In the U.S., the cost of eyeglasses ranges greatly, from approximately $50 to over $1,000 for a single pair. The average cost is $196. Fortunately, there are organizations that provide free eye exams and glasses. If you are looking for free glasses for seniors, you are in the right place. Below you will find organizations that can help with free glasses for seniors.
Free Glasses for Seniors – Charities
New Eyes for the Needy purchases new prescription eyeglasses for low-income individuals in the U.S. through a voucher program.
VISION USA is a service of the American Optometric Association and provides assistance to uninsured, low-income individuals and households.
Lions Club and OneSight support the development of comprehensive eye care systems that provide preventative and diagnostic services and treatment for all relevant eye diseases as well as rehabilitation for those with irreversible blindness or low vision. These organizations work together to provide eyeglasses to those in need.
EyeCare America is a public service program of the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. It provides free eye exams for qualifying seniors.
Eyes of Hope, a Vision Service Plan (VSP) program, offers gift certificates that provide adults and children in need with access to eye care and new glasses at no cost through a VSP network eye doctor in their community.
Mission Cataract USA offers free cataract surgery for people in the US who have no insurance and no means to pay.
Some catholic charities chapters have eye care programs. Catholic Charities of the Texas Panhandle’s Adult Eye Care Program works in conjunction with local optometrists and ophthalmologists to provide eye exams and glasses for low-income adults. The eye care professionals provide all of their services free of charge.
Find your local chapter here to see if they provide a similar program.
The non-profit assists thousands of residents per year. They support seniors or the elderly threatened by glaucoma, run tests for children, and give referrals to prescription eyeglass programs. Some of the services are free, others will just cost the patients a minimal fee.
SEE International is a non-profit organization helping to end preventable blindness in the United States and across the globe. They provide free eye care and sight-restoring surgeries to those in need.
The HealthWell Foundation offers financial assistance for insured people who cannot cover the cost of their coinsurance, co-pays, and other health expenses. Contact them to see if they can help you with the cost of your eye care.
Grand Central Optical collects donations of used glasses and distributes them.
The user needs to enter his/her prescription and fill out some basic demographic info. Used eyeglasses will be mailed within 7-10 days of order. No additional paperwork or questions asked,
Free Vision Clinics – A Second Chance, Inc. (Pennsylvania)
The free vision clinics at A Second Chance, Inc., provide adults, caregivers, and children with long-overdue eye exams from a team of doctors, as well as new eyeglasses—at no cost. The agency hosts the vision clinics in partnership with Mission Vision, a Pennsylvania-based medical mission program that provides eye care domestically and abroad.
Georgia Lions Lighthouse (Georgia)
The Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation provides the full continuum of vision services, offering vision screenings, complete eye exams, and prescription eyeglasses for surgery. The foundation believes all patients should have access to vision care. As a result, fees are established based on the patient’s economic status.
The I Care Vision Center provides complete eye care including medical, surgical, and glasses to individuals living at 150% or below federal poverty guidelines. We also provide eye medications to those who need them but cannot afford them. Glasses are only provided to patients who do not have any insurance plans that help cover this.
Vision — HAAM (Texas)
HAAM’s Vision Program is now partnered with CommUnityCare and half Helen to offer a free basic eye exam and pair of glasses (if needed) to HAAM members once every two years. Once you submit your request, you will receive an email with more details and a link to schedule an appointment at half Helen’s mobile eye clinic, called optical Prime.
Ophthalmology Services & Information | UCLA Health (Southern California)
For more than 40 years, we’ve provided eye exams and screenings in neighborhoods where poverty and vision disabilities intersect. This 39-foot-long bus is outfitted with equipment for eye exams and supported by charitable donations. Each year, we provide eye care to more than 20,000 underserved adults and children in Southern California.
Amaus’s mission is to help those in need to receive glasses to improve their quality of life. They will provide free eye exams and eyeglasses to the financially fragile of the community through a modern well-equipped facility with friendly, competent volunteer providers and staff.
Free Glasses for Seniors – Veterans
If you’re a Veteran or service member and qualify for health benefits through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the VA will cover routine eye exams and preventive vision testing (like testing for glaucoma). You may also be able to get eyeglasses and other vision care you need to be covered through the VA.
Free Glasses for Seniors – Other Ways
This is a web-based organization selling generic frames and lenses for as little as $8.
This is a web-based organization selling generic frames, including lenses with anti-scratch coating for as little as $8.
Many optometry schools offer low-cost care to people willing to be treated by supervised students. They may also provide free care to people who join research studies.
Some community health centers have eye clinics and offer free or low-cost care. Find your local community health center here.
Local Colleges or Universities
If there is a college or university near you that has an optometry or ophthalmology program, ask if they offer low-cost eye care including glasses.