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Patients aged 60-75 years registered with one inner city general practice were sent a questionnaire asking when they last received an eye check by an optometrist. Of the 193 (77%) who responded, 110 (59%) had attended in the last 2 years, and 138 (74%) in the last 3 years. Males and those with mobility problems were less likely to have had their eyes checked. Seventy-seven previous non-attenders were offered an appointment with an optometrist and this was accepted by 34 (44%). These individuals showed a high level of ophthalmic morbidity. Discussion of optometric checks should be included in general practice health checks and the elderly surveillance programme.