If you are a UK resident, you can get a free NHS eye examination in Scotland.

This is not just to test your sight – it’s a thorough examination to:

  • check the health of your eyes
  • find any eye problems before they become more serious
  • look for signs of other health problems.

If you are a UK resident who is living abroad part-time or visiting Scotland, the rules are more complicated. You will need to ask an optician’s practice whether you can have a free NHS eye examination.

Where do I get my free NHS eye examination?

You can get your eyes examined free of charge by any optometrist in Scotland who provides NHS services.

An optometrist is a health professional who is trained to examine your eyes to look for signs of eye disease and to check your sight.

Most opticians’ practices have an optometrist who provides NHS services.

If you have an eye test in England, you may have to pay for it. You cannot then claim a refund in Scotland even if you are a Scottish resident. Free NHS eye examinations for all are only available if they take place in Scotland.

For more information see NHSInform "Am I entitled to a free NHS eye test?

Last Reviewed: 20/07/2016