Fair Competition. Patient Access. Superior Care.

NAOO Letter To CA Board of Optometry re: Regulating Ocular Telehealth

NAOO encourages the Board to consider its Ocular Telehealth General Principles for regulating in the public interest.

Read Full Letter

NAOO Letter Opposing Florida SB 1526 Telehealth Bill

NAOO requests Florida State Senator Rob Bradley and the Senate Appropriations Committ resist all efforts to limit the use of telehealth for ocular patients and prescriptions to protect consumers.

Read Full Letter

NAOO Announces Principles for Regulating Ocular Telehealth

The Association's 13 Ocular Telehealth General Principles

Read the NAOO Principles

Advocating for the Retail Optical Industry Since 1959

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The National Association of Optometrists and Opticians (NAOO) was incorporated in 1959. Its founders established an organizational structure dedicated to promoting regular, high quality and convenient eye care from all segments of the industry in an environment free from unnecessary regulation. Over the years the Association has enhanced its impact by developing a series of proactive projects aimed at increasing access to eye care and supporting technological developments in the industry.

NAOO members represent in excess of 9,000 retail optical stores operating in every state in the country. Eye care professionals in those locations treat and help identify serious eye and chronic disease, such as diabetes and hypertension, and provide eye wear for more than 48 million Americans annually. Optical stores employ tens of thousands of workers and operate fabricating laboratories on the premises of certain co-located stores and at regional and central fabricating facilities.

Our Mission

The National Association of Optometrists and Opticians combines the unique strengths of both professions to serve the public well-being by:

  • Actively making high-quality, cost-efficient eye care widely and conveniently available to all people
  • Aggressively defending the public’s best interest by promoting fair, vigorous competition and alerting lawmakers and the general public to the dangers of special interest attempts to restrict or inhibit competition
  • Affirmatively promoting education programs to constantly improve the association members’ ability to deliver superior levels of care 

To carry out the Association’s mission, the NAOO undertakes a number of programs on an ongoing basis. These include cooperation with educational institutions to offer in-office training and co-ops to optometric and optician students, promoting continuing education for graduates, promoting the benefits of regular eye care, supporting advances in the industry and opposing unnecessary new regulation designed to limit practice opportunities and care modalities.

Retail Optical Stores Nationwide

48 Million+
Americans Treated Annually

Ongoing efforts by our Government Relations and Telehealth Committees and focused project work serve as the backbone that allows the Association to effectively pursue its mission. Each promotes the work and visibility of the NAOO and provides critical information and decision-making tools to its members, legislators and regulators. Both also provide opportunities to move on projects that enhance the reputation of the Association and optical retail sector as well as protect the strides made over the last few decades.

Members Include

America's Best
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Costco Optical
JC Penny Optical
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EyeGlass World
Eyemart Express

"The NAOO has consistently been a strong advocate for consumers and competition; its efforts have allowed innovative eye care professionals and ophthalmic industry members to grow the category, offer a variety of quality products and services at a wide range of prices and improve access to eye care and eyewear in the US. The NAOO has supported changes in laws in order to allow doctors, opticians and retailers to advertise the price and availability of eye exams, eyeglasses and contact lenses.

The organization was instrumental in making sure that patients get their prescriptions for eyewear so they can shop where they choose. The NAOO has helped reduce unfair and unreasonable limits on eye care availability in retail locations, including malls and department stores. Today, the NAOO is a leader in ensuring that ocular telemedicine is available as a valuable tool for doctors and a great benefit to consumers."

Wallace W. Lovejoy
Optical Industry Executive, Pearle Vision, LensCrafters/Luxottica, 1983-2011

Principal, Lovejoy Eyecare Consulting since 2012



"The optical industry is unique in its mix of industry participants and business models, regulations and economic turf issues. The NAOO, over the decades, has proven to be a unifying force in the retail optical segment, which has been under frequent attack from the disparate segments of the industry. The old saying of “United we stand…” has proven so true in the industry and the NAOO has been a reliable source of information about and support for our segment of the industry over the decades."

Franklin D. Rozak
Optical Industry Executive, Cole Vision, 1971-2015

The U.S. Vision Industry in 2021

Total Vision Care industry sales in U.S. (3/20 – 3/21): $39.2 Billion 1

Total Eye Exams in U.S. (3/20 – 3/21): 100.7 million 1

Percentage of U.S. Adult Population Wearing Vision Correction: 75.6% 1

Percentage of adults in the United States that wear contact lenses: 16.3% (as of March 2021)

Percentage of the adult U.S. population that wear Rx eyeglasses: 63.8% (as of March 2021)

Percentage of contact lens purchases (through March 2021)

  • At an optical store: 61%
  • Online: 25.1%

Percentage of online frame sales (through March 2021):

  • 8.1% of total $ sales
  • 14.6% of total units sold 1

Percentage of the U.S. adult population with Managed Vision Care coverage: 48.3% (through March 2021) 1

Average Frame Price   $126.01 1

Average Lens Price      $166.72 1

The leading causes of blindness and low vision in the United States are primarily age-related eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration, cataract, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma. Other common eye disorders include amblyopia and strabismus. 2

Experts from across the healthcare sector, including health plans, health systems, and health futurists, posited that by 2030, more than 50% of healthcare services would be consumed virtually. 3

1 The Vision Council, Visionwatch, March 2021
2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
3 Actionable Insights on Key Industry Topics, Health Care Consumerization, American Telemedicine Association, 2019

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Become a NAOO Member

NAOO members represent in excess of 9,000 retail optical stores throughout the United States. Through the Association, those organizations are advocating for fair competition, expanding patient access and ensuring that optometrists and opticians can deliver superior care without regulatory burden.

How can your organization contribute to our important mission?