Look after your eyes, you only get one pair!

This is good advice to heed. Everyone - young and old - should have regular eye checkups to detect any problems.

It is natural for eyes to change over the years and become affected by various disorders which an optician can quickly and easily detect.

So it is important that signs of potentially serious conditions are recognised and if necessary given immediate medical attention.


  • Conjunctivitis - watery bloodshot eyes with sticky discharge
  • Dry eye - bloodshot eyes with gritty feeling
  • Stye - a red lump on the eyelid, which may itch or cause slight pain


  • Conjunctivitis - bathe with warm water. Drops and ointments from your pharmacist can be used
  • Dry eye - use lubricating eye drops from your pharmacist, but if the condition continues, see your doctor
  • Stye - bathe with warm water using a separate piece of cotton wool each time you wipe the eye


  • Avoiding exposure to irritants
  • Making sure everyone uses separate face flannels and towels
  • Having your sight tested every two years


  • Don't use contact lenses if you have an eye infection
  • Don't rub irritated and sore eyes
  • Follow cleaning instructions carefully

If you fall into one of the following groups, then you may qualify to receive free NHS tests: if you have a low income; if you or your partner get income support or family credit; if you are under 16 or under 19 and in full time education; if you are partially sighted or registered blind; if you are diagnosed diabetic or suffering from glaucoma or you are over 40 and have a brother, sister or child diagnosed with glaucoma.

Whether you do or don't qualify for free tests is not really the issue. The real question is: Do you really want to take unnecessary risks with one the greatest gifts you possess? - Your eyes!

See this NHS.uk page to find local opticians.

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