Opticians provide eye health services for patients.
It is important to care for your eyes and get them checked regularly. When you visit an optician or optometrist, you'll have your sight tested to ensure you don't have any abnormalities or signs of any eye disease such as cataracts or glaucoma. If necessary they will refer you on a specialist doctor or eye surgeon for further advice and treatment. They also prescribe and fit glasses and contact lenses.
To find an optician in your local area please click here or call NHS 111.
Am I entitled to a free NHS sight test?
You are entitled to a free NHS sight test if you are:
- Under 16, or under 19 and in full-time education;
- Aged 60 or over;
- Registered blind or partially sighted;
- Diagnosed as having diabetes or glaucoma;
- Aged 40 or over with a mother, father, sibling or child with glaucoma, or you have been advised by an ophthalmologist that you are at risk of glaucoma;
- A prisoner on leave from prison;
- Eligible for an NHS complex lens voucher – your optician can advise you about your entitlement.
You are also entitled to a free NHS sight test if you:
- Receive Income Support or Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (not contribution based);
- Receive Pension Credit Guarantee Credit;
- Get tax credits and meet the criteria;
- Have low income and are named on a valid NHS HC2 certificate for full help with health costs (HC2).
What if I'm not entitled to a free NHS eye test?
If you don't qualify for a free NHS sight test, you will have to pay for a private sight test. The cost of private sight tests varies, so it's advisable to shop around. You can find an optician by visiting the NHS website.