It is important for you to have regular eye examinations. This will ensure that your prescription is up to date and that your eyes remain healthy.
Can I get a free eye test?
Whether or not you can get a free eye test depends on your age, the current condition of your eyes and personal circumstances. Special concessions are usually made for children, older people, the blind and those receiving government assistance are among the main groups entitled to a free eye test on the NHS.
Where can I get a free eye test?
Most high street opticians in the UK offer free eye tests, eye test vouchers or have eye test offers. It's usually a simple and easy process. You can book an appointment online to get a free eye test at Boots opticians or book a FREE eye test with Specsavers.
Who is entitled to a free eye test?
Under the NHS in the United Kingdom, there are certain parameters that entitle an individual to a free NHS funded eye test.
If you are under the age of 16, are 16, 17 or 18 and in full-time education - i.e. College, 6th form, or an apprentice you are entitled to a free eye test on the NHS.
If you are 60 years old or over, you are entitled to a free eye test on the NHS.
The visually impaired
If you are officially registered as partially sighted or blind, you are entitled to a free eye test on the NHS. If you are 40 or over with a mother, father, sibling or child that has been diagnosed with glaucoma, and if you have been advised by an eye doctor (ophthalmologist) that you’re at risk of glaucoma you are also entitled to a free eye test.
If you are a prisoner or on leave from prison, you are entitled to a free eye test on the NHS.
Those on benefits
Those on governments benefits are also entitled to a free eye test. This includes people who receive:
- Income based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income Support
- Tax credits and meet the specified criteria
- Universal Credit and meet the specified criteria
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income – based Employment and Support Allowance
- Get Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
Additionally, if you have a low income and are named on a valid NHS HC2 certificate for full help with health costs. You may also be entitled to a reduced cost sight test if you have a low income and are named on a valid NHS HC3 certificate for partial help with health costs.
Most of the people who qualify for a free sight test, may also qualify for an Optical Voucher.
Who is eligible for a free mobile eye test?
Those who are entitled to a free NHS eye test, may also be eligible for a mobile eye test, in which a qualified optician comes to you for an examination, as opposed to you going to an optician.
You are eligible for a mobile eye test if:
- You reside in a care/residential home and are not able to leave your residence without a guide because of a physical/ mental illness or disability.
- You reside at your own home but are not able to leave unaccompanied because of a physical/ mental illness or disability.
- You have difficulties communicating your health needs unaided and need a specialised practitioner.
How often can I get a free eye test?
You can get an eye test as and when you feel there is a problem with your eyes, or there has been a noticeable change in your visual acuity. You should aim to get an eye test at least once every two years or otherwise directed by your practitioner. An eye test can pick up on early signs of diabetes or glaucoma.
Some opticians will waive the cost of an eye test if you purchase lenses directly from them after your eye test or sign up to a direct-debit scheme. In the long term, it is more cost effective to pay for your contact lens test, receive your prescription from your optician and buy contact lenses online. Feel Good Contacts offer a Price Match Guarantee against all major UK contact lens retailers.
For further optical advice, healthcare and aftercare put together by our expert opticians please visit our eye care hub.
Get to know your glasses or contact lenses, advice on contact lens care, how to use them and eye health. Learn how prescriptions and eye tests are important so that you can protect them all year round. Also, we have guides to various eye problems, how you can deal with them and much more.
For further professional advice our customer service team are open 8am-9pm weekdays or 9am-6pm weekends & bank holidays. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, or call us on: 0800 458 2090.