Eyesight FAQ's

Here are some answers to commonly asked questions:

My eyes are fine – why should I have an eye test?

The eye examination is a vital health check and should be part of everyone's normal health regime.

Here are 10 important reasons to have a regular examination:

  1. You only have one pair of eyes. Once lost, your eyesight may never be replaced.
  2. Unlike your teeth, your eyes do not usually hurt when there is something wrong.
  3. The eye examination can pick up early signs of potentially blinding eye conditions, such as glaucoma.
  4. The earlier a problem is detected the greater the chance of successful treatment. This is particularly true for young children and the elderly.
  5. The eye examination can also detect a number of other underlying health problems, such as high blood pressure or diabetes.
  6. An examination checks whether your eyesight needs correcting with spectacles and determines the best form of correction for your vision.
  7. Good vision means working and playing better and safer - in fact it means a better quality of life.
  8. For young people, good eyesight is vital for learning. An eye examination will detect any problems in sight which may be affecting school performance.
  9. Failing eyesight is often taken for granted as people get older. However, by having an eye examination and remedying problems in eyesight, older people can improve their quality of life significantly.
  10. Poor eyesight is dangerous. Make sure that you meet the legal requirement for driving.

How often should I have an eye test?

Eyecare experts recommend that everyone have a complete eye exam every one to three years, depending on age, risk factors, and physical condition. There is no lower age limit and certainly by age 3 it is a good idea to have your child's eyes tested to check that all is developing normally. Over 70 years old an annual eye test is recommended.

I don’t wear my glasses all the time – can I still try contact lenses?

Yes – contact lenses can also be worn on a part-time basis.

I have astigmatism – can I still wear contact lenses?

Yes – there are many different options for people with astigmatism.

Can you get varifocal contact lenses?

Yes – there are several types of bifocal and progressive contact lenses, as well as an option called monovision.

Aren’t contact lenses uncomfortable to wear?

No – most lenses these days are extremely soft and very comfortable.

Aren’t contact lenses difficult to put in?

The first time you try lenses, the optometrist will put in the lenses for you. Like anything new, it's a skill that can be taught and we will give you all the instruction you need to feel confident handling your lenses – most people pick it up and find it gets easier with practice and we are always here if you need more help!

Are contact lenses expensive?

There are many different types of contact lenses, and the optometrist will advise you on what will be the best lens for you in terms of comfort, vision and eye health – they are often much less than the monthly cost of a mobile phone.

Can contact lenses get lost in the eye?

Once a soft lens has been put in, it naturally stays in place even with rapid eye movements during sport. The eyelids are such that a lens cannot be displaced round the back of the eye and disappear into the brain, which is a common misconception!

College of Optometrists General Optical Council British Contact Lens Association Association of Optometrists