Presently, free NHS eye tests are available for all in Scotland.
For England and Wales, free NHS eye test is for :
Or if you are 16, 17 and 18 in full time education
Over 60 years of age.
In receipt of benefits :
Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
Pension Credit Guarantee Credit.
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes or glaucoma
You are 40 or over, and your mother, father, brother, sister, son or daughter has
been diagnosed with glaucoma
An ophthalmologist (eye doctor) has advised you that you are at risk of glaucoma
You are registered as blind or partially sighted
You are prescribed complex lenses – these are lenses with a power of 10 dioptres
or more, or prism controlled bifocal lenses
Your sight tests are usually done through a hospital eye department, as part of your
care for an existing eye condition.
You are a war pensioner and you need the sight test because of a disability for which
you get a war pension.
You are a prisoner on leave from prison.
Please check latest advice from NHS or an opticians practice as things can change
- esp the benefit system !
How often can I go for eye check ups ?
For a routine check, then there are guidance for opticians at how often the NHS allows
a free eye sight.
However if you are having problems, like reduced vision or pain etc then an optician
may be able to test your eyes earlier and put a code on the NHS sight test form.
If you have simply lost your glasses and are not due for an eye test, then you may
be charged for an eye test if there is no change in your spectacles prescription
or alternatively you can buy a new pair of glasses. If you had help towards your
spectacles, then you may not get this again until your next routine check up.
For routine eye tests ,check ups - the guidelines are :
Age under 16 - once a year
Age 16 to 69 - once every two years.
Age over 70 - once every year
Diabetic - once every year
Glaucoma - once every year
40 and over with Family history of glaucoma - Parent, brother, sister or child of
relative with glaucoma - once a year
Certain eye conditions may require more regular check ups - sometimes every 6 months
For example, cataracts, squints or other eye conditions.
However not everyone with these conditions need more checks - the optician will decide
after an eye test.
Note - this can all change if regulations are altered - and so please check with
your own optician as to when you are next due an eye test.
Usually a reminder card is sent, or they may ring or send a text message.