NHS Eye Care

Am I entitled to a free NHS eye test?

You qualify for a free NHS-funded sight test if:

  • you’re under 16
  • you’re under 19 and in full-time education
  • you’re 60 or over
  • you’re registered as blind or partially sighted
  • you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes or glaucoma
  • you’re 40 or over, and your mother, father, brother, sister, son or daughter has been diagnosed with glaucoma
  • you’ve been advised by an ophthalmologist (eye specialist) that you’re at risk of glaucoma
  • you’re eligible for an NHS complex lens voucher (if your glasses prescription is very strong)


You’re also entitled to a free NHS sight test if you:

  • receive Income Support
  • receive Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (not Contribution-based)
  • receive Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
  • receive Income-based Employment and Support Allowance (not Contribution-based)
  • are entitled to, or named on, a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate
  • are named on a valid NHS certificate for full help with health costs (HC2)

If you’re named on an NHS certificate for partial help with health costs (HC3), you may get some help towards the cost of your sight test.

How often can I have a free NHS eye test?

Adults and children are normally advised to have a sight test every two years.

However, you may be recommended to have more frequent NHS sight tests, for example, if you:

  • are a child wearing glasses
  • have diabetes
  • are 40 or over and have a family history of glaucoma
  • are 70 or over

If you’re eligible for a free NHS sight test, the NHS pays for it and you will not be charged. We will need the Health and Care number from your medical card and you will be asked to show proof of your entitlement.

 

Will I get help towards the cost of glasses?

You may get an NHS optical voucher to help with the cost if you are:

  • under 16
  • under 19 and in full-time education
  • eligible for an NHS complex lens voucher (if your glasses prescription is very strong)

You may also get an NHS optical voucher if you:

  • receive Income Support
  • receive Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (not Contribution-based)
  • receive Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
  • receive Income-based Employment and Support Allowance (not Contribution-based)
  • are entitled to, or named on, a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate
  • are named on a valid NHS certificate for full help with health costs (HC2)


If you’re named on an NHS certificate for partial help with health costs (HC3), you may also get help towards the cost of your glasses.