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Saving on Eye Care: Bargains and Risks

Why cutting costs on eye care sometimes goes too far.

Money-Saving Tips continued...

"The frame accounts for roughly half the price of new glasses," Pierce says. "So if your current frame is in good condition, keep using them."

If you have to have new frames, skip the designer brands and go with the generic. Pierce says the only difference in the frame itself may be the name printed on it. The difference in price, on the other hand, can be quite significant.

Pierce also says that close-outs or discontinued models might be available at a low cost. However, they might not be on display, so be sure to ask if any are in stock.

Schoen says another way to save money is to make use of budget eyewear chains, but first do your homework. He says that the quality of care can vary from place to place.

"The most dependable way to find a place that does good work is through word of mouth," Schoen says. "Talk to your friends first and see where they have had good experiences."

Lastly, both Pierce and Schoen say there is nothing wrong with a cheap pair of reading glasses like the ones found at the supermarket or drugstore.

"If that is all you need, that is all you need," Pierce says.

But both of them also say that even if you need nothing more and can save money that way, that doesn't mean you can skimp on your eye exam.

"There's definitely a place for OTC eyewear," Schoen says, "but only if you are also getting your eye health screened."

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Reviewed on April 24, 2012

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