Why is an Eye Test so important?

Having an eye test won't just tell you if you need new glasses or a change of prescription – it's also an important eye health check.

This check can often pick up the first signs of an eye condition before you notice any changes in your vision. This can lead to you getting vital treatment at the right time, which could save your sight.

An eye examination can also spot many general health problems such as diabetes.


How often should I have an eye test?

Having an eye examination at least once every two years should be part of everyone’s health care routine.

What should I do if I notice a change in my sight?

Visit your optician or GP if you're concerned about any aspect of your vision at any time.

What should I do in an emergency?

You should go to a hospital Accident and Emergency Department as soon as possible if you:

  • Have a sudden serious change in your vision
  • Lose all or part of your vision in one eye or both eyes
  • Have an accident involving your eyes
  • Suddenly start seeing flashing lights or floaters in your vision.

What about my child's sight?

Children often don't complain about their sight, but they may show signs of not being able to see properly.

Things to look out for include:

  • sitting close to the TV
  • holding objects very close to their face
  • blinking a lot
  • eye rubbing
  • one eye turning in or out

If you think your child is having any sort of sight problems, take them to an optician for further investigation.

Children don't have to be able to read letters to have their eyes examined. Like adults, children should have regular eye checks at least every 2 years.

Useful Links

The NHS Choices website provides an overview of eye health.

Find out more about how the Eye works and Eye Examinations.

Find out if you can get an eye test for free on the NHS.

Find your nearest NHS optician.