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Target eye exams: What to expect

Target optical inside Target store

Target eye exams can offer a convenient, affordable way to keep up with your vision prescription and eye health.

If you’re used to getting your eyes examined in a private doctor’s office, Target Optical might seem a little different. Here’s what you need to know before you schedule an eye exam.

How much does a Target eye exam cost?

The cost of an eye exam will vary from store to store, since most of Target’s eye doctors operate independently and set their own rates.

You can find out how much your Target optometrist charges by checking with them ahead of time, either by phone or website, or asking in person.

  • At Target, you can generally expect an eye exam for glasses to cost between $60 and $100, without insurance. If available, most vision insurance plans will reduce this cost (but call ahead of time to verify your coverage).

  • According to our 2020 survey of exam costs in the United States, the average Target Optical eye doctor charged $81 for a comprehensive eye exam for glasses.

Services like eye dilation and contact lens fitting can increase the final cost of the visit for patients who need them.

Some locations include dilation in their exam fee, while others charge extra (usually between $20 and $30). A contact lens fitting, however, will always be an additional fee.

What does an eye exam at a Target eye center include?

For the most part, a comprehensive eye exam at Target Optical (or attached optometrist’s office) will be the same as it would at any other vision center or optical office.

An eye doctor uses an eye exam not only to update your vision prescription, but also to check the health of your eyes. Routine checkups are critical to maintaining your long-term eye care and overall well-being, even when you don’t think anything is wrong.

During this exam, an eye doctor will complete several painless tests, which can vary based on factors such as age and family health history.

The optometrist will test any or all of the following:

SEE RELATED: What tests are part of an eye exam?

Is a Target optometrist the same as any other optometrist?

Yes — an optometrist at Target is just as qualified to examine your eyes and provide a vision prescription as an optometrist at any other store, vision center or doctor’s office.

All optometrists, including those associated with Target Optical, are licensed doctors of optometry. Like other practicing doctors, they are highly educated and need to meet strict qualifications to practice in their state.

Eye doctors at Target and other store-based locations are best suited for routine checkups. You may want to consider scheduling your eye exam at a group vision practice (with more than one eye doctor) in these scenarios:

  • You are actively experiencing eye-related symptoms such as pain, redness or discharge.

  • You have an existing eye condition(s) that requires monitoring and/or management. This doesn’t include common refractive errors unless they are severe.

  • You have a personal or family health history that puts you at risk of developing eye problems.

Doctors in a group practice or medical setting tend to have better resources and equipment to assess, diagnose (and treat, if necessary) more serious eye conditions.

Scheduling an appointment with a Target eye doctor

Some Target optometrists offer walk-in eye exams, but this policy can vary based on location.

To schedule an appointment, you’ll need to call your specific Target Optical location or on-site independent optometrist.

Most Target eye centers offer online appointment booking as well. To find out if your location offers online scheduling, visit the eye exam page on the Target Optical website and enter your ZIP code. If online appointments are offered, you’ll see a calendar that shows which dates the doctor is available.

Alternatives to Target vision center

Like the stores themselves, Walmart’s vision centers provide a close alternative to the eye exam experience at Target Optical. America's Best is another location to consider.

Wholesale clubs such as Costco and Sam’s Club also offer a similar vision-center setup. But these locations are a little different — you can get an eye exam without a membership, but you won’t be able to buy glasses, contacts or eye care supplies without one.

READ NEXT: Can I get eye exam and glasses on the same day?

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