Optician is a general term that covers both optometrists and dispensing opticians. Optometrists carry out sight tests to check the quality of your vision and eye health. They look for signs of eye disease which may need treatment from a doctor or eye surgeon and prescribe and fit glasses and contact lenses.

Dispensing opticians fit glasses and contact lenses, but do not test eyes. They can give you advice on types of lens, such as single-vision or bifocal, and help you to choose frames.

The CCG commissions NHS services from local optometrists. Optometrists provide NHS sight tests to eligible patients (the optometrist will be able to advise on eligibility and also on eligibility for financial help with the cost of glasses). Optometry services are usually provided during normal working hours.

Finding an optician
You can find opticians near you on NHS Choices at www.nhs.uk