Having an eye test (easy read)

Advice on having an eye test for people with learning disabilities. 

This is an easy read document

You need to have your eyes checked

A man with a clipboard

Opticians test your eyes.

They are also called optometrists.
We call them opticians in this factsheet.

An eye test

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.

A calendar

You should have an eye test every year.

Your optician will tell you if you need your eyes checked more often.

A man with a clipboard

Everyone can have their eyes tested.

You don’t have to be able to read or speak to have an eye test.

A man in a wheelchair

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:

Two people

You are aged under 16.

You are under 19 and in full-time education.

Someone waving

You are aged 60 or over.

Eye icon

You are registered as sight impaired or severely sight impaired.

A machine

You have diabetes.

Diabetes is a health problem that can affect your eyesight.

Pointing to an eye

You have glaucoma.

Glaucoma is an eye problem that could stop you seeing properly.

A family

You are 40 or over, and your mother, father, brother, sister, son or daughter has been diagnosed with glaucoma.

A doctor

Your eye doctor has told you that you are at risk of glaucoma.


You receive certain benefits like Income Support.

Having your eyes tested is very important

An eye

An eye test can find out if your eyes are healthy. An eye test also checks for health problems like diabetes.

Pointing to an eye

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.

Thumbs up

Wearing the right glasses can help you to see better.

Holding a microphone

We need good eyesight to help us to communicate and to be independent.

Two people

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.

A form

You can fill in our form and take it to the optician.

The form is called 'About me and my eyes'.

You can fill in the form with a supporter.

It will help the optician make sure your eye test goes well.

What happens when you go for an eye test?

Two people

The optician will talk with you about your eyes and your eyesight.

You can take your Health Passport to show the optician.

An eye test

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.

An eye test

The optician will use a light to look at your eyes.

For some parts of the eye test the room will be quite dark.

An eye test

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.

Pictures of objects

The optician will ask you to look at objects, pictures or letters.

Looking at a picture

You can use words, signing, pointing or other ways to say what you see.

Your supporter can help you to communicate what you see.

A man holding a clipboard

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.

A test frame

The optician will put a ‘test frame’ on your face.

Blurry vision of a tablet

They will put different lenses in the test frame to check which lenses help you see things clearly.

Clear vision of a tablet

Lenses can help you see things more clearly.

A lens test

If you can’t wear test frames, the optician can hold the lenses for you to look through.

Eye test equipment

During the eye test the optician may use some equipment to check your eyes.

A vision test

The optician will test how well you see things at the side of your vision.

Eye drops

The optician may ask to put drops in your eyes.

It may feel uncomfortable.

The drops help the optician to see inside your eyes.

Eye machine

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.

A prescription

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.

A doctor

If the optician has found that you have an eye problem, they might tell you to see an eye doctor.

A form

We have a form called 'Results of my eye test'.

You can ask the optician to fill this form in.

Health action plan

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.


For more information see our other easy read factsheets about glasses, go to:

Easy read resources about glasses