Your Eyetest Explained

Free EyeTest & NHS Voucher entitlements

Click here to see information about who is entitled to a free eyetest and help with glasses.             

The benefits of having an eye exam

People often believe that they do not need a sight test because, as far as they can tell, their eyes are perfectly normal. However, a regular examination is recommended for a number of reasons:

  • Most people's vision gradually deteriorates with age and many people who have poor vision are not aware of it, or how much better it could be, until they have an eye test. Optimum vision is always preferable and, for some tasks, such as driving, a minimum level of vision is a legal requirement.

  • Some eye conditions, such as glaucoma, have few, if any, symptoms until they are significantly advanced and more difficult to treat. Glaucoma is sometimes referred to as the "sneak thief of sight" for this reason, and the only way to detect glaucoma in the early stages is by having regular eye tests.

  • If the vision in one eye is suddenly or gradually reduced, the patient may not be aware of this unless they close the other eye. This is because, when both eyes are open, the good eye will mask or compensate for the bad eye.

There are numerous reasons why having regular eye tests is a good idea:

  • Assessing a range of symptoms that may be present, such as headaches, double vision, red, swollen or painful eyes, distorted vision, dry or gritty eyes, flashing lights or black dots in the vision (known as flashes and floaters).

  • Checking if glasses are required and, if so, keeping them up-to-date.

  • Checking for eye diseases such as glaucoma, retinal detachment or macular degeneration.

  • Checking for ocular signs of illnesses such as diabetes.

  • Monitoring a range of pre-existing eye conditions.