We offer specialised examinations through the Welsh Eye Care Service
The Welsh Eyecare Service is fully funded by the Welsh Assembly. This means an eye test provided under the WECS will normally be free of charge, even if you have already had your eyes tested the same year.
Patients may be eligible for a WECS examination who meet any of the following criteria:
- Was referred by a GP
- Has an acute eye problem, or is at risk of eye disease due to racial or family background
- Is uniocular or hearing-impaired (needs the support of a hearing aid)
- Has Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP)
If you experience any sudden visual deterioration or abnormalities, you should contact us immediately. After you have described your symptoms, your optometrist will decide if you need an emergency appointment.
In certain circumstances, your optometrist may recommend a WECS examination after conducting a standard eye test. If this happens, there is no cause for concern - this only means that a more thorough examination of your eye health is required
Eye tests conducted under the Welsh Eyecare Scheme are somewhat different from standard eye examinations. The point of a WECS test is to test the physical health of your eyes and screen for any potential risks to your vision, rather than simply to issue a spectacle prescription. The precise nature of the WECS examination will depend on your symptoms and on what your optometrist is looking for. However, there are a number of procedures you are likely to encounter:
- Pupil dilation - Your optometrist may need to administer drops to one or both eyes in order to perform the examination. These will have the effect of increasing your sensitivity to light. Therefore, you should not drive for 5-6 hours after having your pupils dilated. Wearing sunglasses may also be a good idea, especially if it is a bright day.
- Visual field screening - This will test your peripheral vision. Field screening is a particularly useful method of checking for conditions like Glaucoma, which degrades the peripheral field and is among the leading causes of sight loss
At the conclusion of the examination, your optometrist will advise you on what action, if any, you need to take. You may also be referred to an ophthalmologist, an eye clinic, or to the Accident and Emergency department. Finally, your optometrist will send a report to your GP.
You may never need a WECS appointment. On the other hand, you may require several over the years, particularly as you get older. Although they can be treated as emergency examinations, they are just as frequently an opportunity for your optomerist to get information about your eye health which can be useful for future tests.