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The High Costs of Eye Care: What Brits Need to Know

Moneymagpie Team 16th Nov 2023 No Comments

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The importance of maintaining optimal eye health is indisputable. Yet in the UK, the escalating costs of living have become a pressing concern for many, and up to 7 in 10 Brits take no action to correct their vision because they cannot afford to do so. To make matters worse, NHS backlogs have resulted in treatment delays that have caused a loss or decline in vision for hundreds of patients.

From routine check-ups to corrective lenses, the financial burden of eye care can be overwhelming. However, navigating the realm of eye care expenses doesn’t have to be a daunting task. In this article, we offer practical insights on how readers can take proactive steps to mitigate the expenses without compromising eye health.

Tips for reducing eye care costs

Get regular eye tests

Regular eye tests serve as a proactive investment in both eye care and long-term financial well-being. Detecting potential issues early on allows for timely intervention, preventing the development of more serious and costlier conditions. By addressing concerns in their early stages, individuals can usually opt for simpler, less expensive treatments. Additionally, routine eye exams enable the timely prescription of corrective lenses, reducing the risk of strained vision and related complications that may lead to more extensive future interventions. It’s also worth checking if you are eligible for a free NHS sight test, as a public poll carried out by the Association of Optometrists found that only 18% of 1000 people surveyed were aware that they could avail of such benefits.

Maximise deals

On top of free sight tests, the NHS offers optical vouchers to help cover the cost of glasses, as well. There are 10 optical voucher values ranging from £41.70 to £229.70, depending on the strength of the lenses you need. Those who do not qualify can still save on eye care expenses by shopping around for the best deals. For example, Glasses Direct has very affordable options starting at just £9. They also have deals on 2-for-1 designer glasses so you can save money without sacrificing style. Plus, the company offers 50% off vouchers for students and free home trials. These deals are available for nearly all their lenses including single vision, bifocals, varifocals, sunglasses, and even blue light lenses. Shopping around for deals is a savvy financial strategy that allows you to take advantage of a variety of eyewear retailers and optometrists, each with different pricing structures and promotions.

Preventive care

Simple preventive measures such as protecting your eyes from harmful UV rays and maintaining a balanced diet, contribute to overall eye health and potentially reduce the risk of certain conditions. Moreover, addressing issues like dry eyes or digital eye strain promptly can prevent complications from occurring in the future. Aside from getting regular eye check-ups, preventive care includes making your workspace as ergonomic as possible. If you sit in front of a computer screen all day, the screen should be 50 to 70 centimetres from your eyes. You should also follow the 20-20-20 rule of looking away from your screen every 20 minutes to focus on an object 20 feet (6 metres) away for 20 seconds to reduce eye strain symptoms.

To sum up, it’s evident that preserving one’s vision doesn’t have to be synonymous with financial strain. By embracing a combination of informed decision-making and exploring cost-effective alternatives, individuals can navigate the landscape of eye care with greater financial ease. Whether it’s exploring affordable eyewear options, utilising vision insurance to its fullest, or considering preventive measures, there are practical steps you can take to safeguard your eyes without sacrificing your wallet.

For more tips like this, visit the Money Magpie website where we also have information on how you can save money on dental care. As they say, health is wealth. The best way to save your wallet and your health is to make sure you prep for health concerns in advance.

Disclaimer: MoneyMagpie is not a licensed financial advisor and therefore information found here including opinions, commentary, suggestions or strategies are for informational, entertainment or educational purposes only. This should not be considered as financial advice. Anyone thinking of investing should conduct their own due diligence.

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Jasmine Birtles

Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.

Jasmine Birtles

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