Frequency of eye examinations
- You should examine patients at the most appropriate intervals, depending on their clinical needs. This applies to both private and NHS patients.26
- Contact lens patients may need more frequent appointments for aftercare but are not entitled to more frequent NHS sight tests simply because they wear contact lenses.
- In the absence of clinical indications, you should not recall patients more frequently than the following intervals:
|Patient age and/or condition||Recommended minimum re-examination interval|
|The intervals given below should not be taken as applying automatically to all patients in a category.|
|Up to 16 years old, no binocular vision anomaly or refractive error||One year|
|under seven years old, with binocular vision anomaly or corrected refractive error||Six months|
|Seven-15 years old, with binocular vision anomaly or rapidly progressing myopia||Six months|
|16 years old and over||Two years|
|with diabetes who are part of diabetic retinopathy monitoring scheme||Two years|
|with diabetes who are not part of diabetic retinopathy monitoring scheme||One year|
- To ensure refractive error is optimally corrected, it may be appropriate to examine children who are myopic, or at risk for myopia, annually until the age of 12-13 years, and every two years thereafter’.27
- In the absence of clinical indications, you should not examine patients who are being monitored by the hospital eye service more frequently than every two years.
26 General Optical Council (2016) Standards of Practice for Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians para 7.6 [Accessed18 Nov 2020]
27 College of Optometrists (2016) Member briefing on The Northern Ireland Childhood Errors of Refraction (NICER) study on myopia [Accessed 18 Nov 2020]