Eye treatment

Help with the cost of sight tests is different across the UK.

Sight tests are free for everyone in Scotland.

You qualify for free NHS sight tests in England and Wales, and Health Service sight tests in Northern Ireland, if you meet one of the following criteria:

  • You are aged under 16.
  • You are aged under 19 and are in full-time education.
  • You are aged 60 or over.
  • You are registered blind or are partially sighted.
  • You have been diagnosed with diabetes or glaucoma.
  • You have been advised that you are at risk of glaucoma.
  • You are aged 40 or over and are the parent, brother, sister or child of someone with glaucoma.
  • Your sight test is carried out through the hospital eye department.
  • You receive a valid war pension and have eyesight issues due to your war injury.
  • Your income is low enough (we have more information about the Low Income Scheme).
  • You need complex or powerful lenses.
  • You get Income Support, the guarantee element of Pension Credit, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or income-related Employment and Support Allowance.
  • You get Universal Credit and meet certain criteria.
  • You are entitled to, or named on, a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate.

If you live in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, you qualify for vouchers towards the cost of glasses or contact lenses if you meet one of the following criteria:

The vouchers can be used with any optician. You will need to show proof that you qualify. For example, you could bring any letters showing which benefits you get.

Back to Help with health costs


You may be eligible for free prescriptions if you have cancer. There are also other ways to get help with the cost of medications.

NHS Low Income Scheme

The NHS Low Income Scheme helps people who have a low income to pay for their healthcare costs.