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Looking after your eyes

Why are regular eye tests so important?

It's easy to neglect your eyes because they often do not hurt when there's a problem.

Regular eye checks are important for everyone, as some serious eye conditions do not have any visible early warning symptoms.

Having an eye test will not just tell you if you need new glasses or a change of prescription – it's also an important eye health check.

An optician can spot many general health problems and early signs of eye conditions before you're aware of any symptoms, many of which can be treated if found early enough.

It’s especially important to have a regular check-up with an optometrist if there is a history of eye problems in your family. 

What should I do if I notice a change in my sight?

Some people are more at risk. It's particularly important to have regular eye tests if you're:

  • older than 60
  • from a certain ethnic group – people from African-Caribbean communities are at greater risk of developing glaucoma, for example, and people from south Asian and African-Caribbean communities are at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes (diabetic retinopathy, where the retina becomes damaged, is a common complication of diabetes)
  • someone with a learning disability
  • from a family with a history of eye disease

What about my child's sight?

Children often do not complain about their sight, but they may show signs of being unable to see properly.

Things to look out for include:

  • sitting close to the TV
  • holding objects very close to their face
  • blinking a lot
  • eye rubbing
  • one eye turning in or out
  • a white reflection in your child's pupil

There are routine eye checks and tests for children but, if you think your child is having any sort of sight problems, take them to an optician for further investigation.

Children do not have to be able to read letters to have their eyes examined.

Sight Test Information 

An NHS sight test can only be provided by an ophthalmic medical practitioner or ophthalmic optician (Optometrist) and a list of Isle of Man Opticians can be found below. Sight tests are provided free to all patients, usually on a bi-annual basis which is in line with best clinical practice as advised by the Association of Optometrists and reflects the recall periods for the National Health Services in England. Sight test intervals are dependent on the age of the patient and whether the patient suffers from certain medical conditions. The Isle of Man sight test intervals are as follows: 

Sight Test IntervalPatient Age / Condition Criteria
One Year
  • Under 16 Years
  • 70 Years or over
  • Condition – Diabetic (any age)
  • Condition - Glaucoma Family History (age 40 years or over if not already in a monitoring scheme)
  • Condition - Ocular hypertension (Any age if not already in a monitoring scheme)
6 Monthly
  • Condition - BV anomaly / corrected refractive error (age 7 or under)
  • Condition – BV anomaly or rapidly progressing myopia (age 7 to 15 years)
Two Years
  • Age 16-69
  • Condition – Glaucoma (any age)


Outside of the above intervals, Opticians may make a clinical decision to test a patient’s sight sooner than the agreed intervals and there are various reasons why this would happen. If in doubt, please contact your optician who will be able to advise if you fit into one of the early recall categories. 

Help towards the cost of your glasses 

Whilst the supply and repair of glasses is essentially a private arrangement between the patient and the optician, in certain circumstances NHS vouchers are made available by Manx Care, Primary Care Services, to help towards the cost. These vouchers are available for children and other specified groups. Your optician can provide you with further information in relation to your eligibility for a voucher.

The office opening hours for Primary Care Services are 9am to 1pm and 2pm to 4pm

Optician Services

Douglas and district

Port Erin and district

Ramsey and district

Onchan and district


How to Make a Compliment or Complaint

If you wish to make a comment about an Optical Practice or to compliment their services, you can do this by either telling the practice direct or by contacting Family Practitioner Services (contact details above). 

If you are dissatisfied about the services provided to you by your Optician Practice you can either contact the Practice directly or the Primary Care Optical Service Team, who will pass on your complaint to the relevant Optician Practice.  To make a formal complaint, this must be in writing either by letter or email. For more information on making a complaint.

Sight Matters – What Support Can they Offer?

For blind and visually impaired people, the world can be a challenging place to navigate.  Sight Matters help blind and visually impaired people to live their best possible lives.

Sight Matters is the trading arm of the Manx Blind Welfare Society, a charity which provides support to the blind and visually impaired community on the Isle of Man. Whether that’s by supporting their independence so that they can achieve their goals, providing social inclusion and emotional support services, equipping them with life changing equipment and resources, providing access to otherwise inaccessible information and media and by advocating for individuals and on behalf of the community.

Sight Matters also provide visual impairment awareness training and accessibility consulting for businesses, community groups and statutory and other third-sector organisations, so that the island can become an inclusive and accessible place for all and allow everyone to enjoy fulfilling, valued lives.

The services Sight Matters deliver are free at the point of delivery, people are not excluded or included from accessing what they require based upon their financial status and are available to those who have a sight impairment, there is no requirement to be registered as blind or visually impaired. 

Referrals are simple to make – an individual can contact Sight Matters directly or, friends, family or professionals can make a referral as long as they have consent by calling +44 1624 674727 or email

For more information see the Sight Matters leaflet  

A large Print version is available.

Friends and Family Survey

Every time you visit your practice you are invited to take part in a short online survey. This is an anonymous survey and you are free to leave your comments about the practice in the space provided. The survey results are checked regularly and will be discussed with the practice accordingly.

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