How To Get Your Eyeglass Prescription Without An Exam

If you’ve ever lost or misplaced your glasses, you know how frustrating it can be. You need glasses to see, but you can’t get them without a prescription. And getting a new prescription means scheduling an eye exam and making a trek to a vision care provider – something that can be difficult to do on short notice.

Fortunately, there are a few ways to get your eyeglass prescription without an exam. Read on to find out how!

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How to Find Out What Your Eyeglass Prescription Is

Use A Prescription Scanner App

using a prescription scanner app

If your current prescription works for you, you can find out what your prescription is by downloading and using a free prescription reader app on your smartphone. This method requires you to have a pair of glasses on hand, so unfortunately this won’t be much help if you’ve lost your glasses.

It’s also only available for those with single-vision prescriptions. But assuming you meet all the eligibility requirements, this is a totally free way to find out what your prescription is.

The way it works is, you use your smartphone and computer in tandem to scan the lenses of your current pair of glasses to determine your prescription strength.

There are a few different apps available that can do this using the same technology, including Liingo Eyewear and GlassesUSA, which are available for both iPhone and Android.

Scan For Your Rx + Try 5 Frames For Free

Once you have the app downloaded, simply open it up and follow the instructions. You’ll need to hold your current glasses between your mobile phone and your computer screen, and then position your smartphone camera so that it’s pointed at the glasses.

The app will then scan the lenses and provide you with your current prescription strength.

Important: getting your prescription through one of these Rx scanner apps does not constitute medical advice. You should still schedule a comprehensive eye exam and vision test with an optometrist for regular checkups. 

Renew Your Prescription With a Virtual Vision Test

getting glasses prescription with virtual vision test

If your prescription has expired, you can renew it by taking a virtual vision test. This is a great option if you don’t have time to schedule an in-person appointment, or if you live in a remote area.

The great thing about this is that your results are reviewed by a certified optometrist or ophthalmologist in your state that’s able to provide you with an updated prescription.

There are a few different companies that offer online vision tests to renew your glasses or contact lens prescription, including Warby Parker, Lensabl,, and 1-800-Contacts.

Taking the exam itself is free, but you’ll need to pay a nominal fee (usually between $10-$25) to receive an updated prescription.

To use this service, you’ll need to create an account and answer a few questions about your vision history. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to take the virtual eye test.

The test will consist of reading an eye chart on your computer screen or smartphone. Depending on the specific test, you may or may not need to wear your glasses while you take the exam.

After you’ve completed the test, a licensed eye care professional will review your results and send you a new prescription if everything looks good.

Call Your Eye Doctor And Ask

If you’ve been to the optometrist recently, they should have given you a copy of your eyeglass prescription. This is typically provided on a small card that you can keep in your wallet or purse.

If you can’t find your prescription, give your eye doctor’s office a call and ask if they can look up your prescription in their system and provide it to you over the phone.

They may need to verify your identity before doing so, but in most cases, they should be able to give you your prescription information without any trouble.

Get a Refraction Test Without an Exam

If you want to get a new eyeglass prescription, but don’t want to schedule a comprehensive eye exam, you can always get a simple refraction test.

A refraction test is a basic vision test that’s used to determine your eyeglass prescription. It’s quick, painless, and relatively inexpensive. You can usually get a refraction test at your local optical store or eye doctor’s office.

To get the test, you’ll need to sit in front of an eye chart and read the letters aloud. The optometrist or ophthalmologist will then use a machine called a phoropter to determine your eyeglass prescription.

Once the test is complete, the eye care professional will write down your prescription and you’ll be able to take it to any optical shop or online retailer to get new glasses.

Prescription Glasses Without The Hassle

With technology, it’s possible to get your prescription these days without leaving the comfort of your own home. Of course, you should be getting regular eye exams every year or so for your eye health, so this is not a replacement for that.

But if you need your current prescription and don’t have it or can’t make it to the eye doctor, there are plenty of options available so you can get the glasses you need without a huge hassle.