Having an eye test (easy read)
Advice on having an eye test for people with learning disabilities.
Opticians test your eyes.
They are also called optometrists.
We call them opticians in this factsheet.
Having your eyes checked is called an eye examination, an eye test or a sight test.
We will call it an eye test in this factsheet.
You should have an eye test every 2 years.
Your optician will tell you if you need your eyes checked more often.
Everyone can have their eyes tested.
You don’t have to be able to read or speak to have an eye test.
There are different ways to check your eyes.
No-one is too disabled to have their eyes checked.
Many people can get free eye tests.
Some of the reasons people get a free eye test are:
- You are aged under 16.
- You are under 19 and in full-time education.
- You are aged 60 or over.
- You are registered as sight impaired or severely sight impaired.
- You have diabetes.
- Diabetes is a health problem that can affect your eyesight.
- You have glaucoma.
- Glaucoma is an eye problem that could stop you seeing properly.
- You are 40 or over, and your mother, father, brother, sister, son or daughter has been diagnosed with glaucoma.
- Your eye doctor has told you that you are at risk of glaucoma.
- You receive certain benefits like Income Support.
An eye test can find out if your eyes are healthy. An eye test also checks for health problems like diabetes.
Adults with a learning disability are 10 times more likely to have a serious sight problem than other people.
An eye test can check that your eyesight is okay and whether you need new glasses.
Wearing the right glasses can help you to see better.
We need good eyesight to help us to communicate and to be independent.
You can choose to have an eye test at any optician.
You can take a supporter with you for your eye test.
If you need glasses you can buy these at any optician.
There are opticians who can visit you at home.
Ask your optician about this.
You can fill in our form and take it to the optician.
The form is called 'Telling the Optometrist About Me'.
Go to https://www.seeability.org/resources/telling-optometrist-about-me-form to download a copy.
You can fill in the form with a supporter.
It will help the optician make sure your eye test goes well.
The optician will talk with you about your eyes and your eyesight.
You can take your Health Passport to show the optician.
The optician will look at your eyes to see if they are healthy.
The optician will need to get close to you to do this.
The optician will use a light to look at your eyes.
For some parts of the eye test the room will be quite dark.
The optician may ask you to follow a light with your eyes.
This helps them check how your eyes move when you look at things.
The optician will ask you to look at objects, pictures or letters.
You can use words, signing, pointing or other ways to say what you see.
Your supporter can help you to communicate what you see.
Maybe you can’t say or sign what the objects, pictures or letters are.
The optician can still test your eyes by watching how you look at things with your eyes.
The optician will put a ‘test frame’ on your face.
They will put different lenses in the test frame to check which lenses help you see things clearly.
Lenses can help you see things more clearly.
If you can’t wear test frames, the optician can hold the lenses for you to look through.
During the eye test the optician may use some equipment to check your eyes.
The optician will test how well you see things at the side of your vision.
The optician may ask to put drops in your eyes. It may feel uncomfortable.
The drops help the optician to see inside your eyes.
Some machines blow a puff of air onto your eye or touch your eye gently.
This helps test for a serious eye problem called glaucoma.
It does feel uncomfortable but this test is important.
After your eye test the optician will tell you about your eye sight and whether you need new glasses.
They will give you a piece of paper called a prescription.
If the optician says you need new glasses you can get these from any optician you choose.
If the optician has found that you have an eye problem, they might tell you to see an eye doctor.
If you have a health action plan you can add information about your eye test to it.
It is important to share information about your eyesight with others.