Home eye tests

Our team of mobile opticians provide a comprehensive eyecare service to those who cannot get to one of our stores unaccompanied – check if you or someone you love is eligible here. You can benefit from a free NHS-funded eye test, a great selection of glasses and high standards of care – all from the comfort of your own home. 

What happens in a home eye test?

At-home eye tests are very similar to the ones you would have experienced in-store, just with a few adjustments and specialist equipment to make them home-friendly. All of our visiting opticians are fully experienced in conducting eye tests at home, so you can be sure you, or someone you care for, will receive the same care and attention you’re used to.

The typical home eye test begins with your optician visiting your home on a pre-arranged day, and they will usually call an hour before to check it's still convenient. They'll then ask about your eyecare history and any problems you may be having, before carrying out an eye test with specialised equipment for use in the home. You can learn about the full procedure below, including the types of tests we’ll carry out.

Before the test

We’ll give you the name of your optometrist before your visit so that you know who to expect at your front door. Sometimes they might also be joined by an optical assistant. Once they arrive, they’ll decide on the best area in your home for the test to take place. They may need to move around a bit of furniture to prepare the space, but in most cases, this isn’t necessary. If you have mobility issues or are bedbound, then the test can be done wherever you are most comfortable. We have specialist equipment that means we can adapt to your environment.  

Once you’re ready, the optometrist will begin by asking you (or a family member if patients are unable to give this information) about your eye health history and any symptoms or changes you may have experienced since your last test. They’ll then set up the equipment for your test, including an electronic test chart that allows us to test your eyes in any size space.

Types of eye tests carried out at home

Your optometrist will then carry out several tests to assess your vision, as well as check the overall health of your eyes by testing for specific eye conditions.

Using a handheld tonometer, your optometrist will check the pressure in your eyes (intraocular pressure) to assess whether you might be at risk of developing glaucoma. Here, they may also conduct a visual field test to test your peripheral (wide) vision, to check for other signs of glaucoma.

Your optometrist will also conduct an examination to take a closer look inside your eyes, which may require the use of eye drops to dilate your pupil so they can view the inside of your eye more easily. This is especially useful to monitor conditions such as diabetic retinopathy, alongside a number of other eye problems.

Another important check is the way your eyes move and work together, checking this can make sure that you’re not experiencing any eye strain or double vision. They will also carry out some tests to assess your vision. Your optometrist will use a retinoscope to shine light into your eyes and check for any refractive error. This test can give us a very close reading for your prescription, without the need for you to respond. This is useful if, for instance, you or your loved one has dementia and finds it difficult to give subjective responses.

If you are able to, your optometrist might carry out further tests to help fine-tune their results. For example, they might ask you to read from a letter chart (such as a Snellen test) at a distance to check your visual acuity or ask you to wear a trial frame to test your vision with different strength lenses.

Choosing your glasses

Once your eye test is complete, the optometrist will tell you whether you need to begin wearing glasses or update your current glasses prescription. They can talk you through our range of frames and lens options and help you decide on your perfect pair of glasses, and how to benefit from any offers that may be available to you.

If you qualify for NHS funding towards the cost of glasses, you may be eligible for a free pair of glasses. In other cases, a Domiciliary Pricing Supplement of £25 may apply in addition to the cost of your glasses. This reflects the increased costs involved with delivering a domiciliary service to customers, such as making individual visits to deliver and adjust glasses in peoples’ homes.

Your glasses delivery

Your new glasses should be ready within 14 days. We’ll let you know if they take any longer, as they need to be individually made to your prescription. You’ll also receive a written record of the outcome of your eye test and the glasses you’ve chosen. 

Once they’re ready, we’ll be in touch to schedule a convenient date for your glasses delivery and fitting. The same process is followed for your fitting visit as was for your home eye test — you will be contacted with information about your optical advisor and when they will be arriving. During the visit, your glasses will be adjusted for your comfort to ensure that you are happy with their fit. 

To minimise contact during COVID-19, it might be that your glasses are simply sent to you in the post. Your optometrist can give you more information should this be the case.

Aftercare services

At the end of your visit, you will be given a local home visits number, should you need any further help in the future. If you have any concerns with your new glasses, our 100 days 'No quibble, no fuss' policy applies for at home visits the same as it would in-store. If during your test, your optician detects any symptoms that indicate a more serious condition, they may refer you to your GP or local hospital for further examination.

NHS support towards the cost of your glasses

You may be entitled to NHS support towards the cost of your glasses if you:

  • Are eligible for an NHS complex lens voucher

  • Receive Income Support

  • Receive income-based jobseeker's allowance (not contribution-based) 

  • Receive pension credit guarantee credit

  • Receive income-based employment and support allowance (not contribution)

  • Are entitled to, or named on, a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate

  • Are named on a valid NHS certificate for full help with health costs (HC2)

Use your NHS optical voucher to get one free pair of glasses from the £19 to £49 ranges. If your voucher value is less than £45, we pay the difference. You can alternatively use it as part-payment towards any of our great offers too.

Do Specsavers still offer Healthcall services?

Our home visits service used to go by another name — Specsavers Healthcall.If you discovered us via another health service, website or by referral, they may have used our old Healthcall name to recommend us. 

While our name may have changed, rest assured that our home eyecare service is just the same as before, right down to the high quality care our customers receive during home visits. If you have any questions or queries about our home visits service, please call 0800 198 1132 to speak to our team.

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