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Are Walk-In Eye Doctors Available?

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Walk-in eye care offers on-demand eye services for people who don’t wish to wait to schedule an appointment. These type of eye doctors are common and operate on a first-come, first-served basis around some scheduled appointments throughout the day.

Walk-in eye clinics offer many of the same services that traditional eye clinics provide. These include eye exams, glasses repairs, and treatment of minor, yet urgent, eye issues.

Most walk-in eye clinics accept vision insurance, so costs remain low to the patient. For people without vision insurance, services are usually offered at affordable prices.

Walk-in eye care is offered by many large eyewear chains, such as Target, LensCrafters, and For Eyes. Additionally, many local and independent clinics also offer walk-in or same-day appointments.

What Is Walk-In Eye Care?

Walk-in eye care is available to people across the country. For many people, it can be a challenge to get an eye appointment at busy doctors’ offices. Others may need immediate help for a minor eye problem. For situations such as these, a visit to a walk-in eye doctor makes sense.

Walk-in eye clinics offer flexible ways to get eye care when and where you need it. Ophthalmologist walk-ins provide an alternative form of medical care that frequently saves patients both time and money.

How Do They Operate?

Ophthalmologist walk-in clinics are staffed by certified eye doctors, and many are open seven days a week. The goal of walk-in eye clinics is to increase access to high-quality eye care, often at lower prices and with more ease than standard eye care facilities offer.

Some walk-in clinics do take appointments so you have the option to schedule your visit ahead of time. Many walk-in clinics purposefully leave gaps in their daily schedules so they can accommodate walk-in patients.

In the case of walk-ins, patients are typically served on a first-come, first-served basis. This can play to your benefit if you visit a clinic at a time when it’s not busy. If you go to a walk-in clinic at hours of high traffic, such as on the weekend, you may have a bit of a wait time ahead of you.

Services Offered

Ophthalmologist walk-in doctors provide on-demand services. Typical services range from standard eye exams, to fitting new glasses, to medical care for minor eye problems. Issues that can typically be addressed at walk-in eye clinics include:

  • Treatment of conjunctivitis or minor eye infections.
  • The feeling that there is something in the eye.
  • Dry eye.
  • Broken glasses.
  • Sports injury to the eye.

Emergency eye care and eye exams can also usually be provided at walk-in eye clinics. These clinics can provide a good eye care option for people who do not necessarily have eye problems or wear a lens prescription.

Annual eye exams are recommended for everyone. For people who are simply looking to have their eyes screened for potential problems, a visit to a walk-in eye doctor can be a simple and efficient option for maintaining eye heath.

Cost of Walk-In Eye Care

Most walk-in eye clinics accept vision insurance. They bill your vision insurance provider, so costs stay low for you. Many people are able to visit a walk-in eye doctor for no out-of-pocket expense.

For people without vision insurance, walk-in eye services are typically still quite affordable. A comprehensive eye exam plus glasses or contact lenses can cost $90 or less. Prices for additional care and options vary by location and service.

Where to Find Walk-In Eye Doctors

Eye doctors are staffed at walk-in eye care clinics across the country. Their services are becoming increasingly common, as the demand for certified eye doctors increases and busy schedules make accommodating appointments a burden.

Many large retailers and eyewear chains offer walk-in service. In additional to local eye clinics, walk-in eye care is offered through the following chains:

  • LensCrafters
  • Target Optical
  • Visionworks
  • America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses
  • For Eyes

If you are not comfortable with simply walking in and waiting for an appointment, most eye clinics also offer same-day or next-day appointments that can be scheduled online. These appointments still allow relatively quick scheduling options and can help you avoid potential wait times.

If you require regular eye care, many eye care experts recommend scheduling your appointments ahead of time, even at walk-in clinics. This provides you with more control over which doctor you see and ensures you get care when you need it. For last-minute or unforeseen urgent eye care needs, walk-in eye doctors offer affordable and high-quality eye care accessible at almost any time.


  1. Eye Exam and Vision Testing Basics. (December 2018). American Academy of Ophthalmology.
  2. Vision Insurance: Costs, Benefits and Who Needs It. (December 2016). NerdWallet.
  3. Eyeglass & Contact Lens Store Buying Guide. (January 2020). Consumer Reports.

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