National Eye Institute is part of the government’s National Institute of Health and provides extensive resources through nei.nih.gov. Learn what's included as eye care financial aid programs.

The average cost of a pair of prescription eyeglasses is $100 to $500 depending on prescription and lenses, says opticianworks.com’s Consumer Guide to Buying Glasses 2018. While many Americans need prescription eyeglasses, not all can afford them. Yet, individuals with no vision insurance and no budget for eyeglasses do have options.

National Eye Institute is part of the government’s National Institute of Health and, as a public service, provides extensive resources through nei.nih.gov. Included as eye care financial aid programs are:
— EyeCare America
— Vision USA
— Lions Club International
— New Eyes

Each program comes with specific stipulations, primarily regarding age and income, which are delineated clearly on individual websites.

Consumer Reports’ “8 Great Ways to Save on the Cost of Eyeglasses” offers economically smart shopping strategies, such as:  

— Research and prepare. Learn brands and services available before shopping to be well-equipped to pinpoint savings.

— Shop around. Make a list of prices and warranties offered at several places. Watch for advertised deals. Talk to customers to learn their experience and satisfaction level. Ideally, a one-stop-shopping experience offers an affordable exam along with a pair or two of eyeglasses. However, watch for hidden charges.

— Negotiate. “If you find better prices as you search, call or visit the store where you originally discovered your favorite frames and ask it to match your lowest price,” advises Consumer Reports.

— Resist the add-ons. Retailers make extras like scratch-resistant and ultraviolet protection coatings seem necessary. Yet, add-ons add up, so discern whether they are imperative.  

Allaboutvision.com warns to stay alert to online retailers who may advertise inexpensive eyeglasses when indeed they are passing off cheaply made products. Research company history, check background and complaints, and read numerous product reviews before purchasing.