Asia Retina held our first public forum at Mount Elizabeth Orchard on the 31st of March 2018. With more than 150 attendees, we had an educational afternoon discussing “Blurring of Vision”. We gave out informative flyers and personal hand-held mini Amsler grid keychains to all our participants. We even spent a good 45 minutes on the “Question & Answer” section for the audience to address any queries. For those of you who missed it, here is a super-summarized version of the what was covered in the forum.

Blurring of Vision can occur in many forms:

  1. Persistent Double Vision despite the use of glasses
  2. Blurring of Central Vision
  3. Distortion of Central Vision (this is when straight lines appear distorted or wavy)
  4. Central Scotoma (Area of blackness)
  5. Peripheral Scotoma or Tunnel Vision
  6. Black Curtain-like Vision
  7. Floaters obstructing Vision

Our Eye Works Like a Camera, with the following parts:
Cornea, Lens, Vitreous, Retina, Macula and Optic Nerve.

Common Causes of Blurring of Vision:

  1. Contact Lens Problems due to poor contact lens fit, contact lens overwear and contact lens infections. Read more about contact lens induced limbal stem cell deficiency at https://curatedition.com/health-and-wellness/the-health-risk-every-contact-lens-user-should-know-about/
  2. Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in Singapore. Cataracts tend to occur with increasing age from about 50 to 70 years. Symptoms of a significant cataract include blurring of vision, glare in sunlight, doubling of image and yellowish or dull, dim vision. Read more about the common misconceptions about cataracts at https://www.doctorxdentist.com/7-most-common-misconceptions-amongst-singaporeans-about-cataracts
  3. Glaucoma is also known as the ‘Silent Thief of Sight’ because it can occur without any noticeable symptoms until it is too late. Glaucoma causes damage to the optic nerve due to high eye pressure. In advanced glaucoma, patients develop irreversible tunnel vision. Risks factors for glaucoma include family members with glaucoma, myopia, diabetes and obstructive sleep apnea (snoring). Treatment options for glaucoma include controlling eye pressure by using eyedrops, glaucoma laser and glaucoma surgery.
  4. Retinal Conditions that commonly cause blurring of vision:
    1. Epiretinal Membrane
    2. Macular Hole
    3. Myopic Degeneration
    4. Age-related Macular Degeneration
    5. Floaters and Retinal Detachment
    6. Retinal Vein Occlusions (Stroke)
    7. Diabetic Retinopathy

Simple Causes of Blurring of Vision include Dry Eyes and Presbyopia or ‘Lao Hua’

Dry eyes can cause blurring of vision because we need a clear and smooth tear film to see clearly. Dry eyes syndrome commonly comes about with increasing age, excessive computer use and excessive contacts lens use. Other causes of dry eyes such as systemic medical conditions and drug use must be excluded. Dry eye treatments include lubricating eyedrops, eye ointments, eye sprays, steroid or anti-inflammatory eyedrops, punctal plugs and omega-3 supplements. Read more about dry eye treatments at https://www.doctorxdentist.com/5-easy-ways-to-eliminate-dry-eyes-as-told-by-an-eye-specialist

Presbyopia or ‘Lao Hua’ occurs with increasing age due to the loss of the flexibility of our natural lens and the loss of accommodation or ability to focus on near objects. We can alleviate presbyopia by using reading glasses, progressive glasses, multifocal or monovision contact lenses. If we are going for cataract surgery, we can choose monovision correction, multifocal or trifocal intraocular lens implants to help correct presbyopia at the same time.

Ways to protect our eyes:

  1. Wear UV protective sunglasses in the sun
  2. Avoid smoking
  3. Healthy diet with foods rich in omega-3 and lutein
  4. Avoid processed foods or refined sugars
  5. Keep blood pressure and cholesterol in check
  6. Healthy vitamin supplementation
  7. Have annual eye screening after the age of 40 years
  8. Slow down myopia in children: start by going for 6-monthly screening