NHS Eye Examinations

All NHS patients are welcome at Airedale Opticians.

You are entitled to a basic NHS eye examination if you fulfil any of the criteria below. The basic test allows us to check your vision and look for any abnormality. It doesn’t allow us to use our experience, knowledge, skills and latest equipment to diagnose, advise, monitor an eye condition. We recommend you upgrade your basic NHS test to the Advanced OCT examination to receive our world class care and attention.

NHS-funded eye examinations are available at a frequency as detailed below based on age and health conditions. You may be recommended to be seen sooner if advised by the optometrist at your last eye examination or in the event of changes to your vision – such as after cataract surgery. If you wish to have a further test before you are due, then the eye examination will need to be privately paid – see our professional fees page for current eye exam charges.

Funded eye examinations are provided by the NHS solely to determine the need for glasses to correct a vision problem. NHS England will not provide a funded eye examination to investigate other eye problems, including emergency appointments, these will need to be investigated in a paid private eye examination, this includes tests booked on recommendation from a GP or hospital.

Routine Appointments

You are entitled to an NHS-funded sight test annually if:

  • You are under 16.
  • You are 70 or over.
  • You are been diagnosed with diabetes or glaucoma.
  • You are 40 or over and your mother, father, brother, sister, son or daughter has been diagnosed with glaucoma.
  • You have been advised by an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) that you are at risk of glaucoma.

You are entitled to a NHS-funded sight test every two years if:

  • You are between 16 and 18 and in full-time education (not including paying apprenticeship schemes).
  • You are 60 or over.
  • You are registered as blind or partially sighted.
  • You are a prisoner on leave from prison.
  • You were issued a ‘complex’ prescription, as defined by the NHS*, at your last test.
  • You are named on a valid NHS certificate for full help with health costs (HC2).
  • You or your partner receive Income Support.
  • You or your partner receive Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (not Contribution-based).
  • You or your partner receive Pension Credit Guarantee Credit.
  • You or your partner receive Income-based Employment and Support Allowance (not Contribution-based).
  • You or your partner are entitled to, or named on, a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate.

Please bring proof of eligibility to your eye examination.

You are entitled to a NHS voucher contribution towards your glasses after a new test if any of the following apply. Vouchers are only issued after a change in prescription or if your glasses have ‘fair wear & tear’ – normally after two year’s wear. Contribution amounts vary based on your prescription and can only be used once.

  • You are under 16.
  • You are between 16 and 18 and in full-time education (not including paying apprenticeship schemes).
  • You are named on a valid NHS certificate for full help with health costs (HC2).
  • You are a prisoner on leave from prison.
  • You or your partner receive Income Support.
  • You or your partner receive Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (not Contribution-based).
  • You or your partner receive Pension Credit Guarantee Credit.
  • You or your partner receive Income-based Employment and Support Allowance (not Contribution-based).
  • You or your partner are entitled to, or named on, a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate.
  • If you have been prescribed ‘complex lenses’, as defined by the NHS*, during your test, you will receive a small NHS contribution towards your glasses if you are not otherwise eligible for a voucher under the criteria listed above.
  • If you are named on an NHS certificate for partial help with health costs (HC3), you may get some help towards the cost of your sight test and spectacles. However, depending on the amounts specified on the certificate and your prescription requirements, you might not receive any contribution. Please enquire on booking for details.
  • The NHS defines a complex lens as “either a lens with a power in any one meridian of plus or minus 10 dioptres or more; or a prism-controlled bifocal lens” (this is a specific design of bifocal lens that uses different prisms for the reading and distance parts – a standard bifocal with prism in the prescription would not qualify). Please enquire for more details if you are uncertain.