NHS eye tests
Regular eye examinations are important, which is why we recommend you have an eye examination at least every two years, unless advised otherwise by your optometrist.
More than 30 million people in the UK are entitled to a free eye examination paid for by the NHS. The list below details who is automatically entitled to regular NHS sight tests.
- Aged 60 or over
- Under 16 or under 19 still in full time education
- Live in Scotland *
- Diagnosed as having diabetes or glaucoma
- 40 years of age or over with a close relative with glaucoma
- Registered blind or partially sighted
- In need of complex lenses (you may also get an optical voucher)
You are also entitled to a free NHS sight test if you (or your partner) are receiving the following benefits or credits:
- Income Support or Income Based Job Seekers Allowance
- Working Tax Credit/Child Tax Credit (and are named on a NHS Tax Credit Exemption Certificate)
- You are named on a valid HC2 or HC3 certificate
Help with your glasses
As well as a free eye examination, you may also be entitled to some help with the purchase of glasses or contact lenses, if you are:
- Under 16 or under 19 and still in full time education
- Named on a valid HC2 or HC3 certificate
- In need of complex lenses
- You or your partner claim Income Support, Income Based Job Seekers Allowance, Working Family’s Tax Credit/Disabled Person’s Tax Credit (and are named on a NHS Tax Credit Exemption Certificate)
Your local optician will be able to advise on NHS entitlements based on your own individual circumstance.
* The new NHS eye examination in Scotland is an eye health assessment, appropriate to patients needs and any symptoms they present.