Many of us will often complain that we need to get our eyes checked because we can’t see properly or have to strain to see certain things, either in the distance or up close.

But how many of us book an eye test when we need to and have you ever wondered how often you need to go to the opticians?

We have done some research for you, including the recommended period between examinations, how much it could cost you and who qualifies for a free NHS eye test.

How often should you have an eye test?

It’s recommended that you have an eye test every two years, according to Specsavers.

However, the eye specialists add that attending earlier is best “if any eye problems occur or if advised by your optometrist”.

It should take around 20 minutes to have an eye test but this can depend on the patient.

Specsavers explained: “Someone older, perhaps with high blood pressure, diabetes, glaucoma or other ailments can take much longer.

“Your optician will determine what clinical tests are needed to provide the correct information for new spectacles or contact lenses; if necessary, they might refer the patient for a medical opinion.”

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Who is entitled to a free NHS eye test?

Some people may be able to have a free NHS eye test. You could be entitled if you:

  • are under 16
  • are 16, 17 or 18 and in full-time education (this includes being taught full-time at a school, college, university or at home)
  • are 60 or over
  • are registered as partially sighted or blind
  • have been diagnosed with diabetes or glaucoma
  • are 40 or over and your mother, father, sibling or child has been diagnosed with glaucoma
  • have been advised by an eye doctor (ophthalmologist) that you're at risk of glaucoma
  • are a prisoner on leave from prison
  • are eligible for an NHS complex lens voucher – your optician can advise you about your entitlement

Others may also be entitled to a free NHS eye test if you or your partner receive, or you're under the age of 20 and the dependant of someone receiving certain DWP payments – see the full list here.

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How much is an eye test at Specsavers, Boots and Vision Express?

At Specsavers, an eye test will usually cost £20-£25 but this can vary depending on different factors including the location of the store, age of the patient and certain health conditions.

If you need to pay for your eye test at Boots, it will cost you £29.50 – some offers are available including a student discount and paying via Klarna.

At Vision Express there are different eye tests to choose from but the advanced option will cost £30.

However, similar to other places, this will vary depending on age, government benefits and medical conditions.