Contact lens pricing is not a one size fits all matter. Besides the cost of an eye exam from your local ophthalmologist, the price of contact lenses varies according to a number of characteristics. The quality of the lens material, how frequently you need to replace your lenses, prescriptions that require correction, or design such as anti-reflection are just some of many factors that contribute to contact lens price.
If you’re looking for a comprehensive guide for the cost of contact lenses, look no further. Below we’ll explore factors from frequency of replacement to even cost of contact lens solution to understand how these players can affect contact lens price.
Cost of Eye Exam
Every eye doctor has their own fees for an all-inclusive eye exam, but fees typically range from $50-$100. Insurance plans often incorporate vision care into their health plans and will naturally cover an annual eye exam. Check with your insurance company to see if your vision care includes these fees in your plan as many health insurance plans cover contact lens cost.
Length of wear
Daily disposable lenses like Hubble contacts are the most convenient and popular choice among contact wearers in the market. These contacts are worn in the morning and discarded at the end of the day. Since a fresh pair of lenses is worn daily, a box will contain a pair for each day. Dailies require little to no solution as the need to clean and store is eliminated.
Other options include 2 week or monthly disposable lenses. These require cleaning and proper hygienic care, but are slightly cheaper than dailies. Extended wear contact typically cost $50 to $70 for a box of six lenses. In case lenses get damaged or lost, you’ll need to account expenses for this as well. Solution costs should also be included in your calculations for extended-wear lenses as cleaning and storage is a must.
Correction for Astigmatism
Contact lenses that come with corrections for astigmatism are generally priced higher than those that correct for nearsightedness or farsightedness. Soft contact lenses that correct for astigmatism are called toric contacts. These contacts run an annual cost of around $600. Prices vary as astigmatism contacts can be worn as dailies or extended wear.
Correction for Nearsightedness or Farsightedness
Contact lenses that come with corrections for nearsightedness and farsightedness are priced fairly modestly. These lenses often come as disposable soft contact lenses and are sold at $25 for a box of six lenses.
Contact lenses comprise distinctive components. Modern technology keeps improving the makeup of lenses to allow for better oxygen transmission. This allows the lens wearer to feel more comfortable and have healthier eyes. Newer material will be more expensive than older designs, although may be a good investment based on your visual needs.
Special contacts, like color contacts, will cost significantly more then the set of plain ol’ Jane contacts. Tinted lenses that enhance your eye color will cost roughly 75% more than the price for non-color contacts. Contacts with special effects for Halloween and costumes can range from $50 to $200 per lens.
Custom contact lenses are commonly prescribed to correct specific vision problems or eyes that may be hard to fit. These lenses are considerably more expensive than conventional lenses.
Point of purchase
Your contact lens prescription is your ticket into the contact world. You can use this ticket wherever you’d like, including the doctor’s office, in-store retailers, or online.
Solution is necessary to cleanse, rinse, disinfect, and store your lenses. If you wear dailies, you probably won’t need as much solution as someone who wears extended wear lenses. Daily disposable contacts are discarded after single use so there is often no reason to use solution.
However contact lenses that require daily cleaning and storage can surface around almost $200 in solution expenses annually.
There are a couple factors to take into consideration when calculating contact lens cost. Putting together the figures can be tricky, so it is best to take it from a bird’s eye view. For example, a box of daily disposable contacts may seem more expensive than a box of 30-day contacts. However, the cost of purchasing solution is eliminated, leaving prices fairly similar.
It definitely pays to research before making a final purchase. Make sure to check with your insurance for any coverage you can obtain with your vision plan to take advantage of your network.
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