Check out our blog for regular updates from one of our Dispensing Opticians here at Glasses Direct. Jon will be talking about a range of issues that you will find helpful. Feel free to post comments or contact us through our online Chat service if you have any questions at all following any of the topics you read here.

Jon: “Being an optician always leads to some interesting chats at parties which normally revolve around “what sunglasses do you think would suit me?” Oh how the evening flies by. However I rarely get asked about far more important issues like “How often should I go to get an eye test?” So here’s your answer…

Much like a trip to the doctor, getting an eye test is often viewed as a chore and tends to be conveniently ignored. However having an eye test is just as important as having regular GP health checks and can be a crucial way to pin-point early signs of Glaucoma, high blood pressure, diabetes and stress. Indeed the actual prescription is only half of what the Optician will be checking for you. It is therefore very important that regular eye tests are performed especially for the very young or elderly, where conditions can be more prevalent.

As it stands the optician will always tell you when he would like to see you again for a further test (assuming he picks up no symptoms that need monitoring) and the recall periods are as follows:

Age Recommended Intervals
Under 16 Every six months if spectacles are required
Every year if no spectacles are required
17, 18, 19 Every year

(The above tests will be covered under the NHS and are therefore free).

Age Recommended Intervals
Over 40 Every year if history of Glaucoma/diabetes
Every two years if no history
60-70 Every two years (also free via NHS)
70 plus Every year

All other routine eye tests are generally every two years.

As I mentioned before, if the optician does spot something that needs to be investigated further or monitored, he may well set an earlier recall period so it’s important that this is followed. They should send you a reminder in the post.

Finally, it is always worth remembering that you will not necessarily need new spectacles when you go to the optician so don’t ignore the test for fear of having to shell out a few hard earned pounds as you may not have to!”

Read more about Your Eye Test in our seeing clearly guide.