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Find Your Nearest

SPECS network optician

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Eye care & eye wear

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Win an iPad

Eye Health Questions

Your sight is precious. Look after your eyes!

Frequently Asked Questions

Check our list of frequently-asked eye health questions below. If you can’t find answers here or elsewhere on the website, submit your own question!

Do I qualify for free eye tests?

You are generally eligible for a free NHS eye test if you are:

  • Under 16 or under 19 and in full-time education
  • aged 60 or over
  • registered blind or partially sighted
  • diagnosed with diabetes or glaucoma
  • aged 40 or over and you are the parent, brother, sister, son or daughter of a person diagnosed with glaucoma, or you have been advised by an ophthalmologist that you are at risk of glaucoma
  • eligible for an NHS complex lens voucher

You are also entitled to a free NHS sight test if:

  • you receive Income Support or Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (not contribution based)
  • you receive Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
  • you receive Income-based Employment and Support Allowance
  • you are awarded Universal Credit
  • you are entitled to, or named on, a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate you are named on 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. Also read about the NHS Low Income Scheme (LIS).

Does a family history of Glaucoma put me at greater risk of developing that condition?

Unfortunately, the simple answer is ‘yes’ – you have a higher risk level.

If there is glaucoma in the family, then statistically you may be more at risk of developing it, particularly if you are a smoker. Glaucoma can often be treated effectively if diagnosed early, so regular eye checks are important.

Is it safe to wear my contact lenses for long periods of time?

Nowadays, there are special extended wear contact lenses designed specifically to be worn for longer periods, including overnight. These lenses are designed to be more permeable so that higher levels of oxygen reach your eyes.Your optician can advise on what kind of lenses are most suitable for you.

Whatever kind of lenses you do wear, Cleanliness is very important. Most problems are caused by poor hygiene practice.

How often should I have an eye test?

Adults should normally have an eye test every two years. You may need testing more frequently if you have a medical condition or family history of Glaucoma or if recommended by your optician.

Any other questions?

You can ask us using this form. We will pass your enquiry confidentially to your three nearest SPECS network opticians so they can respond directly to you.

If your question and the answer would be helpful to others, we may post them (anonymised of course) on this frequently asked questions page. But only if you are happy for us to do so – you can tell us below whether or not you are comfortable with that.

Questions marked with an asterisk (Required) are mandatory.