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Free Eye Tests and how to get them
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Free Eye Tests and how to get them

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Refreshed 29th Jul 2018 (Posted 9th Jul 2018)Edited by:"lizhpep"
Free Eye Tests and how to get them

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Eye care is very important for our health and we all should be having regular eye examinations, but we’re sometimes put off by the cost. However, there are a number of ways to get free eye tests in the UK and this thread is going to look at what’s on offer.

NHS

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The first thing to check is whether you’re eligible for a free eye test on the NHS. If you’re under 16 (or up to 19 but still in full-time education) or over 60, have certain medical conditions or are on some lower income benefits, you’re entitled to a free eye test and sometimes help towards costs for glasses/contact lenses. Also, ANYONE living in Scotland can get a free eye test every 2 years, and in certain cases, annually. Look here to see if you qualify.

More information about booking your free NHS appointment can be found through these links:
Glaucoma Association
Harrold Opticians
Asda Opticians


If you live in Scotland, find out what you’re entitled to here.



If you live in Wales, check out this guide to your NHS entitlement.


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Free eye tests through your employer
Through the government’s Health and Safety guidelines, your employer may need to protect their workers if they use DSE (display screen equipment, such as computers or laptops) for long periods of time. This can include providing free eye tests for their workforce. If you think you may fall into this category then check with your employer to see what they can offer you. More information from the HSE is available here.


Guide for Students
If you’re in full-time higher education, over the age of 19 (and don’t qualify for tax credits), you will have to fund the cost of your own eye test. However, keep a lookout for free eye tests from Opticians and also check whether your University has an optometrist training department which may offer you free or cheap eye exams. Such as here.

If you need to buy a pair of prescription glasses, Boots and Specsavers are currently offering students a 25% discount. You will need to produce a valid NUS card or other official student identification to qualify for these offers.


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Boots currently have an offer for a free eye test through their UK-wide opticians. Click here to download the voucher. (thanks @matwalaboy )

Booking an eye test is quick and easy! You can call 0345 125 3752,* visit your nearest Boots Opticians or book an appointment online. This offer is valid until 30/11/18

  • To claim your free eye test print or download the voucher and bring this with you to your appointment
  • Cannot be used in conjunction with any other eye test offer or discount. Only one eye test voucher can be used per customer
  • Excludes contact lens assessments and checks, and cannot be used by customers who qualify for a free NHS eye test
  • Voucher cannot be used retrospectively. Photocopies will not be accepted and no cash alternative is available
  • Appointments subject to availability


2979817.jpgSpecsavers are currently running an offer for free eye tests in their London branches. Click here to print your voucher. If you aren't in London it is worth asking your local branch if they have any similar offers running. There's no harm in asking!


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Kite, who are based in London,are offering a free eye test until the end of September through this link. This includes an eye examination using their Optomap retina scanner, which means they can detect everything from glaucoma and serious eye diseases through to high blood pressure and diabetes.


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Although not free, Vision Express are offering a really cheap deal of only £10 for an eye test in their branches, find your local branch visionexpress.com

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Also, If you are a customer of Lenstore and have bought contact lenses through them, they are offering a free eye test through Vision Express branches throughout the UK. Click here for more information.

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Always ask for your prescription
Remember that after your eye test is completed, you are entitled to a copy of your prescription. There’s no need to feel pressured into buying glasses or contact lenses from the opticians that tested your eyes. Your prescription will be valid for 2 years after your test and you may find cheaper deals on the high street and online for both glasses and contacts.


Want cheaper vision?

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Glasses Direct have two great offers on:

25% off Boutique Frames with code ORDER25

50% off £49+ non-Boutique frames with code ORDER50

(Thanks @natalie.emm )

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Bargain prescription glasses to be had from £5 + £4.99 delivery (Thanks @goonertillidie )

They also have prescription sunglasses from £15 + £4.99 delivery (Thanks @ryankall )

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If you’re a new customer to Vision Direct you can grab 10% off when you order your contact lenses with the code SURPRISE. Free delivery on orders over £49 too!

Click here to try them out.


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Top comments
Peplle sau I ned glesses for workin on mi computr .... Iv neffer notished ony priblems
quincemeister09/07/2018 14:16

They have to issue it to you by law, so just ask for it


PD is not part of the eye test, I tries it twice last few times and they would not give it, obviously if you are buying glasses from them then that is different
90 Comments
Heat for all the effort!
Great first post! @lizhpep really helpfull
Thanks for putting this together
In Scotland, the majority of people are entitled to an eye test every 2 years - unless they have a health issue, or family history which allows an annual check.

Examples are things like diabetes, glaucoma, etc.
Why do I feel cynical when large companies like "Specsavers," offer Free eye tests?
Bit like the very cheap MOT tests on your car, we all know what happens there!
Getting free eye test is not w problem considering constant offers here and there. Problem is that they will not give you PD with results so you can't order cheap glasses online afterwards
Fab stuff - I see this getting scorching hot Welcome to HUKD - thanks for posting and the credit - well done on all counts.
lucyferror09/07/2018 14:10

Getting free eye test is not w problem considering constant offers here …Getting free eye test is not w problem considering constant offers here and there. Problem is that they will not give you PD with results so you can't order cheap glasses online afterwards


They have to issue it to you by law, so just ask for it
quincemeister09/07/2018 14:16

They have to issue it to you by law, so just ask for it


PD is not part of the eye test, I tries it twice last few times and they would not give it, obviously if you are buying glasses from them then that is different
haggisheid2 m ago

PD is not part of the eye test, I tries it twice last few times and they …PD is not part of the eye test, I tries it twice last few times and they would not give it, obviously if you are buying glasses from them then that is different


Most will tell you if you ask that or use this link.
static.zennioptical.com/med…pdf
Can someone explain to me why it's important to have a test if you don't notice any problems with your eyes? Are there conditions that get worse over time if not treated?

I'm not that keen on someone, presumably who has an interest in selling products, pointing out subtle issues and convincing me that I have problems.
alg26 m ago

In Scotland, the majority of people are entitled to an eye test every 2 …In Scotland, the majority of people are entitled to an eye test every 2 years - unless they have a health issue, or family history which allows an annual check. Examples are things like diabetes, glaucoma, etc.


Thanks alg, I'll edit that bit now
I had a free eye test at Vision Express because I have diabetes and received a prescription. Weeks later my sight was a little ropey and thought I would take up the offer of the Specsavers free test which included a retinopathy scan. I assumed this was a company offer but does in fact constitute an NHS test, it appears to have nothing to do with the company offering the test. Having the second test then voids any optical vouchers that you may be entitled to. A lesson learnt.
eye tests have been free in scotland for many years, well nothing is free, but you know what i mean.... Whilst Scotland is still in the uk, title probably needs updated.

great post though, heat added.
Edited by: "Aberdonia" 9th Jul 2018
diabeticguy16 m ago

I had a free eye test at Vision Express because I have diabetes and …I had a free eye test at Vision Express because I have diabetes and received a prescription. Weeks later my sight was a little ropey and thought I would take up the offer of the Specsavers free test which included a retinopathy scan. I assumed this was a company offer but does in fact constitute an NHS test, it appears to have nothing to do with the company offering the test. Having the second test then voids any optical vouchers that you may be entitled to. A lesson learnt.


As a diabetic, the NHS should be doing a retinopathy for you annually anyway - at least NHS Scotland do. You then get results about a month later. Mine have shown early signs of diabetic retinopathy for the past few years...
raefil09/07/2018 14:08

Why do I feel cynical when large companies like "Specsavers," offer Free …Why do I feel cynical when large companies like "Specsavers," offer Free eye tests?Bit like the very cheap MOT tests on your car, we all know what happens there!


I think it really depends on where you go - after getting an eye test at a reputable (expensive) opticians a few years back, I got glasses made at Asda. When I went back the following year, the opticians said that the Asda produced glasses didn't match the prescription.

So I've stayed with the opticians, and every year they've just said as the prescription hasn't really changed, the only reason for me to get new glasses is me wanting a change.
This is probably the best thread to ask the question. I have a very low prescription of 1.50. Will I be any any way damaging my sight by using off the shelf glasses that match that prescription ?
TylerDurdenUK6 m ago

This is probably the best thread to ask the question. I have a very low …This is probably the best thread to ask the question. I have a very low prescription of 1.50. Will I be any any way damaging my sight by using off the shelf glasses that match that prescription ?


No issues.
drspa4448 m ago

Can someone explain to me why it's important to have a test if you don't …Can someone explain to me why it's important to have a test if you don't notice any problems with your eyes? Are there conditions that get worse over time if not treated?I'm not that keen on someone, presumably who has an interest in selling products, pointing out subtle issues and convincing me that I have problems.


You could be getting problems you are not aware of and they can spot them very early and treat them, hopefully in time, see link
allabouteyes.com/blo…ed/
drspa441 h, 42 m ago

Can someone explain to me why it's important to have a test if you don't …Can someone explain to me why it's important to have a test if you don't notice any problems with your eyes? Are there conditions that get worse over time if not treated?I'm not that keen on someone, presumably who has an interest in selling products, pointing out subtle issues and convincing me that I have problems.


The sight test should be a health check too. The optician can view the blood vessels in your retina, which gives insight into what's happening in the rest of the body. I work at an opticians and a brain tumor and stroke have
been spotted and treated because of a routine test!
TylerDurdenUK09/07/2018 15:12

This is probably the best thread to ask the question. I have a very low …This is probably the best thread to ask the question. I have a very low prescription of 1.50. Will I be any any way damaging my sight by using off the shelf glasses that match that prescription ?


google.co.uk/amp…amp
Recommended interval is every 2 years for an eye test, not one for most people. Unless over 80, under 16, monitoring something ect
bhara50 m ago

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/health/need-glasses-reading-you-could-4882587.amp


My glasses for work came from Specsavers after getting test done there. The ready readers are really for home use / reading at bedtime etc.
SpecSavers will also offer a free contact lens check as long as you’re a new contact lens customer and haven’t had it done with them before. Vision Express (which has bought out Tesco Opticians is also the same). Hope this helps
TylerDurdenUK2 h, 27 m ago

This is probably the best thread to ask the question. I have a very low …This is probably the best thread to ask the question. I have a very low prescription of 1.50. Will I be any any way damaging my sight by using off the shelf glasses that match that prescription ?


I’d recommended speaking to your local professionally qualified optometrist about this instead of chancing your eye health to a bunch of random people on the Internet. But that’s just me
If you have a history of Glaucoma in your family, you're entitled for free checks (depends on the place whether or not they'll accept grandparents or just parents).

drspa4409/07/2018 14:32

Can someone explain to me why it's important to have a test if you don't …Can someone explain to me why it's important to have a test if you don't notice any problems with your eyes? Are there conditions that get worse over time if not treated?I'm not that keen on someone, presumably who has an interest in selling products, pointing out subtle issues and convincing me that I have problems.



There are a lot of degenerative eye conditions that are untreatable but if caught early enough and managed, can ensure that you won't go blind.

Also, it's very common not to notice that you need glasses
Why do prisoners on leave get free eye tests?!?
abigsmurf1 h, 23 m ago

If you have a history of Glaucoma in your family, you're entitled for free …If you have a history of Glaucoma in your family, you're entitled for free checks (depends on the place whether or not they'll accept grandparents or just parents).There are a lot of degenerative eye conditions that are untreatable but if caught early enough and managed, can ensure that you won't go blind.Also, it's very common not to notice that you need glasses


If you are over 40 and you have an IMMEDIATE relative with glaucoma, you can get a free NHS exam annually. Absolutely not grandparents. Not any place.
Peplle sau I ned glesses for workin on mi computr .... Iv neffer notished ony priblems
As someone else has said, 2 year check ups is normal for people between 16 and 70 unless they're diabetic, have glaucoma (Or immediate relative with glaucoma) or they are considered (by the optometrist) at risk of some pathologies, or likely to have frequent changes in prescription (again, this is in the opinion of your optometrist and is pretty rare).
If you have a change in vision, you may request an early examination (this doesn't include "I lost my specs / broke my specs") This is only for NHS examinations, if you want to pay privately (or can blag a free private exam) you pay your money and take your choice.
Edited by: "graybags" 9th Jul 2018
TylerDurdenUK4 h, 37 m ago

This is probably the best thread to ask the question. I have a very low …This is probably the best thread to ask the question. I have a very low prescription of 1.50. Will I be any any way damaging my sight by using off the shelf glasses that match that prescription ?


Depends if it's +1.50 OR -1 50. The latter isn't available "off the shelf". The former is, but will not be set up to your PD etc.
Heat for effort. Awesome.
Does SpeckyFourEyes have any free delivery code or Free deliver for over (insert amount) spend?? Another question how long is the delivery time since i reallu need new pair as mine broke

I am planning to buy a couple chsao pairs for daily use and backup and 1 pair of sunglasses
Edited by: "Norseg" 9th Jul 2018
I'm struggling to see the deal here.
Only thing i get free is an eye sight test due to me being a Diabetic. The government say every 2 years if it's under control but always insist on it yearly.
The free test changes from company to company. I tried Tesco opticians and it was like a cattle market. Them I tried optical express recently and it was much more professional and personal. Do you need the machine that blows air into your eye to test for glaucoma. I got a free test but now want to go back to the same person 2 years later and pay she was that good.
quincemeister13 h, 41 m ago

They have to issue it to you by law, so just ask for it


Do they? How can I prove it to them?
UIf they refuse to give you your prescription you could try quoting the Opticians Act 1989 to them. I don't know how to post a link but you can find a pdf if you google "Rules and Regulations On Sight Testing and Contact Lens Fitting and Supply 1 Sight Testing". Scroll down to: Linking of sight tests to purchase of spectacles 1.8 s26(4)
I'm no expert, but it looks as though this covers the buyers rights to get their prescription with no obligation to buy from the optician who did the eye test.
I haven't asked for mine before but plan to next time I go for a test, so I'll try this if they refuse.
Edited by: "Cinnabar" 10th Jul 2018
Excellent thread, well done!
lucyferror09/07/2018 14:10

Getting free eye test is not w problem considering constant offers here …Getting free eye test is not w problem considering constant offers here and there. Problem is that they will not give you PD with results so you can't order cheap glasses online afterwards


Ask them to see your prescription on screen while looking at frames and options.
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