Home Eye Tests Glasses Eyesight Problems Eye Diseases Contact Lenses FAQs

Home Eye Tests Glasses Eyesight Problems Eye Diseases Contact Lenses FAQs


Eye test explained.

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Do I need glasses?

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Reading glasses






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Tips on choosing frames styles.

Glasses and facial shapes



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Reading Age






Macular Degeneration ARMD AMD

Treatment of Macular Degeneration



Introduction To Contact Lenses

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Macushield Benefits  


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Common questions asked at Opticians.

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Home Eye Tests Glasses Eyesight Problems Eye Diseases Contact Lenses FAQs


Do I need glasses ?

There are many tests that an optician can do to check if a person really needs to wear glasses.


Checking level of vision

A person level of vision is usually checked with the letters chart - these vary in size and gives the optician an idea if standard of vision is good.


Sometimes a person can have normal sight without correction but they may get symptoms such as eye strain or headaches. Wearing glasses may ease symptoms.


May need to wear glasses for driving. UK standard is being able to see a number plate ( 2001 plate onwards)  from 20m and having a visual acuity of 6/12. If you need to wear glasses or contact lenses to meet this standard, then it is essential to use for driving all the time.


For certain occupations, it may be essential to meet certain level of vision, or it may benefit the person to wear to glasses to make it easier to do tasks.

It will depend on individual circumstances.


Level of vision below standard


During an eye test, the optician may try different lens powers to improve the sight. There are several scientific methods to obtain these results.

You may be asked to compare two set of lenses or be asked if its better with or without the lenses, while looking at letters or perhaps circles.



You may be asked questions using several different tests.







Red and Green circles test.

This is called the Duochrome test. It usually has black circles or could have letters/numbers on red and green/blue bar

The test asks which appear to be more blacker and clearer.

This test allows the optician to fine tune and confirm the spectacle lens power.

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The OXO test.

The optician will put a tinted ( polaroid )  visor over your eyes which will make things look in 3D and darker.

You will be asked to look at red or green lines next to letter X or another target - and to see if they are lined up.

This tests if both eyes work together as a team.

Sometimes imbalance between the eyes can cause headaches, double vision or eyestrain.




Can optician check for glasses without asking many questions?

Some patients may be concerned in giving the right answers or find it difficult to judge. The optician can take account of this and verify results with other tests that do not rely on answers.

An optician can shine a light onto the eyes using a special instrument called a retinoscope. The optician is trained to assess the movements of this light and obtain the optical prescription. There are also automated machines available to do a similar test.

Useful in testing for glasses for babies, young children, adults with speech problems like after a stroke, in dementia or for persons who have foreign language to the optician etc