Caring for the Community at Cardiff Opticians

You may not realise that your local Specsavers store provides a wide array of eye and ear health services, which can save unnecessary trips to the GP.

The Wales General Ophthalmis Services (WGOS), which was created following legislative changes in 2023, ensures that Specsavers can provide primary care on the high street. In many cases, it won’t cost anything and could even save a person’s sight.

Specsavers’ locally-owned stores on Queen Street and in Leckwith can offer free sight tests for a number of people, including those who are under 16 or over 60, a full-time student, or on benefits- and since the changes in the law, it now extends to people who are:

  • at risk of developing eye disease due to their ethnicity
  • hearing impaired
  • uniocular- reliant on only one eye for seeing
  • diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a chronic hereditary eye disease characterised by black pigmentation and gradual degeneration of the retina

Anyone experiencing eye pain, discomfort, redness, sudden changes or flashes of light in their vision, among other symptoms, is encouraged to contact the store in the first instance. Help with more complex conditions is discussed on a case-by-case basis.

Emily Blunt, optometrist director at Specsavers in Leckwith, says: “Regular eye tests with your optician are vital to keep on top of your overall eye health and to detect signs of any serious conditions and earlier when they are more manageable.

“Our message is clear- if your eyes aren’t feeling right, an optician should always be your first port of call. Don’t just assume you need to go to your hospital or GP.”

Specsavers also provides a range of audiology services, including ear wax removal.

Specsavers Cardiff audiology director, Matthew Thomas, adds: “Our ear wax removal service is currently offered at our Cardiff Queen Street, Penarth and Llanishen stores, with plans to offer the service in Albany Road Specsavers in April. The service costs £60 for one or two ears.

“If you are struggling with your hearing or feel your ears are blocked, our services can clear the wax obstruction and hopefully deliver improvement to your hearing. If there is no wax, a complimentary hearing test is offered to see if there may be a hearing loss and further advice provided if needed.