Eye InfoIssues and Information


  • Does the eye examination hurt?

    Does the eye examination hurt?

    No! However sometimes we need to gently hold the eyelids if you blink a lot. The eye pressure test (tonometry - usually for adults ) can cause a tickle/blink sensation. Dilating/cycloplegic drops, if required, can cause initial discomfort - a slight sting for 30 seconds and you will be a little blurred and light sensitive for a few hours afterwards - therefore, advisable not to drive.

  • Will I always need glasses after an eye examination?

    Will I always need glasses after an eye examination?

    No! We will advise you if you require glasses or not. Many people do not need glasses but it is still important to have an eye health check. We will advise you if your previous specs are still okay to use - you may still decide to have a new pair, of course!

  • Does wearing glasses make your eyes worse?

    Does wearing glasses make your eyes worse?

    No! Eyes can change with time and then stabilise (and sometimes change for the better!) Some prescriptions, such as those for presbyopia - which is the normal ageing process of people in their 40’s - will almost always increase with time. Some eye conditions such as Lazy Eye (amblyopia ) will worsen if glasses are not worn as advised. Some people will experience headaches, eyestrain and blur if they don’t wear their glasses as advised.

  • Can anyone wear contact lenses?

    Can anyone wear contact lenses?

    No - however, many prescriptions are now available and there are no age restrictions. You will need to book an appointment to check your suitability.

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NHS Eligibility

You may be eligible for a (free) NHS sight test if you are in the following categories-

  • * Children under 16 (and under 19 and in full time education).
  • Adults over 60.
  • Those registered blind or partially sighted (partially or severely sight impaired).
  • Those over 40 with a direct relative diagnosed with glaucoma.
  • * If you’ve been advised that you’re eligible for a complex lens voucher.
  • Those diagnosed with diabetes or glaucoma.
  • Those advised by an ophthalmologist that you’re at risk of glaucoma.
  • Prisoner on leave from prison.
  • * Receive certain benefits (Pension Credit Guarantee, income based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income based Employment and Support Allowance, Universal Credit, NHS tax credit exemption certificate, NHS certificate for full help with health costs (HC2).
  • * HC3 NHS health certificate may get partial help.


* You may get help towards the cost of spectacles.
* Children under 16 may also be entitled to repair vouchers if glasses are broken.


NHS Choices has advice and videos for eye examinations and more information on NHS eligibility here.

Ageing Eyes

Free Eye Tests for Over 60's

Aging eyes require regular eye examinations to pick up any problems and help you to maintain your vision.  Aging eyes and failing vision are linked to falls, so as you get older you are more likely to fall.

It is normal for our eyes to change as a product of ageing.  Normal changes include losing the ability to focus on things that are close-up (presbyopia), finding that it takes longer to adapt to changing lighting conditions and finding that we need more light to see things.  Everyone over the age of 60 is entitled to a free NHS sight test.  Just call in or phone to make an appointment.

We may sometimes need to use dilating drops to make the pupils larger so can can get an even better view of the back of the eye. This is the best way to find some common eye diseases that have no early signs or symptoms. If you already wear glasses we can check them to see if they are still the optimal prescription for your eyes.  Some eyes change rapidly and others slowly - we’re all different.

Aging Eye Issues

Give us a call right away if you:

  • Suddenly cannot see or everything looks blurry
  • Sudden floaters (spots in your vision)
  • See flashes of light
  • Have eye pain
  • Experience double vision
  • Have redness or swelling of your eye or eyelid

Protect your eyes from too much sunlight by wearing sunglasses that block ultraviolet (UV) radiation and a hat with a wide brim when you are outside. Healthy habits, like not smoking, making smart food choices, and maintaining a healthy weight can also help protect your vision.


A Child's Eye Exam

Some children may have vision screening done at school (between the ages of four and five). However, the earlier any problems are picked up, the better the outcome. If there are problems and they are not picked up at an early age, the child may have permanently reduced vision in one or both eyes.

If you have any concerns about your child’s eyes, or if there is a history of squint or lazy eye in the family, do not wait for the vision screening at school. Take your child to a local optometrist for a sight test. This is free under the NHS for children under 16.

Your child does not have to be able to read or talk to have a sight test.

Poor vision due to refractive errors (such as long and short sightedness) do not usually cause health issues but can seriously hinder educational achievements if left untreated.

It’s difficult to keep up with your classmates if you can’t see properly. You rarely hear young children complain about their vision since they may not be aware of what normal vision is.

Amblyopia (Lazy Eye) can be treated if detected before the age of 7 - after this age it is extremely difficult to restore the vision of the lazy eye.

The type of problems your child might have:

  • Long and short-sightedness
  • Astigmatism
  • Lazy Eye
  • Squint
  • Colour blindness

See our article on Sun and Sunshine in the BLOG for info on how to protect your child’s eyes from the sun.

A Visit to the Optician

This video, produced by the College of Optometrists, shows Robert's trip to the Optician's for an eye exam.


It may be useful to show this video to your child before his or her first visit to us, in order to help them understand what to expect and to learn that we are not at all scary!

For further reading, check out the College of Optometrists website.

Local Enhanced Eye Care Scheme/Minor Eye Conditions Service (LES/MECS)

We are part of the (LES/MECS)

Although this is now renamed for the Harrogate area as Minor Eye Care Scheme (MECS) - It is still LES for other areas in N Yorks, but both are now running (confusing, we know!) The LES is a specialised free service for people over 18 and covers diagnosis and treatment of minor eye conditions such as red eyes, sudden floaters, mild trauma, unexplained blurred or double vision, symptoms of dry eye assessment and glaucoma referral and refinement.

The aim of the Minor Eye Conditions Service scheme is to:

  • provide a timely assessment of the needs of a patient presenting with an eye condition
  • reduce unnecessary referrals to the hospital eye services
  • reduce patient anxiety and increase capacity within the overburdened hospital eye health services
  • provide a more cost effective service with a greater number of patients being managed within the community setting
Have a look at the North Yorks Local Optometric Committee website for further reading of the LES/MECS.