An eye examination is a battery of tests performed by an ophthalmologist, optometrist, or orthoptist assessing vision and ability to focus on and discern objects, as well as other tests and examinations pertaining to the eyes. All people should have periodic and thorough eye examinations as part of routine primary care, especially since many eye diseases are silent or asymptomatic.
Eye examinations may detect potentially treatable blinding eye diseases, ocular manifestations of systemic disease, or signs of tumours or other anomalies of the brain.
Over 400,000 eye examinations are conducted every year in Oxfordshire by approximately 100 registered optometrists.
Eye examinations are either
NHS eye tests are provided by optometrists to the Department of Health via the General Optical Council (GOC).
The Department of Health estimates that 17.2 million eye examinations were conducted in the UK in the 12 months to 31 March 2004 and, of these, 11.4 million were paid for by the NHS
You are entitled to a free sight test, paid for by the NHS, if:
You are entitled to full help with health costs, including sight tests, if you or your partner receive:
You can also get a free NHS sight test if you’re entitled to, or named on, a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate.
If you’re eligible for help with NHS costs under the NHS Low Income Scheme, you can claim some or all of the cost of sight tests for you, your partner and your children.
When you go for your sight test, you should tell your optometrist or optician that you are entitled to a free NHS sight test. They will give you a form called GOS1 to fill in and sign.
You may need to provide proof of your age, for example, to prove that you are over 60. You should show your optometrist an official document that gives your name and date of birth, such as your:
You may need to provide other proof of your entitlement to a free NHS sight test, depending on your circumstances. For example, you may need to take some of the documents or information below with you to your appointment:
If you are eligible for partial or limited help with your health costs, show your HC3 certificate to your optometrist and ask if you are entitled to help with the cost of your sight test. They will give you a form called GOS5 to fill in and sign.