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Sight tests should be part of everyone’s regular health regime. The NHS recommends that you visit an optometrist every two years (or more frequently if advised).

Regular tests will help to:

  • Detect symptoms of visual problems (including headaches, sore eyes, excessive blinking or squinting).

  • Highlight underlying medical conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure.

  • Ensure early diagnosis of potentially serious eye conditions, increasing chances of successful treatment.

What to expect

During your sight test, the optometrist will aim to get a complete picture of your individual needs in order to offer you the best and most appropriate care.

We will ask you about:

  • Any visual problems or symptoms you may be experiencing.

  • Your medical history, including current medications, as this may affect your eyes

  • Your lifestyle, including occupation, hobbies and sports so as to tailor the visual needs.

The optometrist will then:

  • Examine your eyes carefully.

  • Test for glaucoma and carry out visual field assessment if required.

  • Test your eye movement and eye co-ordination.

  • Discuss all results, explain everything and arrange treatment if necessary.

  • Prescribe the correct glasses or contact lenses for you if you need them.

  • Offer help and advice on choosing the right frames (the fun bit).

Free NHS sights test are available for those:

  • 60 or over.

  • Under 16, or 19 in full time education.

  • Receiving relevant government benefits.

  • Prescribed complex lenses.

  • Suffering from Diabetes/Glaucoma.

  • Over 40 and the parent/sibling/child of a person with Glaucoma.

  • Registered blind or partially sighted.

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