Here are some frequently asked questions about our eye care. If your question cannot be answered here please feel free to call the practice and we will answer any questions you have.

At what age should I bring my Children in for an Eye Examination?

We generally recommend sight tests for children four years old and upwards, though you can bring them to see us sooner if you would like.

Good vision is vital for early years education. Vision or eye health problems may not always be noticeable, so we recommend that you bring them in for a sight test so that we can ensure that your child is seeing well and has healthy eyes.

Symptoms that might indicate your child is having problems with their vision are the rubbing of eyes, squinting, turning or tilting their head, losing their place or using a finger to follow the line when reading, moving their head or mouthing words whilst reading, headaches, red eyes, wandering eyes or complaints of blurred vision.

How often should I have my Eyes Examined?

You should have your eyes examined regularly, at least every 2 years. However, those suffering from Glaucoma or Diabetes, for example, should have their eyes examined more often. If you start to suffer from headaches, double vision, blurred vision or any other abnormality in your vision book in for an Eye Examination straight away.

Do I need to see my Doctor first?

No. All you need to do is make an appointment.
Please telephone 02920 709526.

Am I Entitled to a Free Test?

You are entitled to an NHS Eye Examination if:

  • You are under 16 years of age
  • You are under 19 years of age and in full time education
  • You are 60 or over
  • You or your partner receive Income Support, Income Based Jobseekers Allowance, Income Related Employment and Support Allowance, Pension Credit, or Tax Credit.
  • You are named on a valid HC2W Certificate
  • You are registered severely sight impaired

  • You suffer from Diabetes or Glaucoma
  • You are considered at risk of Glaucoma by an Ophthalmologist
  • You are 40 years over and are the parent/sibling/child of a person with Glaucoma
  • You are a prisoner on leave from prison
  • You have been prescribed complex lenses under the NHS optical voucher scheme.

What is Presbyopia?

Presbyopia, or the need for reading glasses, is a normal and natural process – though it can be very annoying!

The lens inside the eye is flexible in childhood. This means that it can change its shape, altering the focus so that you can see near tasks like books and phone screens.

This lens is the only part of your body which never stops growing. Due to this, the lens becomes more and more dense over time. It eventually becomes so dense that it can no longer change its shape to focus close tasks – this is when you begin to need reading glasses.

People usually begin to struggle with reading when they are between 40-45 years old. This may be earlier if you are long sighted, or later if you are short sighted. It gradually worsens over time, and you will need to update your prescription every two years or so, until things stabilise at around 70 years of age.

Presbyopia can be corrected with Spectacles or Contact Lenses, depending on your prescription.

What are Cataracts?

Cataracts are caused when the lens inside the eye clouds over to become misty. This happens to everyone over time, usually from the 60s onwards.

It can be brought on earlier in some circumstances, for example following trauma or surgery, in people with diabetes, or if there is a family history of cataracts developing early.

Early cataracts can be managed with glasses and/or contact lenses. If they progress enough, however, they will require cataract surgery.

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a type of ocular issue where the optic nerve, which relays information from the eye to the brain, becomes damaged. This causes vision loss in the peripheral vision, which can eventually cause missing patches in your sight or tunnel vision.

What is Macular Degeqneration (AMD)?

Age-related Macular degeneration, or AMD, is the biggest cause of sight loss in the UK.

It is caused by age changes at the back of the eye, affecting the macula, which is the most sensitive part of the retina that makes up the central part of your vision. These age changes can alter the vision in a number of ways, most commonly causing distortion in the vision.

What is Dry Eye Syndrome?

Dry Eye Syndrome is the decline of the quality or quantity of tears that normally bathe our eyes, keeping them clean and healthy.

Symptoms include burning, itching, gritty feeling in eyes and occasionally watery eyes. Whilst the condition cannot be cured it can be managed using lid hygiene and with medications that we can supply.

What is the difference between Bifocals and Varifocals?

Bifocals have a visible line on the lens and have two distinct areas, usually for distance and reading.

Varifocal lenses have three main focal areas: far distance, intermediate (computer) distance, and close. These areas are smoothly blended into one for natural vision at most distances. However, there is some slight blur at the edge of the lens. This means that you do need to look through the centre of the lens, turning your head if necessary, rather than looking at things out of the corner of your eye.

What is an OCT scan?

OCT stands for Optical Coherence Tomography.

This machine scans the inside of the eye, providing highly detailed images of your internal ocular structures. This allows a more accurate and in-depth examination of the ocular health, aiding in diagnosis and management of any ocular issues. It also provides peace of mind for yourself as you know a thorough check has been made.

If you have a question which was not featured on this page then please feel free to give the Practice a call on 02920 709526 and our friendly staff will answer any questions you have.