Do I have to pay for an Eye Exam

Certain people qualify for a NHS eye examination

  • are under 16
  • are 16, 17 or 18 and in full-time education
  • are 60 or over
  • are registered as partially sighted or blind
  • have been diagnosed with diabetes or glaucoma
  • are 40 or over and your mother, father, sibling or child has been diagnosed with glaucoma
  • have been advised by an eye doctor (ophthalmologist) that you’re at risk of glaucoma
  • are a prisoner on leave from prison
  • are eligible for an NHS complex lens voucher – your optician can advise you about your entitlement

You’re also entitled if you or your partner – including civil partner – receive, or you’re under the age of 20 and the dependant of someone receiving:

If you’re entitled to or named on:

  • a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate (if you do not have a certificate, you can show your award notice), you qualify if you get Child Tax Credits, Working Tax Credits with a disability element (or both), and have income for tax credit purposes of £15,276 or less
  • a valid NHS certificate for full help with health costs (HC2)

People named on an NHS certificate for partial help with health costs (HC3) may also get help with the cost of a private sight test.

How often can I have a NHS eye exam

It’s recommended that most people should get their eyes tested every 2 years.

If you’re eligible for a free NHS sight or eye test, the NHS pays for it and you will not be charged. 

We at Wyre View may recommend you have an NHS sight test more often if you:

  • are a child wearing glasses
  • have diabetes
  • are aged 40 or over and have a family history of glaucoma
  • are aged 70 or over
Do you recommend eye exams for children

Yes, it is important to see all children on a regular basis, normally every 12 months up to the age of 16.

We have the facilities to provide an eye exam to children from the age of around 3 years, there is no need for them to be able to recognise letters.

Do I get help towards the cost

An optical voucher gives you help towards the cost of contact lenses or glasses. You’re entitled to one if: .

  • you’re less than 16 years old 
  • you’re aged 16, 17 or 18 and in full-time education 
  • you’re a prisoner and are on leave from prison 
  • you can get an NHS complex lens voucher, which are for people with very high prescriptions. The optician who does your eye test can tell you if you’re eligible for one. 
  • you currently get Income Support 
  • you’re getting Universal Credit and meet the eligibility criteria
  • you get Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance 
  • you get Income-based Employment and Support Allowance 
  • you’re in receipt of Pension Credit Guarantee Credit 
  • you get tax credits and meet certain criteria 
  • you have an NHS HC2 certificate and are on a low income.

You could also be eligible for an optical voucher if you have an HC3 certificate.   







What are Varifocal lenses

These are  lenses that correct vision at different distances, from reading distance to long distance.

Unlike bifocals, they have a gradual change in prescription and don’t have visible lines so they look just the same as single vision lenses.

The distance vision part of the lens is usually in front of the pupil, with the near vision part in the lower section of the lenses.

If you’ve been wearing single vision lenses, it might take some time to adjust to wearing them.

My spectacles are slipping down

It’s important to get a good fit because poor fitting glasses might actually affect the quality of your vision.

For example, if you are short sighted and your glasses are further away from your eyes then they might seem weaker than they are.

Or, if you are long sighted you may feel that your specs are too strong. In either of these cases call in and see us 

I have astigmatism - can I still wear contact lenses

Astigmatism is caused when the eye does not focus light evenly on the retina. Contact lenses for astigmatism have been available for several years now. Most types of astigmatism can be corrected with contact lenses. We will take measurements of the exact shape of the surface of your eye and your prescription, and decide which type of contact lens will be most suitable for you. 

Why have I been told to reduce my wearing time

We will be aware of the health of your eyes and of any changes caused by the contact lenses. By looking at your eyes and your contact lenses the Optician can assess the health of your eyes. We only tell you to reduce your wearing time if it is of benefit to you. Usually, there are signs that the eyes aren’t getting enough oxygen, so by limiting the length of time you wear them, your eyes will be healthier in the long term.

Why do I still need a pair of spectacles

Most people cannot leave their contact lenses in all day, every day, and expect their eyes to remain healthy. It is best to let your eyes breathe normally at least every evening and preferably one whole day a week, by not wearing your contact lenses. Therefore, you need up to date glasses to use. Also, your eyes may feel irritated by the contact lenses or you may get an eye infection, in which case you would need glasses to wear instead. If you do not have up to date glasses, you become tempted to keep your contact lenses in for too long. 

Still have a question?

Please contact us for more information.

Get in touch