One of the questions that frequently gets directed our way is “How often should I have my eyes tested?” We spoke to one of our opticians to get an answer to this question once and for all.

“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 for the various age groups are as follows:

Under 16:   Every 6 months (if spectacles are required)
Annually (if no spectacles are required)

17,18,19:   Annually

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

Routine Eye Test: Every 2 years

Over 40’s:  Annually (if history of Glaucoma or diabetic)
Every 2 years (if no history)

60-70:     Every 2 years (NHS test so Free)

70+:   Annually

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!

Even if you are not aware of any problems you should have your eyes tested every 2 years. The eye test is a regular health check which can detect underlying health problems as well as changes in your vision. It may need to be more frequent depending on you age and medical history. If in doubt – your Optometrist will advise you when to return for your next eye test, so you don’t need to worry about a thing.”