What Can I Expect From My Optician?
Opticians carry out tests on your eyes in order to check the quality of your sight, look for signs of eye disease which may need treatment from a doctor or eye surgeon. They also prescribe and fit glasses and contact lenses.
They can give you advice on types of lens, such as single vision, bifocal or varifocal and help you to choose frames.
There are three types of Optician: Optometrists (also called Ophthalmic), Ophthalmic Medical Practitioner (OMP) and Dispensing.
- optometrists - also called ophthalmic opticians - carry out eye tests to check the quality of your sight, look for signs of eye disease which may need treatment from a doctor or eye surgeon and prescribe and fit glasses and contact lenses.
- ophthalmic medical practitioners - are medical doctors who are also trained to carry out eye examinations and prescribe glasses.
- dispensing opticians - who fit and sell glasses, but do not test eyes. They can give you advice on types of lens, such as single vision or bifocal, and help you to choose frames.
Am I Entitled To A Free NHS Sight Test?
You are entitled to a free NHS sight test if you are:
An ordinary resident of the U.K or
Belong to one of the categories for exemption from NHS charges set out in the NHS (Chares to Overseas Visitors) (Scotland) Regulations 1989
You will be asked to show proof of your entitlement to free NHS sight tests.
Should Children Have Eye Tests?
Eye problems are common in children but may not be noticed by parents. Because of this it is very important that all children have their eyes tested - even if parents are not worried.
Eye problems can develop at any age. Not all parents know their child has an eye problem.
Eye problems do not go away on their own!
Children's eye testing is free on the NHS.
General Optical Council
The Eyecare Trust
Optical Consumer Complaints Service
Optical vouchers values and charges (HC12 leaflet)