Your eye care experience at Specsavers Opticas won’t be too different from what you’d expect in the UK. We understand that you might have a few questions before visiting us in store, so this guide will break down exactly what you can expect from an eye test at Specsavers in Spain.

Do I need to prepare anything before my eye test?

Before you come in for your first eye test with us, it’s worth making a note of any significant changes in your vision or your eye health in general since your last visit to the optician. If you already wear glasses or contact lenses, it’s best to bring them, along with your prescription — whether it was prescribed by an optician in the UK or Spain.

This will just help to give your optometrist a better understanding of your eye care needs. If you don’t have these things to hand or think your eye care needs may have changed, that’s no problem. We’ll conduct a full eye test either way, and have you fitted with new lenses or frames as you need them.

Your eye test at Specsavers Opticas explained

At Specsavers Opticas, you'll find that your eye test is very similar to what you'd expect back in the UK. We use the same equipment, machinery and eye test procedures — and each of our Spanish opticians is fully trained to conduct your eye test in English, should you wish.

Patient background and pre-test

Before your eye examination, an optical assistant will gather some information on your medical history. They will make sure your records are up to date on our system and take note of anything significant that needs to be in your file — whether it's your prescription information or a family history of any eye conditions.

The optical assistant will also carry out some pre-tests. One of the most commonly performed tests uses a tonometer. This equipment will blow a few puffs of air at each eye in order to measure the pressure inside the eye. This measurement can help to determine whether or not you may be at risk of glaucoma.

You’ll also have an autorefraction test, which measures how well your eyes focus, and determines if you are long or short-sighted. This also gives a readout of your prescription. Don’t worry if we don’t have your prescription — we can use a focimeter to read it from your glasses, and this can be used to compare it with the results of your new eye test.

Optometrist test

Once these pre-tests are complete, you will then meet with your optometrist who will conduct additional tests to check the health of your eyes.


To check the health of your retina at the back of your eyes, your optometrist will use a retinoscope. This equipment bounces a beam of light into the back of your eye, your optic nerve and its blood vessels to make sure they are healthy. This is called ophthalmoscopy.

Duochrome test

Your optician may perform a Duochrome test. This is recognisable as a box with the word OXO on it and horizontal red and green lines. The optometrist will ask you to look at it and answer questions on what you see, to determine how well your eyes work together.

Slit lamp exam

A slit lamp exam is predominantly used to identify diseases of the eye. Using a powerful microscope lamp, the front surface of your eyes will be examined for any abnormalities or scratches on the cornea, iris, conjunctiva, retina and lens.

Visual field testing

A visual field test is used to measure central and peripheral vision. For glaucoma patients, it can be used as a way to determine its severity and to monitor the condition. This test involves randomly flashing dots of light on a plain background. If you are unable to see some of the dots, this could indicate a blind spot in your vision. If a visual field machine is unavailable in your local store, your optician may carry out an alternative test such as the confrontation test. Ask your optician for more information.

The letter test

This is the most recognisable exam you’ll experience during your eye test. You will read aloud from a chart of letters while your optician tests out different strength lenses.

Sun damage

With increased exposure to sunlight in Spain compared to the UK, many British expats may be unaware of the damage that UV rays can cause to their eyes. Our optometrists will also look for specific signs of sun damage on the eyes, as well as advising on the best ways to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays.

Using the results from the tests above, your optometrist will be able to identify any early signs of eye-related health issues, as well as visual impairment. They may also ask questions about your general health, your family’s health, your work and your general lifestyle to help build a full picture of your eye health.

What happens after my eye test at Specsavers Opticas?


Once your eye test is complete, your optometrist will talk you through the next steps. If your test results indicate an underlying eye condition, your optometrist can discuss your treatment options with you, and refer you to an expat-friendly specialist.

Buying glasses in Spain

If you need to change your glasses prescription or are simply looking for a new pair, our optical assistants can help you to find the perfect pair. Within each of our stores you will find English and Spanish speaking experts, who are always more than happy to translate any prescriptions or terminology into either language for you. Some of our stores also speak German, Russian, Polish, Dutch and Czech. They can even offer helpful advice on sun protection, recommending polarising or UV400 sunglasses that offer the best defence for your eyes.

At Specsavers Opticas, we offer a fully comprehensive experience for British expats, providing the same quality service you’d expect in the UK.