Eye checks and glasses

It is important to take care of your eyes.

A regular eye test is vital because it’s not always obvious when you have a condition.

An eye test can detect the early signs of eye conditions before the symptoms occur, many of which can be treated. An optometrist is the specialist who examines the eye for vision, eye disorders and other health problems involving the eyes.

An eye test will also show if you need to:

  • get glasses for the first time
  • change your current glasses.

Health cover

Medicare will cover the cost of an eye check every 3 years (for people under 65) or every year (for people 65+) at the optometrist of your choice.

Find an optometrist in your area using find a health service.

If you have private health insurance, contact your provider to find out about your coverage for glasses or contact lenses.

Common eye conditions

  • Vision problems—near-sightedness (unable to see far), far-sightedness (unable to see close objects), astigmatism and difficulty reading at a normal distance
  • Cataracts—the lens of the eye becomes cloudy
  • Glaucoma—increased fluid pressure in the eye
  • Macular degeneration—loss of vision, or blindness (often age-related). Use the AMSLER Grid test to check if you have any symptoms.
  • Stye—a sore or red lump near the edge of an eyelid, caused by an infection at the base of an eyelash (in the follicle)

Protect your eyes

  • Wear safety goggles if your job involves airborne particles or hazardous substances
  • Wear wraparound glasses to prevent UV exposure
  • Choose eyewear that blocks 95% of UV rays
  • Fit sunglasses or goggles with prescription lenses, if necessary

Free glasses

The Spectacle Supply Scheme provides free basic prescription glasses every 2 years to eligible people.