CEE - Our Clinics

Eye examinations

The Centre for Eyecare Excellence offers a number of clinics where our third year students will carry out comprehensive eye examinations under the direct supervision of qualified optometry staff and, if required, undertake a detailed assessment of the health of your eyes and screening for diseases that affect the eyes and vision.

The eye examinations are very thorough and closely supervised and therefore may take up to two hours to complete. Eye examinations carried out by our students are free of charge and discounts will apply on spectacles (20 per cent) and contact lenses (10 per cent) purchased here following these appointments.

It is also possible to have a sight test carried out by one of our qualified optometrists. These cost £25, or £15 for University of Plymouth staff/students (free with NHS eligibility).  

Before your appointment, make sure you have had a look at our appointment checklist so that our students may provide you with the best possible care.

Please see below for full details of other clinics and services that we provide.

Spectacle dispensing

The CEE has a well stocked spectacle dispensary with a range of frames from economy frames to designer brands. A wide variety of lenses are supplied, including:

  • Single vision lenses
  • Bifocals
  • Many types of varifocals
  • Glass/plastic/polycarbonate and toughened lenses
  • Lightweight/thin lenses
  • Photochromatic lenses
  • Scratch resistant/hydrophobic/anti-reflection coatings
  • Ultra-violet protection and a wide range of tints
  • Specialist lenses such as Vistamesh (for migraine sufferers)
  • Prescription sunglasses, safety glasses, swimming goggles and specialist ski goggles.

We will discuss your exact requirements and give expert and objective advice about the best style of frame and the optimum lens type and material for you. Our frame prices start as little as £15 and include brands such as: Barbour; Calvin Klein; Duck and Cover; Ted Baker; Gant; Gucci; Marc Jacobs and Nike.

Don't forget, a 20 per cent discount applies to spectacles if your examination was carried out by one of our students.

Contact lens clinic

The CEE can supply a wide range of lens types, including specialist lenses for certain eye conditions and provide contact lens fitting and aftercare services. We will assess your suitability for contact lenses and make recommendations on appropriate lens types for you after considering factors such as lifestyle, prescription and the shape of your eyes. We can offer you the chance to trial different types of contact lens so that we can determine the best lenses for you.

An aftercare appointment is then made to examine your eyes, ensure that the contact lenses we have recommended fit well, the prescription is correct and that your eyes have not been adversely affected by wearing contact lenses and discuss with you whether you are happy with the lenses and any problems that you may have had. 

The cost of contact lenses varies depending on the type of lens you have been prescribed. A 10 per cent discount will be applied to the cost of your lenses if your examination was carried out by a student.

In addition to the items on the appointment checklist, you will need to bring the following with you to your appointment:

  • Your current storage case and care solutions
  • Your spectacles (in case your lenses need to be left out for a period of time following the appointment)
  • If you already wear contact lenses we recommend that you wear them in a routine manner on the day of your appointment.

Paediatric clinic

It is important for all children to have regular eye examinations as good vision is vital for children's social and educational development.

The clinic is held in a room designed to be child friendly and our staff are very experienced in providing care for children. We offer a comprehensive eye examination and can provide a range of spectacles and contact lenses for children.

We also stock frames formatted to fit children with special needs. 


Visual impairment assessments

This clinic is usually for patients who are already registered as sight impaired or severely sight impaired but we also welcome patients who have not been diagnosed with sight impairment but who find that their sight cannot be improved to their satisfaction by wearing conventional spectacles or contact lenses to contact us for an appointment (please note that although we will do our best to find a solution to any specific sight problem, it is not always possible to help every individual).

The provision of low vision aids may involve a number of appointments until the most suitable visual aids have been identified. We allow sufficient time for discussion to ensure that the most appropriate advice is given.

This clinic is run by our students working under the close supervision of experienced clinicians with a special interest in low vision. The Visual Impairment assessments run by our students are free of charge and we can offer a wide variety of low vision aids.

As well as the items listed in the appointment checklist, it is helpful if you could bring the following with you to your appointment:

  • Any low vision aids you are currently using
  • Any low vision aids you have been supplied with previously and that you are no longer able to use

Colorimetry assessments

Colorimetry is usually performed to determine the potential benefits of using coloured lenses and/or filters for those suffering from visual stress or learning difficulties. It is believed that by toning the contrast between words and the background, reading and writing are made easier.

An initial assessment involves using coloured overlays to determine which colour is most beneficial in aiding reading performance. Should the use of the coloured overlay found to be beneficial, a colorimetry assessment will follow. This is to determine a more definitive colour, suitable to be incorporated into spectacle lenses, which can then be used in all aspects of school, college or work.

A full sight test and binocular vision assessment are needed before a referral for a colorimetry assessment is made.

The colorimetry assessments run by our students are free of charge and we can supply a wide range of coloured overlays and lenses. Funding for specialist tinted lenses is available to students through the University's Disability Services - please contact the team for an appointment to discuss whether funding would be available as it is allocated on an individual case by case basis.

Binocular vision assessments

The Binocular vision clinic investigates the control and co-ordination of the eyes and helps patients who have difficulty keeping both eyes aligned to manage the problem.

Misalignment of the eyes can cause eye strain, headaches, problems with focus over different distances and in more severe cases can lead to a squint, double vision and in childhood a ‘lazy eye’. Most of these symptoms respond well to eye exercises, by prescribing or updating the prescription of spectacles or contact lenses or, if the symptom is a potential sign of a more serious eye condition, a referral for further investigation. 

Patients are normally referred to the binocular vision clinic by their eye care practitioner as a result of symptoms or signs of an anomaly being picked up during an eye examination. 

Specialist dry eye assessments

Dry eyes are a common condition that occurs when the eyes do not make enough tears or the tears evaporate too quickly. Symptoms usually affect both eyes and include feelings of dryness, grittiness or soreness, red eyes and temporarily blurred vision. Common causes include being in hot or windy climates, wearing contact lenses, underlying medical conditions (such as inflammation of the eyelids), side effects of certain medications or hormonal changes.

This clinic will examine your eyes and can advise on the best course of treatment depending on the cause of the dryness.

Patients are normally referred to the dry eye assessment clinic by their GP or eye care practitioner as a result of symptoms or signs of an anomaly being picked up during an eye examination. 

Specialist neuro-visual clinics (on referral)

These clinics are run in conjunction with the Stroke Association

Tips for Healthy Eyes

The following tips will help you keep your eyes healthy:

  • Regular eye tests – regular eye tests will allow your optometrist to monitor your eye health and spot any developing problems early on.
  • Eat more fruit and vegetables – eating five portions of fruit and vegetables each day helps keep your eyes healthy.
  • Quit smoking – smokers are more likely to experience problems with their eyes than non-smokers.
  • Monitor alcohol intake - heavy alcohol consumption is associated with an increased risk of early age-related macular degeneration.
  • Exercise regularly – regular exercise helps keep your eyes as well as your body healthy.
  • Protect your eyes from the sun – wear sunglasses when the sun is bright and wear a sun hat.
  • Look after your glasses – old, scratched or dirty glasses can cause eyestrain and give you headaches.
  • Talk to your doctor or chemist about eye problems – it is important to protect your eyes from hayfever and allergies. Ask for help if your eyes are red, itchy or sore.
  • Avoid touching or rubbing your eyes – your eyes need to be kept clean. Wash your hands and face often.