Asia Retina hosted yet another public forum at Mount Elizabeth Hospital last week, speaking on the concept of Eye Wellness and how it starts with protecting our vision from cataracts, glaucoma and retinal diseases. Here is a summary of what was discussed:
As we know, most of us would get cataracts with increasing age, its just a matter of time and severity. Contributing factors to cataract formation include sunlight ultraviolet exposure, smoking, high myopia and injudicious use of any form of steroids. Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in Singapore! So how do we know whether we have cataracts? In fact, early cataracts could have little to no symptoms. It could be as subtle as a fluctuating or changing spectacle degree or power. Only when a cataract is more severe does it cause blurring of vision, doubling of vision, yellowing or dimming of vision. See your eye doctor early for a thorough cataract assessment. As Asia Retina, we show our patients coloured pictures of their cataract so they can understand clearly whether their cataract is affecting their eyesight.
Once a cataract has been confirmed, we are then able to offer the best solutions for the individual according to their lifestyle activities and preferences. The different types of intraocular lenses used during cataract surgery are also discussed. Cataract assessment and cataract surgery planning is always a detailed discussion between our doctor and our patient. Our patients will get to understand in detail what they can expect before, during and after cataract surgery. The whole process is made seamless and painless for our patients.
In addition, all patients will have a complete eye examination looking out for other eye conditions such as glaucoma, retinal diseases and even dry eyes. All such issues can be resolved in the same setting as cataract surgery. At Asia Retina, we believe that patients should have a great experience during cataract surgery and should get the best outcome of perfect vision almost immediately after cataract surgery.
Glaucoma, the silent thief of sight, is another common eye disease with little or no symptoms until it is too late. Because glaucoma affects the peripheral retina first, most sufferers do not even realise they have glaucoma. High intraocular pressure, which is another sign of glaucoma, also may have no symptoms. Hence it is imperative to get checked for glaucoma early, especially so if you have a relative with glaucoma history.
Glaucoma assessment at Asia Retina includes eye pressure tests, angle assessment tests, optic nerve tests, retinal nerve fibre layer tests and visual field checks. These tests are sensitive to detect early glaucoma and are good for monitoring progression with time.
Lastly, we discussed retinal conditions that have little to no symptoms including retinal tears, retinal holes, early macular degeneration and even early hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes and anaemia. All these systemic conditions do show signs in the retina and may be detected with a retinal check.
Why wait for your eyes to be checked? A useful analogy is this: we have 24 to 36 teeth and we all know to keep them cleaned by our dentist at least yearly. We only have 2 eyes! We can take steps to protect them for many years to come, but we need to get them checked at least once a year too! See your eye specialist for an eye screening. It only takes a quick visit with a good retinal doctor to know how best to protect your eyes!