Costco Wholesale is highly-regarded for its great deals and convenience. Where else can you shop for groceries, electronics and furniture, while getting your tires rotated and filling up your gas tank on the way out — all at great prices?
However, one of the local Costco store’s lesser known perks adds even more convenience.
Not only can you get your eyes examined at Costco, you can get the frames and lenses right there.
Excellence in Eye Care
Don’t let the convenience factor fool you. Independent Optometrist David Scamard, O.D., has been in the New Tampa and Wesley Chapel area for more than 17 years, delivering the highest level of service and an exceptional experience.
Dr. Scamard’s Excellence in Eye Care, LLC, is an A-Rated business, according to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), has a 5-Star rating on Google Reviews with more than 140 reviews, and even has a 5-Star rating on the practice’s Facebook page.
Dr. Scamard is a local product. He attended Hillsborough High School, did his undergraduate work at the University of South Florida and earned his Doctor of Optometry degree from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale.
He opened his first private practice in New Tampa in 2002. He sold that business in 2007 and moved into a new location off of S.R. 54 in Lutz, where he operated Eye Care Professionals of Tampa Bay until 2017.
In 2017, the Costco on S.R. 56 opened up, and Dr. Scamard brought his Excellence in Eye Care inside the store. The good news is that you do not have to be a Costco member to walk in to visit or make an appointment with Dr. Dave.
“Doctor Dave is very personable and still professional and caring,” says Michael Mendivil, who works at the adjacent hearing aid center, also inside Costco. “He does an unbelievable job. He is thorough with his eye exams and is just an awesome practitioner. I went through three optometrists before I found him, and I feel like he finally got my prescription right.”
Dr. Scamard’s experience spans almost two decades. Many of his patients from his early years have followed him to his location inside Costco.
“The health of your eyes is very important,” Dr. Scamard says. “You’ve heard the expression, ‘The eyes are the window to the soul?’ Well, your eyes are also a window to your health.”
He notes that diseases like glaucoma can go undetected for years and says the American Optometric Association recommends an eye exam for everyone once a year, but especially diabetics should have their eyes checked every year.
“Your eyes are such sensitive organs, they can manifest signs of systemic disease,” Dr. Scamard says.
Dr. Scamard uses some of the most cutting-edge technology in the industry. For eye exams, he uses an Optos retinal camera in his office. This high-tech tool is a retinal imager that gives the optometrist a view of the internal structures of your eyes.
The old-fashioned way to see into your pupils was to dilate them.
“People don’t always have time to get their pupils dilated,” Dr. Scamard says. “When your pupils are dilated, you are very sensitive to bright light and your near-sightedness is fuzzy — sometimes for up to five hours after dilation. It’s something that compels a lot of people to pass up their annual eye exams.”
Most peoples’ impression of an eye doctor appointment involves looking into that metal mask as the doctor manually flips through different lenses in front of your eyes to achieve the proper prescription. Dr. Dave says that is now officially “old-school.”
One of the other high-tech devices Dr. Scamard uses is a RT-5100 Refractor, a digital refractor with electric motors that change the lenses. Scamard operates the digital refractor from a console on his desk.
“The digital refractor is faster, more accurate and more efficient than the old-style analog devices,” he says. “Our patients appreciate that we have the latest technology available to them.”
The entire process from eye exam to putting the glasses on your face or contacts in your eyes can be completed right there in Costco. However, while you do not need to be a Costco member to utilize Dr. Scamard’s services, you do need to be a member to get your glasses and contact lenses from the wholesale giant.
After your exam, the next step is, well, just steps away. Need a prescription filled from Dr. Scamard? It can be filled right there in Costco’s pharmacy. Want to browse glasses and contacts lenses? There is an entire showroom right outside Dr. Scamard’s office.
“Costco even carries some of the high-end lines of frames like Prada, Tiffany, Oakley and Mont Blanc,” he says. “A lot of their frames and lenses are priced at what my cost was when I operated out of my own office. Some of my patients say that they have had savings up to 50 percent. Additionally, Costco has been rated number one by consumer reports for the best value in glasses and contacts, for the last several years.”
Costco carries a sizable line of contact lenses, including newer designs that allow more oxygen into the eyes, helping to prevent dryness. If the store doesn’t have them in stock, they can usually be delivered to the store in a week or less. The customer can even order them online and have them delivered to their home.
Having trouble setting an appointment? Excellence in Eye Care makes that easy as well. Dr. Scamard says that some offices have up to two-week waiting lists, but he even accepts walk-ins.
Excellence in Eye Care does not accept optical insurance but does provide itemized receipts that patients can use for reimbursement from their providers. Insurance can be applied to the lenses and frames sold at Costco, however.
Eyeglass exams start at $79, and contact lens exams start at $99. In the month of October, Excellence in Eye Care is offering a free set of sunglasses with the cutout or mention of the coupon in the Neighborhood News on page 40.
Excellence in Eye Care is located in the Costco Wesley Chapel Warehouse at 2225 Grand Cypress Dr., on the south side of S.R. 56, in Lutz. The office is open Tuesday and Thursday, 1 p.m.-7 p.m.; Wednesday and Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday. For more information, call (813) 279-7038 or visit ExcellenceInEyecare.net.