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The Truth About Eye Glass Costs

And why you need to avoid the "Big Box Stores"

We are constantly told that glasses are cheaper at big well-known discounters as well as at some of the larger eyeglass chain stores. There is the general perception that a premium is added in dispensaries such as ours and that the “same prescription” can be filled at one of the large discounters for much less. Well...as is usually the case...“you get what you pay for”. You may present with the same prescription but how it is filled...how your new glasses are built...is often as different as night and day.

The truth is...the chain stores buy in large volume and receive big discounts on their frame purchases...they then mark up the frame cost many times over and realize a large profit simply by charging much more than they paid...this is easy money.

Next, the much more important part of the eyeglass prescription, the choices regarding your lenses (materials, means of fabrication and lens treatments) offer the big guys additional opportunities for profit . The large chains and discounters routinely use cheap materials which are optically inferior and / or less durable than premium materials as well as outdated (non-digital) “surfacing “ technologies and low quality anti-glare and other lens treatments. The business model is: buy cheap and sell high. That may be fine for clothes, house wares and other commodities but, when it comes to your eyesight, this business practice represents a real disservice and even a danger in challenging conditions of low light, glare and / or bad weather.

At The Center for Eye Care and Optical your eye wear dollar goes mostly to the working part of your glasses...the lenses.

  • First off, we look to use superior materials such as Trivex® or Tribrid® and some of the latest thin and safe tempered crown glass lens materials whenever possible to offer the best light transmission with greatly reduced distortion and image degradation that occurs with cheap plastic or polycarbonate and other inexpensive and optically inferior materials in common use.
  • Wherever feasible, we then employ digital or computer generated lens designs in the “surfacing” of your lenses as opposed to manual “grinding”. This provides for distortion-free lenses even with strong astigmatism prescriptions and progressive addition lens designs.
  • All of our lens “treatments” (scratch and anti-reflection coating, tinting, polarization, etc.) are of the highest quality.

Backing up a step, the examination that yields the prescription in the first place is much more comprehensive in an integrated eye care center like ours where ophthalmologists, optometrists and opticians work together on the spot to provide the safest and most thorough evaluations and treatments of your eyes. We consider every factor from your work environment to the condition of your tear film, all possible eye disorders and even the visual pathways in the brain to ensure that ANYTHING that could impair your sight or threaten your eyes and even your general health is identified and managed. Big Box stores and chains have neither the equipment nor the staff with the education, experience and certifications to provide for this level of comprehensive care.

Furthermore, we employ the most advanced refraction (prescription measuring) equipment including the V-Max Perfectus ® device which measures your eyes many times more accurately than the typical equipment used in the chain and department stores. We also achieve proper frame alignment, providing for accurate positioning of the lenses in all dimensions, with the use of the latest digital devices so that there is no chance of the human error that commonly results from manual estimates.

In order to do all of the above, we don’t look to the frames for easy mark-up profits. This gives us “room” to spend on detailed measurements and to work with advanced lens materials and treatments whenever possible allowing you to see your best while still looking great in the same (or better) fashion and sports frames.

Despite all the time, money and effort that goes into our lenses, we still manage to charge you less than what one of the big chains would charge for this kind of quality assuming they would ever go to the trouble. And they can NEVER equal our level of professional expertise since they are simply “stores” and not dedicated health care facilities.

We appreciate that you trust us with your eyes for exams and medical / surgical treatments as needed and we hope you can extend this trust to our Optical Products Dispensary. This, of course, includes our Contact Lens Service which is the subject of a separate blog post to follow.

In closing, we might add that, if you insist, we can give you exactly what any other store can offer in the way of eyewear but we strongly prefer to give you what is best for your eyes . We offer PERFORMANCE and PROTECTION and not a watered down substitute

We sometimes ask the rhetorical question: “How well do you want to see?” If the answer is “the best I can”, then we’re at your service !

Look forward to seeing you...seeing and looking your best !

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