How Much are Glasses and Contacts Really Costing You?

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Recorded in 2012, 61% of adult Americans wear glasses, contacts, or other reading or visual aids. The cost of glasses and contacts over the years are a silent money drag.

A pair of glasses costs between $200 and $600 depending on the style and prescription. If you replace your glasses with the same prescription every year for 20 years, that could cost up to $6,000. 

If you replace your contacts approximately every two weeks, this means you need about five boxes (30 lenses) per eye, or a total of 10 boxes per year. For your lenses alone, it would cost roughly $220 to $260 annually. However, contacts can cost up to $700 depending on the complexity of the prescription and preferred contact brand.

Over the course of 20 years, contacts can become even more expensive than traditional glasses. While it’s not uncommon for contact wearers to try to stretch their disposable contacts from two weeks to a month, this practice can cause significant corneal inflammation.  The common practice of sleeping in one’s contacts can lead to corneal ulceration and infection, which in turn can lead to corneal scarring and permanent loss of vision.

Extra Costs

Don’t forget the cost of lens solutions and lens cases. Even if you have contacts, there is an emergency pair of glasses hidden away somewhere. Those glasses are in their own case, which carries its own cost.

Prescriptions are often updated every year or two. Annual doctor visits cost your time and money. The most basic eye exams won’t get you fitted for contact lenses. Be prepared to pay extra if you need exams for both.

The LASIK Solution

This is where the LASIK debate pops up. LASIK is a one-time cost with years of benefit, not only in financial terms but more importantly in terms of quality of life.  How many things do you use every day, all day, like you do your vision? Our patients frequently tell us the money they spent on LASIK is the best money they ever spent.

We have a blog post breaking down the affordability of LASIK.

You can read about Capitol Eye Care’s affordable financial planning options in the blog or call us at 573-635-0115 to schedule a consultation.