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You don't appreciate the importance of your sight until you start to lose it. Everyone should have regular checks with their opticians but there are certain groups of patients particularly at risk:

  • Children with a family history of squint or 'lazy eye'
  • Patients with diabetes or high blood pressure
  • Patients with family history of glaucoma
  • Diabetic screening

Your optician has the skill, equipment and expertise to test your eyesight more readily than your doctor. Make use of them and do not be put off by examination charges. Your sight is worth much more.

You will be exempt from these fees anyway if you are in one of the following categories:

  • Under 16
  • Under 19 and in full-time education
  • Receiving income support
  • Diabetic
  • Receiving, or the partner of someone receiving, family credit
  • Registered blind or partially sighted
  • Suffering from glaucoma, or have a family history of glaucoma (parent, sibling or a child sufferer) and you are 40 or over

One can often find it frightening finding the sudden appearance of blood over the white of the eye. This is called subconjunctival haemorrhage and is caused by a broken vessel. It is no danger to your sight, but it is worth getting non-urgent appointment for the doctor to check your blood pressure. The blood itself will naturally absorb, like a bruise.

Even very young children can have a sight test. They do not need to be able to read or recognise letters to be adequately tested.

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