NHS eye tests are free but there are restrictions on whom can have them in England
and Wales. Eg Under 16 and over 60 all free. Click on NHS Eye Tests. In Scotland,
everyone gets free NHS tests.
From time to time, there are promotions by the larger Opticians who may offer free
private eye tests or reduced prices. This may be done as a promotion or during quiet
spells and so you may be able to save money. If not, then its money well spent if
an optician can help you, especially to prevent eye conditions worsening.
Been told have rugby ball shaped eyes or astigmatism.
Usually the cornea is not exactly spherical shaped like a football .It has different
curves bit like a rugby ball. Amount varies and is common, and present in other conditions.
Click Eye Conditions
Will glasses make my eyes worse ?
It is often thought wrongly that wearing glasses makes eyes worse or that people
will get dependant on them. There is no evidence to suggest this. Sometimes a person
needs glasses to read but after a year or two , the prescription rises but this is
due to natural age.
A person may be shocked at how bad the vision is when glasses are taken off. The
brain gets accustomed to good vision and the difference between good vision and blur
is more obvious than going from blur to better vision with glasses.
Can I get free specs ?
In UK and Wales, with certain benefits , the NHS will contribute towards glasses.
At some opticians, this voucher may cover the cost of glasses and so can be free
then. Click on NHS Eye care
What does re glaze mean ?
When new lenses are cut and fitted into glasses frame, it is called glazing. When
older pair of glasses have the lenses removed, and then new lenses cut and fitted.
it is called reglazing.
What is 20 20 vision ?
This is an American term for good normal vision. It is often the second to bottom
line on some optician charts but that can vary. In UK, 6/6 is the same as 20 20
but is measured in metres instead of feet. Click on level of vision for more information.
How can you test very young children who cant answer questions or know how to read
Opticians can do tests without patients answering any questions. Useful for patients
who cant communicate due to stroke, dementia, young children or when speaking foreign
A light from an instrument called a retinoscope is shone on the eye. The movement
of this light varies according to any eye error and opticians use their skill to
work out the glasses prescription.
Level of vision is checked with picture cards, shapes etc
My arms are not long enough to hold the book or newspaper to read.
Common sign of reading age called Presbyopia when it blurs for reading. The lens
inside the eye will normally focus on close objects but this declines naturally with
age and so may need reading glasses. Usually notice after age 40 and gradually lose
more focus to 70 plus. So its normal for increases in reading glasses power with
age. Click reading age glasses for more info.
I am too old . Is it worth bothering having an eye test?
At any age, it's important but more for elderly as may prevent falls. Good vision
can maintain independence and help quality of life like being able to do hobbies,
TV and read. Some eye diseases can be treated or prevented from getting worse if
detected early. If vision is poor, glasses or low vision aids may still help.
What is a cataract ?
The lens inside the eye is normally transparent. It can become cloudy or grey and
is known as a cataract. Causes blurred vision and glare. Usually due to ageing. An
operation can replace the cataract with a clear artificial lens in the eye. Click
What is wear and tear of the eye ?
Another term for macular degeneration. There is tissue damage at the macula ( centre
of retina). This causes mild to severe central vision loss. The side vision is not
affected and so a person wont go completely blind.
What is short sighted ?
When vision far away is more blurred. Short sighted see better at shorter distances.
Also called myopia. Read Eyesight Problems
What do the numbers mean on the glasses prescription ?
Optician glasses prescription will have numbers on it which is the strength or power
that may be required. There can be distance and near prescription and other details
. Click glasses prescription
Forgotten to ask a question at your Opticians or forgotten an answer? Below are common
questions asked and optical jargon.