Optometry, also known as opticians, optometrists are trained to examine the eyes and detect any abnormalities.

They make a health assessment, offer clinical advice, prescribe spectacles or contact lenses and refer patients for further treatment, when necessary.

How to find an Optician

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. 

Your ophthalmic practitioner or optometrist may recommend you have an NHS sight test more often than every 2 years 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

Read more about free NHS sight tests.

If you need an optician in an emergency

Opticians are open for urgent and routine treatments.

  • If you are registered with an optician, call the practice as some practices offer appointments at short notice.
  • if you don’t have an optician, call NHS 111 for advice.

NHS sights test costs

Some people are entitled to a free NHS sight test or an optical voucher to reduce the cost of glasses or contact lenses.

If you're not eligible for NHS-funded sight tests or optical vouchers, you'll have to cover the costs yourself.

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