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Refraction

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A child wearing special glassesOptometrists carry out refraction to see if a patient can be helped by a prescription for spectacles (glasses).

If spectacles are needed a prescription will be issued. This can be made up by the in-house dispensing service or a local optometrist.

Eye Hospital patients are seen for refraction if it is useful for the management of their eye condition and is requested by the ophthalmologist.

We usually advise patients who have had cataract operations to go to community optometrists for refraction four to six weeks after surgery, unless there is a specific clinical reason for them to come to the Eye Hospital for their new spectacles.

Children's refraction services

In cases where there is a family history of squint, amblyopia or high prescription, children may be seen in the Children's Rapid Access Clinic (CRAC). This is primarily a fast-track clinic for children referred by the GP, health visitor, community optometrist or orthoptist (via school screening), who need a combined orthoptic and optometry refraction (glasses test).

We also see other children under the care of the Eye Hospital working closely with orthoptic and ophthalmology services.

We usually use eye drops when we assess children with refraction. The drops take 30 minutes to take effect so please allow plenty of time for your appointment and bring something to entertain your children.

We have produced a book for you to read with your child to prepare them for their visit.

Jayda's trip to the Eye Hospital
Jayda's trip to the Eye Hospital (pdf)

Help with the cost of spectacles

Some groups of patients are eligible for a voucher which contributes towards the cost of spectacles; the optometrist can advise if you are eligible. Further details can be found at the link below.

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Patient leaflets

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