors: What to know about your optometrist

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Are America's Best eye doctors the same as other eye doctors?

America's Best eye doctors are licensed optometrists with the same required education and qualifications as any other licensed optometrist (OD) in your state. There are some requirements that all optometrists must meet to become licensed in the United States, including:

  • Get a four-year degree from a college or university

  • Apply and get into an accredited optometry school

  • Receive a degree from the optometry school

  • Pass national and state board exams to get a license to practice optometry

If you get an eye exam at America's Best, you may also see an America's Best optician if you want to order glasses during your appointment. An optician is a technician who uses your vision prescription and facial measurements to fit you for glasses or contact lenses. When your glasses arrive, they may do an eyeglass fitting and make any necessary adjustments.

There are advantages to seeing an America's Best eye doctor, such as low-cost exams and easy-to-schedule appointments. But there may also be some disadvantages to using an America's Best eye doctor for your routine eye care. 

For example: You might not see the same eye doctor each time you go. And if you have a serious eye condition or need eye surgery, you may need to see an ophthalmologist, a medical doctor who specializes in eye conditions and diseases and may perform eye surgery.

Do America's Best eye doctors charge less?

America's Best eye doctors often charge less for an eye exam than other eye doctors. Their prices for contact lens exams and routine eye exams are on the lower end of the typical price range for these services, and you can get a free exam when you buy two pairs of glasses.

The average cost of an eye exam in the U.S. is $95, but prices can vary by $200 or more depending on the eye doctor and location. Prices tend to be lower at retail centers like America's Best, LensCrafters and Pearle Vision than at private practices. America's Best eye doctors charge $50 for an eye exam. Keep in mind that a contact lens exam is an extra fee, and at America's Best contact lens exam, it costs $89.

To get a free eye exam at America's Best, you need to buy two pairs of glasses, which will cost $69.95 each (or $69.95 total if you also have a buy-one-get-one offer). Glasses include basic prescription lenses but extras, like thinner lens materials and special lens coatings, can be added for additional fees.

America's Best offers more than 150 styles of eyeglass frames for $69.95, and the rest of the collection ranges in price up to $179.95. Most of the styles offered are in the $69.95-to-$89.95 price range.

Another way to get free eye exams is to join America's Best Eyewear Club. At $99 for a three-year membership, or $139 for a five-year membership, you get up to two free exams per year for the course of your membership, along with discounts on contacts and glasses.

Which tests do America's Best optometrists usually perform?

An appointment at America's Best includes a variety of tests as well as an eye exam by a licensed optometrist.

Here are the tests you get during an eye appointment at America's Best:

  • Auto-refraction – An automated refraction test is typically performed using a machine to determine your base prescription.

  • A visual acuity test – A test that uses an eye chart to determine how well you can see and may be done without vision correction or with your current contacts or glasses.

  • A glaucoma screening – One way to detect glaucoma is the infamous “air puff test,” though many eye doctors now check eye pressure using applanation (Goldmann) tonometry or electronic indentation tonometry instead.

After these eye tests, you will see a licensed America's Best optometrist, who will examine your eyes and fine-tune your vision prescription. If you make an appointment for a contact lens exam, you’ll also get fitted with contact lenses. After this, you’ll have a re-check from the eye doctor to make sure you like the prescription and fit of your new lenses.

When to go to a different eye doctor 

Going to an America's Best eye doctor can be a fast and easy way to check "get eye exam" off your to-do list. If you need new contacts or glasses, you can make an appointment online with an America's Best eye doctor near you. However, you schedule an exam based on your preferred appointment time, and you may not know ahead of time which eye doctor you'll see.

In some cases, it may be best to see an eye doctor at a private office or medical center. You may want to choose a different doctor if:

  • You have a chronic health condition (for example, diabetes or high blood pressure) that may affect your eyes.

  • You have an eye emergency such as an injury or sudden drastic vision changes.

  • You have a serious eye condition that requires regular monitoring.

  • You need eye surgery (for example, cataract surgery, LASIK etc.).

An eye emergency requires immediate care from an eye doctor, so it's good to have an established relationship with a doctor who offers urgent care to patients when necessary. And if you have a chronic or serious condition, you may need to see the same eye doctor over time for continuity of care.

No matter where you go, getting regular eye exams is one of the most important things you can do for your eye health. And an America's Best eye doctor can always refer you to a specialist or surgeon if you need one.

About America's Best Contacts & Eyeglasses. America's Best Contacts & Eyeglasses. Accessed February 2022.

Diabetes eye exams. MedlinePlus. August 2020.

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