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Eye Tests and Vision

It is really important for everyone to have regular eye tests but having an eye test might be a new or difficult experience for some people with a learning disability.
There are lots of things that can be done to make this easier.
It is a good idea to prepare for a visit to the optometrist in advance. You could visit the practice before your test to get used to the surroundings.

The person who supports you will need to:

  • Tell you about what will happen during the test.
  • Make sure that the person with you knows all about your health and brings the right information.
  • Talk to the optician’s receptionist about any special needs you may have.
  • Make sure you ask for detailed feedback about your test.

Why do People Need an Eye Test?

Everyone should have regular eye tests – at least once every two years or more if recommended.
People with learning disabilities are more likely to have eye problems. They may not know they have a problem with their vision and may find it difficult to tell others. Many people's sight could be saved just by having regular eye tests.

Eye tests are also health checks. The optometrist will look out for:

  • problems that might make you go blind
  • infections
  • the changes that can happen as you get older

Getting Help with Eye Care

Our sight is really important. It provides the basis of good health and wellbeing and is our key to learning and development.

  • 50% of sight loss could be prevented by having regular sight tests
  • 1 in 4 people with a learning disability will have eye health and vision problems but this group of people are less likely to get the help they need.
  • Most people with a learning disability will not know they have a problem with their vision and will not be able to tell others.
  • The more severe someone’s learning disability is, or the older they are the more likely they are to have eye health and vision problems.
  • People with Down's Syndrome are 10 times more likely to have a problem with their eye health and vision.
  • Eye tests are also health checks. The optometrist can tell by looking in your eyes if you have conditions like diabetes high blood pressure and other eye problems like cataracts and glaucoma.
  • No one is too disabled to have an eye test; there are lots of ways to carry out an eye check.

NHS Opticians can check the quality of your eye health and also help with prescribing glasses and contact lenses.

Emergency eye care at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital

Opening times:
Monday 8:00am to 5:00pm
Tuesday 8:00am to 5:00pm
Wednesday 8:00am to 12:30pm
Thursday 8:00am to 5:00pm
Friday 8:00am to 5:00pm

Telephone: 0114 271 2495

Last Updated: 06/11/2015
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