Many of us find that our eyesight deteriorates as we get older. Some people have much more significant sight loss, either from birth or at some point during their lives. This can result in people struggling to live as independent a life as they would wish.

Whether you have significant or deteriorating sight loss, we want to support you so you can live as independently as possible. Whether you need equipment or you just want some information and advice, there are plenty of services on offer to help make life easier.

Talk to your GP or find a local NHS optician to get an eye test. Some opticians can visit you if you cannot get out.

Find out more about eye health and eye conditions from the RNIB.

If you are sight impaired it is a good idea to register as partially sighted or blind. Ask your GP to refer you to the Eye Clinic (RUH) or Bristol Eye Hospital. Your vision will be assessed there and if appropriate a Certificate Of Visual Impairment (CVI) will be completed certifying you as sight impaired (partially sighted) or severely sight impaired (blind).

The CVI is then sent to our partner Virgin. They will register you and arrange a visit to discuss the registration and assess your needs. You will get a registration card as well as information and advice about the kind of care and support that might make life easier for you.

If you have sight loss that is impacting on your day to day life you can contact the Virgin Hearing and Vision Team for information and advice and to discuss what support may be available to you.

If you are registered as sight impaired you may be entitled to: 

- free advice on dealing with sight loss
- free sight tests
- special equipment to help you
- discounts on your TV licence
- some disability benefits
- discounts on public transport
- free or discounted corrective lenses (if suitable for you)

It will depend on your needs and financial circumstances whether or not you have to pay for your care and support.

People with certain medical diagnoses and people in receipt of certain state benefits are also entitled to a free NHS eye test. Call 0844 415 3905 and request form HC1.

Specially designed equipment can help make life easier if you have sight loss. This can include things like:
- talking books
- liquid level indicators
- writing frames
- talking clocks.

You can try out a range of equipment at free drop-in sessions run by our local partner VisionPLUS.

To find and buy equipment for people with sight loss, visit the Living made easy or RNIB websites. 

If you are looking after someone it's really important that you get the support you need to carry on caring.

If the person you look after is already connected with Virgin's hearing and vision specialist social workers, talk to them about your needs as they can help work out what will make life easier for both you and the person you care for.

If the person you look after is not yet connected with a specialist, find out how to get information and advice about care and support so that they get the right support to make life easier for you both.

You can also contact our partner BANES Carers' Centre today on 0800 0388885. You can ask them for an a carers' assessment or for help and advice about how to make caring easier and get the support you need to keep on caring.

If you are worried about your sight, talk to your GP or visit a local NHS optician. Ask your GP to refer you to the Eye Clinc (RUH) or Bristol Eye Hospital if you need to register as blind.

The Virgin Hearing and Vision Team are a specialist care team who will talk to you about your needs and help work out what will help you live a more independent life. If you have not yet spoken to anyone about your needs, find out how to get information and advice about care and support.

If you are looking after someone who has sight loss talk to their specialist social worker about the support you give or contact our partner BANES Carers' Centre today on 0800 0388885 for help and advice about how to make caring easier by getting the support you need.

We support our local partner VisionPLUS to give information, advice and one-to-one guidance for people with sight loss. They also run drop in sessions, equipment demonstrations, social groups and other activities.

Wellbeing Options supports people in Bath and North East Somerset to live full and independent lives. Here you will find information about local care providers, services and activities, along with links to other useful websites and resources

Find out how to apply for a guide dog.

National charity RNIB provides lots of information about eye health, registering sight loss and eye conditions, equipment that can help and more.