Eye examinations

Most people should have their eyes tested at least once every two years.

Having an eye examination

Having an eye examination is an important health check for your eyes. Your optometrist will be able to tell you how often you need an eye examination. Most people should have an eye examination every two years even if you have no problems with your vision and don't need glasses.

Before your eye examination explains the importance of having regular eye examinations and addresses the concerns you may have.

During your eye examination goes through each step of the examination you will have with an optometrist and the procedure for being referred to an ophthalmologist.

After your eye examination looks at the results you may receive following an eye examination and how to better understand any eye conditions you may have.

Free eye tests and optical vouchers

In Scotland eye examinations are free for everyone. 

Free eye examinations are available in England, Northern Ireland and Wales for eligible people, including:

  • people registered as blind or partially sighted
  • people who have been diagnosed with diabetes or glaucoma
  • children up to the age of 16 years
  • young people aged 16 to 18 years who are in full-time education
  • people claiming benefits such as Universal Credit or claiming tax credits
  • people on a low income.

You may also be entitled to an optical voucher to reduce the cost of glasses or contact lenses. More information can be found on the NHS website.

Further information and support

Following an eye examination, you may be referred to an ophthalmologist at a hospital eye health department.

RNIB Helpline is your direct line to the support, advice and products you need from RNIB to remain independent. We'll put you in touch with the people, services and organisations there to help, both locally and nationally, including voluntary groups and support from social services. Call us on 0303 123 9999 or email [email protected].