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Retinal Degeneration

Retinal Degeneration

Our eye works very much like a camera. Just like a camera, our eyes have a clear glass window at the front (our cornea), the aperture (our pupil), the focussing lens (our crystalline lens) and the film (our retina). The retina is the house of our photoreceptors, the very cells responsible for the creation of images which are then transmitted to our brain. That makes the retina the most critical aspect of our eye that we should aim to preserve for as long as we can. With age, just as our body degenerates, our eyes also show aging or degenerative changes in different forms, such as cataract, glaucoma, dry eyes, droopy eyelids, etc. Unknown to many, our retina is susceptible to retinal degeneration in many different forms too. Lets briefly look at the different types or retinal degeneration and begin to understand how we can prevent or treat them.

Myopia Degeneration

Did you know that having myopia or short-sightedness is a risk factor for retinal degeneration later in life? Myopia, which is typically due to an elongation of the eyeball, leads to stretching and thinning of our retina. Depending on the severity of the myopia (how high the degree of short-sightedness), our retina may be affected centrally or peripherally. Central retinal stretching and thinning may lead to macular staphylomas, macular geographical atrophy, myopic lacquer cracks and myopic macular choroidal neovascularization. What does this all mean? It means that the macula (or central retina) may degenerate to a stage of atrophy (loss of photoreceptors) or it may crack resulting in retinal bleeding. In both situations, central vision will be affected and early treatment is needed. Furthermore, central retinal stretching may lead to myopic epiretinal membranes, myopic macular holes and myopic macular schises. Both of these conditions require surgical treatment to relieve the vitreous traction brought about by the excessive stretching. Peripheral retinal stretching leads to peripheral retinal degeneration such as lattice degeneration which may lead to retinal holes and tears. Untreated retinal holes and tears may lead to unwanted retinal detachment and sudden visual loss. As these degenerative changes are often asymptomatic until it is too late, it is prudent for those with high degrees of short-sightedness to get checked regularly for such conditions. Most people don’t realise that we should see the eye doctor routinely every year to maintain our eye wellness (similar to how we should see our dentists annually as well). Even more importantly, it is beneficial for us to try to prevent myopia increase in our children to avert these conditions completely.

Epiretinal Membrane

An epiretinal membrane is a fibrous tissue overgrowth that occurs on the internal surface of the retina, overlying the central macula. Very often, it leads to traction and wrinkling of the retina which leads to decreased vision and metamorphopsia. The causes of an epiretinal membrane are increasing age, myopia, inflammatory conditions and prior eye laser or surgery. Since it is a degenerative change, an epiretinal membrane may be thought of as an unwanted ‘scar tissue’ that occurs on the retina. Treatment involves surgical removal of the membrane through a micropscopic ‘keyhole’ surgery called a vitrectomy. Three tiny self-sealing incisions (each less than 0.5mm in size) are all that are needed to remove this 'scar tissue'. Visual outcomes are best when the membrane is removed early before it causes any damage to the retina.

Macular Hole

A macular hole, as the term suggests, is a hole which forms at the central macula. It results in decreased vision centrally or a gap in the central vision. It forms due to over-stretching of the retina (in myopia) or too much traction from the vitreous gel centrally. Treatment requires surgical removal of the vitreous traction and placing a gas bubble tamponade to allow the hole to close on its own. The chance of macular hole closure is better when the hole size is small. Therefore, it is important not to delay macular hole surgery once it has been detected.

Polypoidal Choroidal Vasculopathy

Polypoidal Choroidal Vasculopathy (PCV) is thought to be a variant of AMD that occurs in the slightly younger middle-aged adults. It is characterised by retinal bleeding from 'polypoidal-like' abnormal choroidal vessels. Diagnosis is less straightforward and requires specialised equipment that is readily available at our clinic. Despite the fact that treatment is similar to that of Wet AMD, it often requires a more individualised treatment plan that we are able to offer here at Asia Retina.

Central Serous Chorioretinopathy

Central Serous Chorioretinopathy (CSCR or CSR) occurs in young adults who complain of central blurring of vision. At the early stage, there is a small area of leakage of fluid (or water bubble) underneath the retina at the macula region. In late stages, there can be large amounts of fluid beneath the retina that may damage the retina and lead to irreversible vision loss. Risk factors for CSR are high stress, Type A personality, use of steroid medication and other hyperdynamic circulatory drugs. In the past, it was thought that CSR could resolve on its own within 6 months so treatment was delayed while waiting for self-resolution. We know now that treatment is best done early before any inadvertent retinal damage ensues. Treatment options include medication and different types of laser depending on the severity. At Asia Retina, we are able to provide non-damaging laser treatment in the early stage of CSR to achieve better visual outcomes for our patients.

Diabetic Retinopathy

People with prolonged diabetes mellitus are at risk of diabetic eye changes such as retinal microvascular bleeding and leakage. These changes manifest themselves as bleeding spots in the retina and macular swelling. Both diabetic bleeding and macular swelling can be averted by either eye injections or eye lasers depending on the severity. It is always better to receive treatment early rather than late. Late diabetic eye disease can result in treacherous retinal detachment and irreversible vision loss. The best way to prevent diabetic eye disease is to first control the sugar level well with a good diabetic diet. The second step is to ensure yearly eye checks to detect any early diabetic eye changes that can be treated. Lastly, it is important to pay attention to symptoms, such as eye floaters which could signify an early eye bleeding, and get treated immediately.

Vascular Occlusions

Did you know that the blood vessels in the eye could be occluded (or obstructed), similar to what occurs in a stroke? In other words, our eye may suffer a 'stroke' if the blood vessels are blocked, especially in the case of atherosclerosis, hypertension and high cholesterol. Arterial occlusions are catastrophic and may lead to sudden blindness in the affected eye. Vein occlusions are also serious but these may be treated if detected early. The most important step of management is to control the pre-existing hypertensive or high cholesterol condition in order to prevent another ‘stroke’ of the other eye, heart (heart attack) or brain stroke. Vein occlusions may be treated with eye injections which can improve the vision dramatically. Sometimes continuing eye injections may be necessary to maintain the good vision of the affected eye, which could be considered a small price to pay for ensuring useful vision in a ‘stroke’ eye.

Other Retinopathies

There are many various other retinopathies: ischemic retinopathies, inflammatory retinopathies, infective retinopathies, white-dot syndromes, autoimmune retinopathies, toxic retinopathies and hereditary retinopathies. Differentiating between these diagnoses are often times tricky. At Asia Retina, our fully-trained, fully-certified and fully-accreditated retinal specialist is fully-skilled and fully-equipped with the retinal imaging tools to make an appropriate diagnosis and advice the best treatment for each individual.

Eye Wellness

Eye Wellness

Eye wellness describes a state where our eyes are able to ‘look good, feel good and see well’. Many factors may affect how your eyes ‘look’ and ‘feel’ despite seemingly good vision. These range from how dry our eyes are to eyelid problems to corneal surface problems. At the same time, good eye nutrition and good reading habits are essential for a healthy state of our eyes.

Dry Eye Treatments

Almost everyone will experience dry eyes at some point in their lives, be it due to normal aging process, chronic contact lens wear, after prolonged computer use, post-LASIK procedure or environmental factors such as dry, windy or air-conditioned areas. Treatment of dry eyes depends on the severity and is not limited to only eyedrops. How do you know if you have dry eyes? Symptoms such as tearing, stinging pain, foreign body sensation, sandy sensation, grittiness, intermittent blurriness, eye redness and sensitivity to glare are all tell-tale signs of dry eyes. Download the Asia Retina App and complete a quick questionnaire to find out if you have dry eyes. Diagnosis of dry eyes can be made more precisely with the use of the TearLab applicator which analyzes your tear osmolality in a couple of seconds. Tearlab also enables us to monitor your tear osmolality after dry eye treatments to conclusively establish whether treatments are working. Besides eyedrops, we are able to offer eye sprays, dissolvable punctal plugs, vitamin supplements and intense pulsed light (IPL) laser for the treatment of dry eyes. Treatment choice is tailored according to each individual patient’s needs and preferences. At Asia Retina, there is a treatment suitable for everyone.

Eyelid Wellness

Most of us don’t realise that how good our eye feels has everything to do with how healthy our eyelids are. Besides protecting our eyes, our eyelids holds a multitude of glands that secrete essential oils into our tears to maintain a proper tear film. Dysfunction of these glands leading to under- or over-production of oil results in abnormal tears and overall eye discomfort.

Meibomian Gland Dysfunction

Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) is more common than we know. Many young adults are plagued with dry eyes due to MGD. Meibomian glands are the glands on our eyelids responsible for secreting just the right amount of oil into our tears. Sometimes, if our Meibomian glands get blocked or clogged up, there is insufficient oil in our tears and this results in abnormal tear composition and dry eyes. On the flip side, hyperactive Meibomian glands can lead to lid infections, recurrent chalazion and marginal keratitis (inflammation of the cornea). Dry eyes due to MGD have especially good outcomes after treatment with IPL laser.

Blepharitis

Blepharitis is a term to describe eyelid infections. Symptoms are typically eyelid itchiness, discharge and redness. Our eyelids may become infected due to accumulation of oil or dirt at the roots of the lashes. Many times, inadequate removal of makeup is a major culprit. Blepharitis may be due to bacteria or mites, in which case it is termed as demodex blepharitis. At Asia Retina, we are able to isolate the demodex mite by placing a single eyelash under the microscope. Demodex is easily treated by anti-parasite ointment and eyedrops; although there is chance of recurrence. If you experience prolonged eye itchiness or discharge, get your eyes checked for any insidious infections.

Chalazion (Stye)

A chalazion forms when hyperactive eyelid glands get blocked and the secretions are accumulated into a ‘boil’ within the eyelid. Often, it gets infected with collection pus and requires drainage through a small incision. Treatment includes warm compress, antibiotic eyedrops and ointment. In cases of recurrent chalazion formation, demodex blepharitits must be suspected. It is important to treat chalazion early as chronic chalazion are more difficult to treat and may lead to eyelid scarring.

Droopy Eyelids (Ptosis)

Ptosis not only affects our appearance, but also causes discomfort due to lid heaviness and visual obstruction. Almost always, our forehead muscles are forced to over-compensate and over-work to lift the droopy eyelid. This may lead to unwanted tension headaches and browaches. Treatment of ptosis is not always cosmetic and often medically necessary to relieve visual obstruction.

Eyelid Twitching

Persistent eyelid twitching can be brought about by local eye irritation such as dry eyes or MGD, excessive caffeine, excessive alcohol and foods rich in potassium. After treating any incriminating eye issues, unrelenting eyelid twitching can be treated by a local injection of Botox at the right area in the right dose.

Cornea Wellness

Our cornea is meant to be a clear ‘window’ to our eyes. The clarity of our vision and eye appearance is due to the integrity of our transparent cornea. Any compromise to our cornea will not only affect our vision, but also affect the way our eye looks. This translates to the ‘look’ and ‘feel’ of our eyes.

Contact Lens Overwear

People who wear contact lenses daily for a prolonged length of time (years) are liable to contract contact lens overwear syndrome, which shows up as signs of chronic eye redness, itching, pain, dry eyes, intolerance of contact lenses and blurring of vision. The cornea cells may become oxygen deprived leading to irreversible loss of cells. Any inadvertent injury to the cornea then leads to poor corneal healing or scarring. Contact lens habits which aggravate the condition are sleeping with contact lens overnight, swimming with contact lenses, wearing contact lenses for more than 12 hours a day and little rest days from contact lenses. If you are a chronic contact lens user (more than 10 – 20 years), you may want to get your eyes checked for signs of contact lens overwear. At Asia Retina, we are able to advise you on the proper contact lens habits that will keep your eyes healthy and prevent irreversible corneal damage.

Corneal Infections

The most dreaded complication of contact lens use is corneal infections. Infections may be bacterial, viral, fungal or protozoal. Depending on the severity of the infection, treatment could be long-drawn and may require corneal transplantation. It is always better to prevent an infection rather than to have to treat it. Contact lens hygiene is of utmost importance. In fact, we encourage the use of daily disposable contact lens to negate the need to wash your contact lenses. It is also prudent to avoid any contact with mud or dirty water when using your contact lenses. Any signs of eye redness or irritation requires immediate medical attention to treat any early infection.

Computer Vision Syndrome

Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) or Digital Eye Strain is a real syndrome that occurs due to extended digital screen use. The symptoms include eye strain, headaches, dry eyes, blurred vision and neck pain. It is usually a result of a combination of factors including poor lighting, glare of the digital screen, poor posture and improper viewing distance. In addition, when we concentrate on the digital screen, we tend to blink less often and this exacerbates eye dryness which further leads to eye strain and eye pain. It is difficult to avoid digital screen time in totality, hoewever we can take measures to prevent CVS by:
  1. Placing the screen at an adequate distance (more than armslength) away from your eyes
  2. Placing the screen below your eye level
  3. Good seating posture
  4. Good lighting
  5. Anti-glare screens
  6. Frequent rest breaks
  7. Conscientious blinking

Myopia Prevention

Myopia Prevention

Can myopia really be prevented? Although it is true that myopia is hereditary, it is also true that we can take steps to prevent myopia from rising in our children. While we cannot reverse the onset of myopia, we can definitely reduce or slow it down. The first step is to detect myopia early!

Paediatric Eye Screening

Most of us do not realize the importance of detecting myopia early in our children. In fact, by the time a child is detected to have reading problems during the School Health Screening, the myopia level might be ‘200-300 degrees’ which is not ideal.

At Asia Retina, we aim to detect the onset of myopia at its earliest stages so that we can slow it down immediately. This means that we recommend all children to have an eye screening assessment from the age of 3 to 4 years old to detect any early-onset myopia. In addition, we are able to detect and treat any amblyopia or ‘lazy eye’ from as early as 3 years old.

Prescription Eyedrops

Studies have shown that prescription eyedrops are able to slow down the progression of myopia by approximately half! This is substantial considering if a child had the genetic predisposition to be ‘1000 degrees’ myopic, prescription eyedrops could potentially reduce that half at ‘500 degrees’. This difference is significant as it could mean saving your child from the complications of myopia degeneration in future.

Previously, prescription eyedrops were used at concentrations of 1% and 0.125%. At this dose, there are effects such as glare from light and difficulty focusing on near objects requiring the need for bifocal glasses for reading. Currently, we use prescription eyedrops at the 0.01% dose, which is just as effective in myopia prevention and without all the unwanted side-effects.

It is important to have your child assessed before considering these eyedrops as not all children are suitable for these eyedrops.

Near Work Habits

Having good near work habits or hygiene is a key part of myopia prevention. Children may not realize that taking care of their eyes at their young tender age is beneficial to their eyes for the rest of their adult life. We recommend that children adopt these simple yet good near work habits to prevent the onset of myopia:

    1. Read with a good posture (avoid lying down, crouching on the floor or putting you head on the table) while doing your work.

    2. Read with good lighting (avoid reading from a brightly-lit screen in a completely dark room).

    3. Keep your book or electronic device at a good arms’ length distance away from your eyes.

    4. Rest your eyes periodically by looking at a faraway distance (outside your window) every 20-30 minutes.

    5. Avoid rubbing your eyes as that will bring about astigmatism.

    6. Engage in more outdoor sports or activities, accumulating more than 10 hours per week of outdoor exposure to natural sunlight.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma

A common misconception about glaucoma – which is a form of eye disease leading to optic nerve damage and therefore loss of vision – is that it only affects the elderly. Depending on the specific type of glaucoma, the disease can develop at any age – even babies can suffer from congenital glaucoma. Glaucoma can be categorized in many ways: Open Angle versus Angle Closure Glaucoma and Hypertensive versus Normotensive Glaucoma. In general, if there is a problem with the drainage canal of the eye at the angles (be it due to an open angle that becomes obstructed or narrow angles which impede outflow of fluid), too much fluid stays in the eye and causes a rise in the eye pressure.

Open Angle glaucoma accounts for roughly 90% of glaucoma cases, and develops slowly over time, often without any pain. The peripheral (side) vision gets impaired first, followed by the central vision. Because of the symptoms and damage are not noticeable, glaucoma is often referred to as the silent thief of sight.

Angle Closure glaucoma is characterized by a sudden increase in intraocular pressure (eye pressure), which causes symptoms like severe eye pain, blurred vision and even nausea. This type of glaucoma develops very quickly, and requires emergency treatment.

Although glaucoma is more commonly known to be related to high intraocular pressure (hypertensive glaucoma), we are realizing that glaucoma can even occur in patients with normal intraocular pressure (normotensive glaucoma). This could be due to multiple factors leading to a compromised circulation to the optic nerve despite normal eye pressure. Hence, it is important to be screened for glaucoma even in those with normal eye pressures.

Vision loss that is caused by glaucoma is permanent and non-reversible. Coupled with the fact that the disease can be either silent or swift, it is advisable to get your eyes checked early and regularly to ensure early detection. At Asia Retina, we provide glaucoma screening services to determine your risk factors for this diseases. Once we detect that a patient is at-risk, our surgeon will determine the best course of action to manage and slow the progression of glaucoma. This is done with medication, laser treatment or surgery.

Glaucoma Risk Factors

The risk factors for glaucoma include:

    1. Genetic Predisposition
    If you have a close family member (parent or sibling) who has glaucoma, it is likely that you have the genetic predisposition for glaucoma. We would advise glaucoma screening from the age of 40 years for family members with family history of glaucoma.

    2. High Eye Pressure
    High eye pressure is known to be associated with compromise to the optic nerve function which translates to glaucomatous damage. Its always good to have your eye pressure assessed regularly to detect early onset of glaucoma.

    3. Myopia (Short-sightedness)
    People with high degrees of short-sightedness are at risk of developing glaucoma.

    4. Hypertension and Diabetes
    People who had high blood pressure or diabetes are at risk of glaucoma due to compromise to the optic nerve blood circulation.

    5. Thin Corneas
    Those with thin corneas are at risk of glaucoma because the intraocular pressure measurement in a thin cornea tends to be an underestimation of the actual eye pressure. As such, many glaucoma cases go undetected in those with thin corneas. Patients who had LASIK done would have thinner corneas than those without LASIK. That is why patients who had prior LASIK should continue close monitoring to detect any onset of glaucoma.

    6. Obstructive Sleep Apnea
    People with snoring or obstructive sleep apnea have 10 times increase risk of glaucoma. This could be related to decreased oxygen perfusion to the optic nerve during obstructed sleep when the muscles relax and airways collapse. For that same reason, people with obstructive sleep apnea have higher risk of hypertension, heart disease and stroke. It is advisable to get screened for glaucoma if you know you or your loved ones have snoring or sleep problems.

Glaucoma Screening

Glaucoma screening should be done from the age of 40 years old for those with family members who have glaucoma; and 50 years old for everybody else. Your visit to our eye clinic will include a check of the following:

    1. Your eye pressure
    2. Your eye angles looking for signs of narrow angles
    3. Your optic nerve rim thickness to determine the health of your optic nerve
    4. Your visual field to ascertain the overall function of your optic nerve
    5. Your cornea thickness so we know whether your eye pressure measurements are truly accurate

Our doctor will assess all your risks factors holistically and advise on the precautions you can take to prevent early-onset glaucoma.

If you have been diagnosed with glaucoma, depending on the severity, there are multiple ways of treating glaucoma including glaucoma eyedrops, glaucoma laser and glaucoma surgery.

At Asia Retina, if you need glaucoma eyedrops, we are able to integrate your personal eyedrop regime into our customised Asia Retina App so that you can get daily phone reminder alerts to instill the eyedrops according to your schedule.

Glaucoma Laser

There are different forms of glaucoma lasers depending on the type of glaucoma:

    1. Laser Iridotomy - This is a laser performed at the peripheral part of the iris to create a bypass route from fluid to drainage through a crowded, narrow angle.

    2. Laser Trabeculoplasty - This laser is targetted at the trabecular meshwork to improve the fluid outflow in open angle glaucoma.

    3. Laser treatments are able to bring down the eye pressure and delay both the need for eyedrops and the occurrence of irreversible vision loss.

Glaucoma Surgery

There are many surgical options for glaucoma including:

    1. Cataract surgery: Recent studies have shown that cataract removal alone may bring about a lowering of eye pressure because the cataract itself may impede the outflow of fluid at the narrowed drainage canal. For this reason, patients who have cataracts might want to consider surgery sooner rather than later, to prevent the onset of glaucoma.

    2. MIGS (micro-invasive glaucoma surgery): This is a new category of treatments in which small implantable devices are placed in the angle to assist in aqueous outflow or mechanically widen the drainage channels in the angle. It can be performed at the same time as cataract surgery.

    3. Trabeculectomy: This surgery entails creating a small shunt or pathway for the fluid to drain from the peripheral iris to a space under the conjunctiva called a bleb. This pathway bypasses the obstructed drainage canal and the fluid under the bleb then gets reabsorbed back into the bloodstream.

    4. Drainage implant surgery: An implantable device (such as a Molteno valve or an Ahmed valve) with a tube in the anterior chamber at one end and a valved chamber under the conjunctiva at the other end, allows the fluid to exit the eye via an alternate pathway that bypasses the drainage canal.

    5. Ciliary body ablation: Ciliary body ablation is a last resort and is reserved for those people with pressures that have not been lowered by eyedrops, laser and other surgeries.

Cataract

Cataract

A cataract is the clouding of the lens in the human eye, which impairs the vision and makes it hard to do even the simplest task. More often than not, the cataract develops slowly, and is brought about by aging, although trauma and injury to the eye can also lead to a cataract.

Treatment involves removing the cataract and replacing it with an artificial lens. At Asia Retina, we carefully plan out each cataract surgery so that your vision needs are also taken care of through refractive correction. We do this by selecting the artificial lens (also known as intraocular lens, or IOL) that best suits your desired lifestyle and preferences.

Monovision Correction

Monofocal IOLs have one focusing distance, which ranges from distance, intermediate or near. A combination of monofocal IOLs in each eye can allow for “monovision”, where one eye focuses on distance, while the other focuses on intermediate or near.

Multifocal IOL

Multifocal IOLs have more than one focusing distance, which allows vision at distance and near. You would opt for this type of IOL if you prefer not to have to wear eye glasses or contact lens. However, due to its drawbacks of minimal glare and haloes, it may not be suitable for everyone.

Toric IOL

Toric IOLs are designed to help patients with corneal astigmatism and irregularly shaped corneas. When implanting the IOL, our surgeon will align it with acute precision such that the position and orientation of the lens results in the best eye vision for you.

If you have developed a cataract in one or both your eyes, make an appointment at Asia Retina and we will choose the right treatment that works best for you.

Combined Cataract Surgery

Cataract surgery can be done in combination with other procedures when there are pre-existing eye conditions. In the case of concurrent glaucoma, cataract removal may be done with a trabeculectomy to improve the eye pressure lowering effect and glaucoma control. In the case of concurrent pathological floaters, cataract removal may be done with vitrectomy to remove any severe floaters. In the case of concurrent epiretinal membrane, cataract removal may be done with a vitrectomy and membrane removal to address both issues at the same setting. Treatment of only either and not both will result in a poorer than expected visual outcome. As such, it is important to have a thorough eye examination before any surgery so that the best treatment may be performed for your eye in its entirety.

Floaters

Floaters

Almost everyone will experience floaters at some point in their lives. While 90% of floaters are benign and harmless, about 10% of floaters may signify a retinal tear, retinal detachment or retinal bleeding in the eye. It is therefore advisable to have your floaters checked to determine which category they belong to. Any underlying cause of floaters such as retinal tears, detachment or bleeding are best treated as early as possible.

Treatment of Floaters

In the past, benign floaters were regarded as harmless and inconsequential. Often, we are told to accept it and learn to live with it. However, as benign as they may be, often floaters can be very annoying and may obstruct our vision to the extent that it troubles our quality of life. Here at Asia Retina, we believe in enhancing our patients’ lives so that patients do not have to tolerate with the visual obstruction due to the floaters. With current technology, we are now able to treat floaters in a safe and effective manner. There are various options depending on the individual’s symptoms, size and number of floaters. Options such as laser vitreolysis and surgical floater removal can be considered. Laser vitreolysis is a safe and non-invasive way of minimizing the appearance of floaters. Surgery is especially considered if patients require removal of pre-existing cataract, their troublesome floaters may be removed at the same time.

Retinal Tears

A retinal tear may occur when the adherent vitreous gel pulls on the retina and creates an unwanted hole or break in the retina. The retina tear is the earliest stage of a retinal detachment and if left untreated, will progress into a detachment where the retina falls away from the eye wall and results in vision loss. Treatment of a retinal tear is non-invasive, easy and fast. A simple laser retinopexy can be performed in 5-10 minutes in our clinic. It is a painless procedure with no downtime. The laser acts like a sealant which surrounds and secures the retinal tear to prevent further detachment. Signs of a retinal tear may include new floaters or flashing lights, hence it is highly recommended to have a quick eye assessment if you should develop such symptoms. Often, a retinal tear may be asymptomatic which means that there are no signs of symptoms. It is not unusual for patients who have a routine eye examination to discover that they have a retinal hole. Patients at risk of asymptomatic retinal holes are those with high myopia or those with family members with retinal tears or detachments. These retinal holes are better treated early than late, before they progress to a detachment. Therefore, we do encourage patients with high myopia or family members with retinal conditions to have their eyes checked even if there are no symptoms. 

Retinal Detachment

Once a retinal detachment occurs, our vision will be severely affected. Treatment of a retinal detachment involves surgical repair of which there are various methods. Broadly speaking, the retina may be reattached by an external procedure known as scleral buckling, which involves placing a band around the eyeball to support the retina; and an internal procedure known as vitrectomy, which involves removing the incriminating vitreous gel and reattaching the retina directly with a tamponade agent and retinal laser. The decision on which surgical procedure is performed is made by our surgeon according to the patient’s needs and type of retinal detachment along with other factors including whether there is any pre-existing cataract. At Asia Retina, each surgery is customized and individualized based on the patient’s requirements, to ensure the best visual outcome possible.