Thornaby Medical Centre, TS17 0EE. Tel: 01642 751048
North Ormesby Health Village, TS3 6AL.Tel: 01642 225671

NHS Sight Test


You qualify for a free NHS-funded sight test if:

  • you're aged under 16
  • you're aged 16, 17 or 18 and are in full-time education
  • you're aged 60 or over
  • you're registered as partially sighted (sight impaired) or blind (severely sight impaired)
  • you've been diagnosed with or glaucoma
  • you're 40 or over, and your mother, father, brother, sister, son or daughter has been diagnosed with glaucoma
  • you've been advised by an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) that you're at risk of glaucoma
  • you're a prisoner on leave from prison
  • you're eligible for an NHS complex lens voucher – your optometrist (optician) can advise you about your entitlement

You're also entitled to a free NHS sight test if you:

  • receive Income Support
  • receive Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (not Contribution-based)
  • receive Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
  • receive Income-based Employment and Support Allowance 
  • are awarded Universal Credit
  • are entitled to, or named on, a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate
  • you are named on a valid NHS certificate for full help with health costs (HC2)

People named on an NHS certificate for partial help with health costs (HC3) may also get help.

Optometrists recommend that most people should get their eyes tested every two years. However, in some circumstances, they may recommend more frequent NHS sight tests – for example, if you:

  • are a child wearing glasses
  • have diabetes (and you are not being monitored by a Diabetic Screening Sevice)
  • are aged 40 or over and have a family history of glaucoma
  • are aged 70 or over

Private sight test.

If you do not qualify for an NHS sight test you can be seen for a sight test privately.

What is required in a sight test

sighttest The Sight Testing (Examination and Prescription) (No. 2) Regulations 1989 (SI 1230 of 1989), (which apply to both NHS and private patients) say:

… when a doctor or optician tests the sight of another person, it shall be his duty-
(a) to perform, for the purpose of detecting signs of injury, disease or abnormality in the eye or elsewhere-
(i) an examination of the external surface of the eye and its immediate vicinity,
(ii) an intra-ocular examination, either by means of an ophthalmoscope or by such other means as the doctor or optician considers appropriate,
(iii) such additional examinations as appear to the doctor or optician to be clinically necessary;

In layman terms this means we check power of eyes to see if spectacles are required.
Then we look at front of the eye to see if it is healthy.
Then we look at back of the eye to see if it is healthy.
We then check that both eyes work together correctly. This is a Binocular vision test.
In patients who are deemed in certain risk categories, such as a family history of glaucoma, we will then check if the pressure in the eye is not too low or too high. This uses a puff of air to check the eye pressure.
In patients who are deemed in certain risk categories, we will assess the visual field using a machine which flashes lights onto a screen.
If the visual fields are failed we can either refer you to your doctor or repeat it again. There will be a fee for any additional appointments.

Advanced Eye Examinations

Goldmann Dilation & Goldmann Eye Pressure Test as standard. 40min appointment.
Special drops are used to dilate the pupil. This allows a much more comprehensive examination of the retina and optic disc. Eye pressures are taken using the gold standard Goldmann Tonometer. In addition at the Thornaby Practice retinal photographs are taken.

Dry & Watery eye assessment


Dry eye

Do you get sore, tired eyes?
Do they feel like there is something in them when there isn't?
Does your vision cloud up or mist over after reading for a while?
All of these are symptoms of dry eye and we would recommend you book in for a dry eye assessment.
An examination of the anterior eye looking specifically at the lid margin and meibomian glands. Special diagnostic dyes are used to assess the tear film.
A Schirmer test is done to assess tear production.

Watery eyes

Do your eyes water excessively?
This also is common sign of dry eyes.
Another cause can be a blocked tear duct. This may need onward referral to an ophthalmologist for surgery to the tear duct.

Emergency eye care scheme.

emergency At the Thornaby practice we can provide a service for acute problems with your eyes. If you have had new symptoms such as a painful eye, red eye or sudden vision loss within the last 48hrs we can assess you under the NHS.
The criteria for inclusion of patients may include the following:
  • Loss of vision including transient loss
  • Ocular pain
  • Systemic disease affecting the eye
  • Differential diagnosis of the red eye
  • Foreign body and emergency contact lens removal (not by the fitting practitioner)
  • Dry eye
  • Epiphora (watery eye)
  • Trichiasis (in growing eyelashes)
  • Differential diagnosis of lumps and bumps in the vicinity of the eye
  • Recent onset of Diplopia (Double vision)
  • Flashes/floaters
  • Retinal lesions
  • Field defects
  • GP referral

Retinal Photographs

A high resolution digital photograph enables the optometrist to better observe the health of the eye over time. This can make detecting the early signs of disease much easier.

Member of the Association of Optometrists Member of the College of Optometrists Member of North East Contact Lens Society

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