Do I need to pay for eye tests?

If you haven’t had an eye test in a long time or never had one, you might have been putting off coming in because of the potential costs.

We are lucky in Scotland that we’re the only country in the UK that offers free eye tests to all residents.

In this blog we are going to look at what is provided for free on the NHS and what other tests you might consider giving you additional peace of mind.

Remember though, if you have concerns about your eye health speak to someone as soon as possible – don’t wait until you are due an eye test. Your sight is so important.

Why are eye tests important?

It is important that everyone has their eyes regularly examined. A NHS eye examination is more than just a sight test – it provides a general eye health check that can detect early signs of sight-threatening conditions and some general medical conditions including:

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Tumours
  • Arthritis

Not only that, but picking up signs of sight loss, or deteriorating eyesight, early gives a much better chance of slowing it down than if it is left undiagnosed and therefore untreated.

Related Content: Eye Tests: An Important Healthcare Tool

What am I entitled to?

In Scotland everyone between the ages of 16 and 60 are entitled to one free eye test every two years, whereas under 16s and over 60s as well as people with conditions such as glaucoma or diabetes can have a free test every year.

Free NHS funded eye examinations are also provided for:

  • emergency eye issues, for example a red or sticky eye, blurred or reduced vision, flashers and floaters or pain in or around the eye
  • ongoing review of conditions such as suspected glaucoma and ocular hypertension

In addition to tests certain people may be entitled to help with the cost of glasses and contact lenses in the form of an NHS Optical Voucher. To find out if you are eligible you can find the criteria on the Citizens Advice Scotland website. Depending on the frames you choose, the type of lenses required and how specialist your prescription is, this voucher may cover the whole cost or only a part of it.

What might I have to pay for?

While the free NHS eye test is fairly comprehensive, we include additional services free of charge to provide the best care without clients feeling they need to compromise. These include:

  • 3D eye scans to look for signs of macular degeneration, diabetes or glaucoma
  • Retinal photography which can also look for signs of retinal detachment
  • Dry eye check-ups

For £60 per year, we offer ongoing contact lens care to ensure your lenses are performing exactly as you need them to.

Next steps? Book an eye test!

Not due a free eye test? We can still see you for a fee of £50.

You can book online here or get in touch with our team, and we will get you booked in. You do not need to do anything else to claim your free test if you are entitled to one – we handle all the paperwork at our end and can let you know if you are eligible for anything else mentioned in this blog.

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