Information about our services

Eye examinations

Regular eye examinations are very important particularly for those more susceptible to general health changes. The primary aim of the eye examination is to determine the health of your eyes and the quality of your vision. You can expect to be asked about any signs or symptoms you may be experiencing, the state of your general health, whether there is a history of eye problems in your family, your occupation and recreation requirements.

An eye examination normally involves:
  • reading out letters on an eye chart, and checking whether or not glasses are required
  • the examination of your eyes with a bright light
  • ensuring your eye muscles work together properly

Measurement of your eye pressure, assessment of your peripheral (side) vision, colour vision testing, and/or other tests may also be performed. Occasionally it may be necessary to dilate your pupils also.
Pupil dilation:
  • This examination enables your eye care professional to see more of your retina, the light-sensitive layer of tissue at the back of your eye
  • Dilating (widening) the pupil permits your eye to be examined for signs of disease. To do this, drops are placed into the eye to dilate (widen) the pupil. After the examination, your vision may (or may not) remain blurred for several hours

Do you know you are entitled to an NHS free eye examination if you are;
  • Under 16
  • Under 19 and in full time education
  • Suffering from diabetes or glaucoma
  • Over 40 and your parents or a sibling has glaucoma
  • Diagnosed as needing complex lenses
  • On income support
  • On income based job seeker's allowance
  • On certain tax credits
  • On pension credit guarantee
  • Registered partially sighted or blind
  • Hold a valid HC2 certificate

Certain people can also obtain a voucher form the NHS towards the cost of their glasses. The optician will inform you if you qualify and give you a  voucher.

Contact lenses

Contact lenses continue to develop technologically increasing their comfort and breathability. One lens never suits all eyes and as an independent optician we are able to make several brands available for your optimum vision and comfort. Our stock includes daily and monthly disposable continuous wear lenses, varifocal monthly disposable lenses, and toric daily and monthly lenses (for people with astigmatism). We are a Johnson and Johnson Acuvue centre of excellence and also supply Bausch and Lomb and Ciba Vision. You can pay by monthly standing order or buy lenses when you need them and of course we offer a full after care service.

Did you know that Ian Ashworth is one of the few opticians in the area who provides contact lens expertise for Stepping Hill hospital contact lens patients. These patients are referred directly from the hospital.

Plain and prescription sunglasses

UV is known to be harmful to eyes. Any designer frame can be fitted with suitable sunglass lenses and we always stock a range of prescription sunglasses as an excellent value package. Alternatively reactolite lenses are extensively supplied in single vision, bifocal and varifocal formats.

diabetic screening

Diabetic Screening

The incidence of diabetes is increasing in the western world and diabetic screening for eye disease is integral to its management. We are specially trained to provide this service. Digital retinal photography is the prescribed method of screening and is available at both practices. Stockport Primary Care Trust (PCT) funds this service for diabetics at our Heald Green practice. For non-diabetic patients the cost of retinal photography is not covered by the NHS so we do have to make a charge for the service. It is not compulsory but we recommend it for the majority of patients at a charge of £14.

Pre and post cataract screening

In an ageing population that is increasingly active and many of whom wish to remain driving, the management of and advice on cataract surgery is a skilled judgement relevant to many. Cataracts are not a disease and in most instances is a natural part of the eye's ageing process.


Glaucoma is one of the commonest causes of blindness in the western world and is more common with age. People over 40 will automatically be screened as part of their eye examination.

Did you know if either of your parents or siblings suffer from glaucoma and you are over 40 years old you are entitled to a free NHS eye examination.

Low vision

“Low Vision” refers to a speciality within optometry which focuses on people with visual impairment (i.e. blind or partially sighted). Visual impairment may be caused by a wide range of eye diseases, most commonly age-related macular degeneration. A person is said to be visually impaired when, despite wearing optimum glasses or contact lenses, they still cannot achieve a good standard of vision.
There are a wide range of other optical aids, apart from glasses or contact lenses, that may be helpful to people with visual impairment including:           
  • hand magnifiers
  • telescopes
Information is available on request. Ian also can provide information about non-optical aids such as lighting, reading aids, advice about use of contrast within the home and advice on getting in touch with societies and other forms of rehabilitative help if required.

The assessment of “low vision” and provision of optical aids and advice is not provided through the NHS and incurs a private fee (please contact us for more information).

Did you know Ian Ashworth ran the low vision clinic at Stepping Hill hospital for nearly 20 years. He is happy to see patients on a private basis in his practice rather than patients having to make several trips to the hospital.

childrens glasses


Children are encouraged to have their eyes tested in a relaxed, fun manner whilst maintaining a professional expertise. Should your child require glasses or contact lenses there has never been a more extensive choice for them. Glasses can be fun!

Did you know we are accredited to provide eye examinations for toddlers who have failed vision screening assessments.

Guide dogs

Although we can not provide a guide dog for you, of course they are welcome in our practices. Did you know that Lesley Ashworth (Ian's wife) has been puppy walking guide dogs for several years. This has been a rewarding and stimulating experience, not to mention exhausting,  for the whole family.


If you are a driver you must by law;
  • Be able to read a number plate form a distance of 20.5 metres
  • Wear your correct prescription eyewear when ever driving
  • Report certain eyesight conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma and double vision to the dvla. We can usually help with these conditions.
  • Be able to see clearly out of the corners of your eyes and while driving in the dark

Otherwise your insurance will be invalidated...



Common eye problems

Information on the following common eye problems can be found on the NHS Choices web site. Follow the links to go to the pages.

W. H. Ashworth & Son
19 Wilmslow Road

Tel: 0161 428 3717

W. H. Ashworth & Son
214 Finney Lane
Heald Green

Tel: 0161 437 3400