After years of experience The Optical Shop know what concerns the public might have regarding an eyesight test. We have draw up some answers to questions you might have.

Am I entitled to a NHS eye test?

You may be entitled to a NHS test on various grounds. Under 16, under 19 and in full time education, over 60, diabetics, sufferers of glaucoma or their close family over the age of 40. If you are partially sighted of have a very strong prescription. If you receive benefits on income grounds. If you phone one of our stores, we would be pleased to advise you.

I last had my sight tested two years ago. Can I just have a contact lens check up?

We advise having a sight test and contact lens check every year. Fitting new lenses to an old prescription may mean you do not get the most from your new contact lenses.

My contact lens prescription is out of date. Can I still get more lenses?

No; lenses can only be supplied against a current prescription. You will need a check up visit, and another prescription will be issued.

I have tried contact lenses in the past, but did not get on with them. Have there been any developments?

New contact lenses are always being developed. New lenses are now more comfortable, more carefree, can be worn for longer periods or even slept in. We can cater for more types of vision, such as astigmatism, or the need for bifocal or varifocals. Please speak to one of our trained staff who can advise you more specifically. Also, we make contact trials available at no charge, for you to assess any of these developments.

Can I get contact lenses with my spectacle prescription?

No. The spectacle prescription does not contain the information to specify contact lenses. You will need a contact lens appointment, to assess your requirements, and allow you to try contact lenses.

Why should diabetics have regular checks?

Diabetics can have particular eye problems that should be checked for annually, and the NHS will pay for this test.

We have glaucoma in our family, should I have my eyes tested?

If you have a close member of your family with glaucoma ( parent, sibling or child ), you have increased risk of glaucoma, especially over the age of 40. Over the age of 40 the NHS will pay for, and recommends, annual eye checks. Under the age of 40, two yearly checks should be adequate.

When should I get my child’s eyes tested for the first time?

‘Commonly, we would see children for the first time, just before they start formal education at four to four and a half. Previous to this they will undergo developmental checks.’

I seem to see well, is an eye test needed?

The eye test is not only there to see if you require glasses, or a change to your current glasses. It is also a way to check the health of your eyes which may not give rise to any symptoms, for instance glaucoma, or general health problems such as raised blood pressure.

How often should I have my eyes tested?

This varies from person to person. As a rough guide, in the absence of any special circumstances:

Age 0-16 Once a year
Age 16-70 Once every two years
Age 70+ Once a year

If you have diabetes, glaucoma, or other medical and eye conditions, you may need more regular checks. Please speak to one of our staff for more details. When you have your eyes tested, the optometrist will recommend the date of your next test. We will send out a reminder to help you remember.

Can I change my contact lens solutions?

You may be able to use other solutions with your lenses, but please speak to one of our trained staff before changing.