Let’s be honest, having your eyes tested is hardly the most exciting of things, if not a bit uncomfortable and tedious. But it is really important and those headaches you’ve been having for the past few months may not be down to tiredness or lack or water. According to a survey carried out by Mintel in 2010, one in five adults rarely or never have an eye test, which is shocking considering it really is a simple appointment to arrange and can quite easily be done and dusted during your lunch break.


How often you should have your eyes tested depends on your age and health. Take a look at the chart below to see how often you should get your eyes tested for the best eye care for you:

How old are you? How often you should have your eyes tested
Under seven years old Every six months
Seven to 16 years old Every year
16 to 59 years old Every two years
60 to 69 years old Usually every two years, but sometimes every year
Over 70 years old Every year
Your health How often you should have your eyes tested
If you are diabetic Every year
If you or a member of your family has glaucoma Every year

FREE Eye Tests:

Don’t assume that you have to pay for your eye test. There are many ways in which you can have your test paid for, so it’s well worth you reading up on the points below to see if you are entitled to having your eyes checked out at no cost. Just think, more money saved on the test, more to spend on a nice new pair of stylish glasses!

•    Are you aged 60 or over?
•    Are you under 16, or under 19 and in full-time education?
•    Do you live in Scotland?
•    Do you or your partner receive Income Support, Child Tax Credit, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or
Pension Credit (guarantee credit), and do you have or are you named on a
valid NHS Tax Credit
Exemption Certificate or a HC2 certificate (for free prescriptions)?

•    Do you have diabetes or glaucoma?
•    Are you aged 40 or over and have a close relative with glaucoma?
•    Does a hospital ophthalmologist say you are at risk of glaucoma?
•    Are you registered blind or partially sighted?
•    Are you entitled to vouchers for your lenses? For example the NHS provides vouchers depending on your
circumstances (see http://www.nhs.uk/nhsengland/Healthcosts/pages/Eyecarecosts.aspx)

For the rest of us, there are schemes out there such as Eyecare Vouchers (a voucher scheme run by the Government for anyone who works with computers). It includes free eye tests and vouchers to help you pay towards the cost of glasses.

And, if you regularly use a VDU screen as part of your job, your employer is legally obliged to pay for your eye care. Your employer is responsible for taking care of your eye care. If you use a computer at work, they must pay for your eye test. If you need glasses only for when you are using the computer at work, they must also pay for your glasses.

Your Eye test: Follow our rules to get the most out of your optician

  1. By law, opticians must give you a copy of your prescription after you have an eye test, so always ask for a copy if they don’t give you one. Know your rights and remember that even if they are initially reluctant, its your prescription and you can take it home.
  2. You can buy your glasses anywhere – you don’t have to get them from the opticians where you had your eyes tested
  3. Ask your optician for your pupillary distance. This will probably not be on your prescription, but the dispensing optician will need it to make your glasses so that they fit just right.
  4. By law, if you use a computer screen at work, your employer must pay the cost of your yearly eye test. For more information, click http://glassesdirect.co.uk/seeing-clearly/about-eye-tests/
  5. Many companies offer eye-test vouchers or discounts, so find out before you pay the full cost of an eye test. All optometrists are qualified to the same standard, so you should expect the same treatment wherever you go.
  6. If you are not sure about where to go for an eye test, ask round your family and friends for where they go and for details of their experiences. Then come to Glasses Direct and order your glasses online and save money. If you’ve not shopped with us before, we understand that first times can be daunting so our team of friendly and knowledgeable experts will gladly guide through the quick and hassle-free process of picking yourself a pair of stylish and wearable frames. Give us a call now on 08456 88 20 20 or email us at ask@glassesdirect.co.uk