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LensCrafters eye exams

Founded in 1983, LensCrafters is the largest prescription eyewear retail company in the United States, with 917 stores across the country. They offer both online and in-store services that include a wide selection of lenses and frames, including popular brand names. 

LensCrafters stores accept both walk-in and by-appointment clients, and eye exams are performed by an independent optometrist either in the store or an adjacent office. This is particularly convenient, as your glasses prescription will be updated automatically in the LenCrafters database at the time of your eye exam. Afterward, you can just walk back to the optical shop and have a trained frame stylist help you pick out new glasses.

How much does a LensCrafters eye exam cost?

Vision insurance is accepted at LensCrafters and can help cover the cost of an eye exam. If you have vision insurance and plan on using it, check in with LensCrafters and your location’s independent optometrist before you head to the store. Verifying your insurance eligibility ensures you won’t have any unwelcome surprises when you get there.

Without vision insurance, a routine eye exam at LensCrafters matches that of most other retail locations, beginning at about $77 to $80. According to our national survey, fees for eye exams at retail chains like LensCrafters can go as high as $150, based on the region and because each independent optometrist associated with LensCrafters sets their own pricing for exams. Additionally, exam discounts are available for members of AAA and AARP.

Are eye exams at LensCrafters the same as at a doctor’s office?

A routine eye exam with a doctor of optometry will generally be the same no matter where you go. You will be given a comprehensive eye exam, which includes refraction to determine your prescription and checks the overall health of your eyes. This process is painless and includes testing for:

  • Vision sharpness, also known as visual acuity, which is measured by your ability to identify letters or numbers on a standardized eye chart from a specific viewing distance.

  • The health of the inside of your eyes, including the clarity of your lens and the appearance of your retina, the thin layer of tissue in the back of your eye.

  • Fluid pressure inside your eyes.

  • How well your eyes move together.

  • Your side (peripheral) vision.

  • Color vision (including testing for color blindness).

  • The four main refractive errors — nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and presbyopia.

In addition to using a slit lamp and other instruments to look at your eyes, digital imaging technology captures detailed information that your eye doctor can view on a monitor or printout.

Most cases of mild or moderate refractive error can be easily corrected using prescription glasses or contact lenses. You’ll receive your vision prescription after your eye exam, and it will automatically update in the LensCrafters system as well. 

If you want, you can then work with a trained Frame Stylist to choose the frames that look and work best for you. You can also use your prescription to get prescription glasses, sunglasses and contact lenses anywhere — not just at LensCrafters.

Where to go for more serious or long-term conditions

If you are experiencing unusual eye-related symptoms, or have concerns about more serious eye conditions, you may want to consider scheduling an eye exam with an eye doctor at a private practice or medical center.

While an optometrist at LensCrafters has the same training, licensing and qualifications as any other optometrist, a private medical setting may be better equipped for an eye doctor to diagnose and treat more long-term or serious eye conditions.

Eye doctors in group settings can also consult with each other for a second opinion if one is needed.

Alternatives to LensCrafters

While LensCrafters is the biggest prescription eyewear chain in the U.S., there are many other options available. Walmart offers eye exams with licensed independent optometrists at an affordable price, as well as a reasonable selection of eyeglass frames. 

Eye exams at Target Optical locations are located in or outside the department store. Like Walmart, eye doctors at Target also tend to operate independently.

Wholesale clubs like Costco and Sam’s Club also offer well-priced eye exams, even if you aren’t a member. A membership is only required if you want to buy glasses, contact lenses or eye care products after your exam. 

Customer reviews of optical retailers can vary depending on location, so it’s a good idea to check them out. Once you make your final decision, you can feel confident that you will always be seen by a licensed eye doctor and receive an updated vision prescription when you’re done.

READ NEXT: Can I use vision insurance at a LensCrafters or similar retailer?

  1. How to use vision insurance at LensCrafters. LensCrafters. Accessed March 2021.

  2. AARP Discount: Being a member pays off. LensCrafters. Accessed March 2021.

  3. AAA Discount: Being a member pays off. LensCrafters. Accessed March 2021.

  4. FAQS. LensCrafters. Accessed March 2021.

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