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Eye Examinations FAQ

How can I book an eye examination?

You can visit our booking page here, or contact customer services here.

What happens during a test?

Our eye examinations include assessments of your:

- vision and any spectacle prescription you may require
- binocular vision, which determines how well your eyes work together as a pair
- internal and external ocular health, including retinal photographs
- peripheral vision
- internal eye pressure

We also offer a longer test with an OCT scan. OCT stands for Optical Coherence Tomography. It is a painless non-invasive scan that allows us to view structures of your eyes in 3D. 

Unlike retinal photography which only allows us to see the superficial layer of the retinal, an OCT scan lets us see all 10 layers. These can then be mapped and their thickness measured to help make diagnoses for sight threatening conditions. 

OCT is also useful in the detection of glaucoma, and can do this up to four years earlier than a standard retinal examination or photography.


Can I bring someone with me to my appointment?

Where possible, please come alone as we do not have the capacity to allow waiting in store.


How much do your eye exams cost?

Our routine exams cost £40, or £25 if you decide to purchase spectacles after. Our exams with OCT scans cost £65, or £50 if you decide to purchase spectacles after. Our optometrists are not sales people, they’re experts in eye health, and will never try to sell you a pair of spectacles if you do not need them. 

Does it cost me anything to cancel?

No. However, we do ask that you try to give us 24 hours notice so that we can see other patients in your cancelled appointment time.

Why are your exams longer than other clinics?

Our exams are 30-40 minutes long, which gives our optometrists ample time to discuss any issues you may be having, as well as any needs that are particular to your situation, such as strong prescriptions, varifocals or ocular pathology. Our optometrists are also happy to walk you through the tests they are performing so that you have a good understanding of your eyes and their health when you leave.

What is OCT and what are the benefits?

OCT stands for Optical Coherence Tomography. It is a painless non-invasive scan that allows us to view structures of your eyes in 3D. 

Unlike retinal photography which only allows us to see the superficial layer of the retinal, an OCT scan lets us see all 10 layers. These can then be mapped and their thickness measured to help make diagnoses for sight threatening conditions. 

OCT is also useful in the detection of glaucoma, and can do this up to four years earlier than a standard retinal examination or photography.


Who should have an OCT scan?

Scans are recommended for people aged 25 or over, who want to know more about their eye health. We also recommend OCT scans for those who have diabetes, glaucoma, or have family history of eye disease. 

Why is the OCT exam longer?

The OCT scan is in addition to your regular eye examination, not in place of. It takes place after (but during the same appointment) your routine check is complete. The scan itself takes a few minutes, but explanation and diagnosis can take up to 15 extra minutes.

Which stores offer the OCT scan?

Cubitts Hampstead currently offers OCT and it will be offered in further practices early 2021. 

What if I don’t know I need an OCT scan? Will you tell me if I do?

If our optometrists see a need for it during your regular examination, we will offer it in addition to your regular test.

Do you offer contact lens consultations?

No, we do not.

Why can’t I use an out of date prescription?

A spectacle prescription is issued at the end of an eye examination once the optometrist has carried an internal and external examination of the eyes, plus any additional tests required. The expiry date of the prescription will depend on when the optometrist feels you next need your eyes examined. This is most often 2 years, but is sometimes sooner if you’ve had a significant change in your prescription or if any eye health problems were detected. After the expiry date, it is possible your prescription or eye health has changed, and you will need another eye examination before being able to purchase new glasses.

Why can’t I use a contact lens prescription?

A contact lens prescription is not the same as a spectacle prescription. Contact lenses sit on the surface of the eyes, whereas glasses sit in front of them. This affects how light is refracted and can alter the prescription. As there are a multitude of contact lens materials, curvatures and diameters, all contact lens prescriptions are specific to the lens type stated on the prescription. These cannot be converted to a spectacle prescription.

Should I have an eye exam if my vision hasn’t noticeably changed?

Eye examinations aren't just about checking your prescription. They're vital for detecting both changes to your eye health and wider health issues such as glaucoma and diabetes. Think of it like servicing your car, but for your eyeballs.