Where do I go for an eye test?
You can book an eye test directly with an optometrist who is a qualified eye health professional.
You do not need a referral.
Simply call or visit the optometry practice of your choice. If you do not have a preferred practice yet, speak with your GP or pharmacist as they may be able to give you information on who is available locally.
You can also use the search page on the Optometry Victoria South Australia website to find optometrists near you.
If you speak a language other than English, ask for an interpreter or if the optometrist speaks other languages when booking your appointment. You can also bring a friend or family member along to help translate.
If you have never had an eye test and would like to know more about what will happen during the appointment, visit our page What is an eye test?
How often should I have an eye test?
Eye conditions can occur at any age. Everyone should have regular eye tests to detect eye conditions early. This is particularly important for people who are at an increased risk of eye conditions.
If you are aged over 40, you should have an eye test every 2-3 years, even if you don’t think your vision has changed.
But if you have diabetes, have a family history of eye disease or are aged over 65 this may be more often.
If you are unsure, your optometrist can tell you how often you should have an eye test according to your circumstances.
Finally, if you notice a change in your vision, don’t wait. Book an eye test as soon as possible.
What is the cost of an eye test?
Medicare covers the cost of most optometry services. This includes most of the cost of a standard eye test with an optometrist:
- every three years for people aged 64 years and under, without new symptoms.
- every year for people who are aged 65 and over, without new symptoms.
Medicare may also cover more frequent eye tests if clinically necessary.
In most cases, if you notice new symptoms and changes to your vision before your next test, the cost will be covered by Medicare. Do not wait to book an eye test.
While some optometrists may charge consultation fees other optometrists will bulk bill patients.
Some specific tests may attract a fee. If cost is a concern, discuss this with your eye health professional when booking your appointment or at the time of your visit.
The cost of glasses and contact lenses is not covered by Medicare.
Private health insurance can completely or partially cover the cost of glasses and contact lenses. Check directly with your private health insurer to find out the level of cover you have.
Low cost spectacle schemes are available in most states and territories. They help eligible people access quality, low cost spectacles and contact lenses.
In Victoria, low cost spectacles can be accessed through:
- Victorian Eye Care Service (VES)*: provides subsidised low cost glasses to eligible clients who hold a health care card or pension card, refugees, new migrants and people suffering from homelessness.
- Victorian Aboriginal Subsidised Spectacles Scheme (VASSS)*: is part of the VES and provides subsidised low cost glasses for clients who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander.
- Department of Veterans Affairs: for eligible clients, including but not limited to current and former defence force personnel, the Department of Veterans Affairs can provide a free pair of glasses every two years with a gold card.
If you have concerns over costs, don’t hesitate to speak with your optometrist when booking your appointment as cost effective solutions can often be found.
Save Your Sight – Get Tested
For more information, visit
Optometry Victoria South Australia (where you can also find optometrists in your local area)
* The Victorian Eye Care Service (VES) and Victorian Aboriginal Spectacles Subsidy Scheme (VASSS) are funded by the Victorian State Government and administered by the Australian College of Optometry. The VES and VASSS provide primary and specialised eye care services and glasses across Victoria to patients who are financially, socially or geographically most in need.