NHS funding in Wales

Find out if you're eligible for an NHS sight test in Wales

Optometrist looking at patients' eyes

This leaflet aims to help you understand whether you’re eligible for a sight test paid for by the NHS (an NHS sight test) or help towards the cost of your glasses or contact lenses.

In Wales, you qualify for an NHS sight test if you:

  • Are aged 60 or over
  • Are registered as partially sighted or blind
  • Have diabetes
  • Have glaucoma or been told by an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) that you’re at risk of glaucoma or
  • Are 40 or over and have a parent, brother, sister, son or daughter who has been diagnosed with glaucoma

You are entitled to an NHS sight test, and may also get a voucher towards the costs of glasses or contact lenses, if you:

  • Are under 16, or under 19 and in full-time education
  • Have been prescribed complex lenses and are eligible for a ‘complex lens voucher’ (your optometrist can tell you more about this)
  • Are on, or your partner is on, Income Support, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Tax Credit or income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Receive, or your partner receives, Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
  • Are awarded Universal Credit and meet the criteria on earnings limit
  • Are entitled to, or named on, a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate or
  • Are named on a valid NHS certificate for full help with health costs (HC2W)

If you are named on an NHS certificate for partial help with health costs (HC3W), you may also get help towards the costs of glasses or contact lenses.

If you are on a low income, you may be able to get help with the cost of sight tests, glasses and contact lenses through the NHS Low Income Scheme.

If you live in Wales, most optometrists can also offer an eye health examination (paid for by the NHS) if you experience an eye problem that develops suddenly or you:

  • Are referred to them by a doctor or another healthcare professional
  • Have sight in one eye only
  • Have a hearing difficulty
  • Have retinitis pigmentosa (a group of rare genetic disorders that involves a breakdown and loss of cells in the retina.) or
  • Are at risk of eye disease due to your ethnic background

More information

A lot of the information in this leaflet is taken from the Wales Eye Care Services website.

Resources for your practice

NHS funding Wales leafletDownload our patient leaflet on NHS funding in Wales.