Opening Hours : Monday to Friday: 8:30 am to 5 pm,
  Saturday : 8:30 am to 12:30 pm

Blog

4 Most Common Eye Diseases that can cause Blindness

1.Cataracts

Cataracts are one of the leading causes of blindness. It is due to the clouding of the natural lens in the eye and is most commonly due to aging. It can also be caused by the use of medications such as steroids, smoking, trauma to the eye and prolonged UV exposure.

The first few signs of cataracts are blurring of vision, glares or haloes at night or discolouration of objects.

Thankfully, blindness caused by cataracts are reversible via surgery. With advancements in technology, cataract surgery is performed as a day surgery, needing only topical anaesthetic eyedrops.

2.Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a chronic eye disease whereby increased intraocular pressure in the eyes causes damage to the optic nerves at the back of your eyes. The optic nerves are responsible for sending messages from the eye to the brain.

Glaucoma is commonly known as ‘the silent thief of sight”. During the early stages of glaucoma, there are no symptoms and hence the condition progresses undiagnosed. Often times, it is only when the patient experiences symptoms such as poor night vision that it is diagnosed. By then, the damage caused by glaucoma is irreversible, and can lead to blindness in serious cases. Glaucoma accounts for 40% of blindness in Singapore.

3.Diabetic Eye Disease

Diabetic eye disease is a group of eye disease that affects patients with diabetes. Blood vessels at the retina, the light sensitive portion of the eye is being affected. Diabetic eye disease can also cause swelling at the back of the eye, affecting patient’s vision. People who have had diabetics for many years or have poorly controlled diabetics are at higher risk of having diabetic eye disease.

4.Age-Related Macular Degeneration

AMD commonly affects patients over the age of 50. In this condition, the macula, the back of the eye that is responsible for sharp, central vision is being affected. Patients who smoke or have family history of AMD are at higher risk of being affected by AMD.

Damage caused by AMD is irreversible. Hence, it is important to carry out comprehensive dilated eye examinations yearly

These conditions are commonly found in patients above the age of 40. Schedule a yearly eye examination to detect these eye conditions early.

Book your appointment with us now.

Read More

How to Choose the Right Eye Doctor for your LASIK or Refractive Surgery?

Making the decision for a life-changing procedure – Refractive Surgery is difficult. But, what is more difficult is to choose the right eye doctor to perform the procedure for you. Here are some tips for you when it comes to choosing the right doctor:

Get recommendation from your physician. For those who have a family doctor, paediatrician or gynaecologist, you may ask for their recommendations on who you should consult for a Refractive Surgery. These doctors have known you for a long time and they will not put their reputation or your trust at risk by referring the wrong doctor. Furthermore, your physician knows your medical history, hence, he or she will be the best person to refer you to an eye doctor, who understand your medical needs. Run a check on the medical portal of doctors (Singapore Medical Council) to find out the credentials of a particular doctor.

Ask your friends or relatives. If there is someone you know who has had their eyesight corrected, you may ask for their recommendations. They would be able to share with you their experience and surgical outcomes. Sometimes they can even bring you to the eye specialist centre that they have visited. This may make your first visit to that centre more comfortable since your friends or relatives have previous experience.

Ask the staff in the eye specialist centre. Well, you may not be convinced with this as staff are generally on the side of their own doctor. However, it may be helpful by asking the staff more specific questions such as:

  • Does your doctor patiently answer questions from patients?
  • Would you recommend your doctor to your relatives?
  • Can you share the credentials of your doctor?

Meet the eye doctor.  There is no better way to ascertain if you are comfortable with an eye doctor other than yourself. Very often, trust is built through your own experience meeting with the doctor.

 

 

 

 

 

Read More

Top 5 Must Know FAQs about LASIK & Refractive Surgery

Are you thinking about correcting your eyesight permanently? However, there are too many question marks in your mind? Heard from your friends about LASIK but unsure whether to proceed with it? You may find your answers below:

Q1. How does LASIK or Refractive Surgery remove my short-sightedness and astigmatism?

chartFirst of all, you must understand what are refractive errors (short-sightedness, long-sightedness, astigmatism). Having refractive errors mean the light is not focused on the light sensitive tissue lining of our eye (retina), resulting in blurred vision. By reshaping the outer part of our eye (cornea) with a “cool” beam laser, the light can be re-focused on the retina and people who previously need eyeglasses or contact lenses, may not need them anymore.

Q2: Am I qualified to go for LASIK or Refractive Surgery?

You can ascertain your suitability through a pre-LASIK evaluation. However, there are some general guidelines for those who are interested to get rid of eyeglasses or contact lenses.

  1. Healthy eye. There are no eye diseases or abnormalities. Any eye diseases and or infections should be resolved before surgery.
  2. Stable eye prescription for at least 12 months. There should be ≤ 0.50 dioptre change in your eye prescription for the past 12 months. Patients who have significant change in their eyesight will be monitored and surgery should be postponed until their vision has stabilised.
  3. Aged 18 years and above. Patients under 18 years old tend to have unstable eyesight and therefore, Refractive Surgery is usually not recommended.
  4. For ladies – you are not nursing or pregnant. Eye prescription may fluctuate when expecting a baby or nursing due to the hormonal changes in the body.
  5. No Autoimmune diseases. Autoimmune diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and Sjogren’s Syndrome may result in poor visual outcomes and increase the risk of complications after Refractive Surgery.

Q3: Will I get perfect vision after the procedure?

before after
Though doctors strive to make the refractive error zero after Refractive Surgery, this may not always be possible. Refractive Surgery aims to reduce a person’s dependence on spectacles or contact lenses. No one can guarantee perfect vision after Refractive Surgery. Our vision may change with time with or without any Refractive Surgery. Hence, even if one have had Refractive Surgery, he or she may still need eyeglasses at some point in time after the procedure.

Q4: Is LASIK or Refractive Surgery painful?

No, it is usually not painful. This is because the doctor will use anaesthetic eyedrops to fully numb the eye before the surgery. During the procedure, you may feel some mild pressure around the eye, but no pain at all. You will be prescribed with eyedrops after your surgery to minimise dryness and infection.

Q5: How much does a LASIK or Refractive Surgery cost?

money

The price ranges from $3,199 up to $4,999 for 2 eyes at Atlas Eye Specialist Centre. There are many eye centres offering various types of treatment with different pricings. We advise patient to choose a treatment most suited for their eyes instead of choosing the most economic treatment. A one-time payment for a lifetime vision, it is totally worth the money.

Read More

8 Eye Myths

We have all heard about eye myths since growing up. Are they true? Or are they just old wives tales? Read on to find out!

  1. Carrots will improve eyesight.

Since young, we were told by our parents to finish the carrots on our plates as they would help us to see better. This old rumour started since World War 2, when the British boasted that their pilots were better able to see at night due to carrots. In actual fact, it was their secret radar system.  Carrots contain Vitamin A and Lutein, nutrients that are beneficial to the eye. Eating carrots will provide you with the small amount of Vitamin A needed for good vision, but the belief that carrots help improve vision is a stretch.

  1. Reading in low light environment will affect the eyesight.

Contrary to popular belief, reading in poor illuminations do not affect eyesight. It may cause headaches or eye fatigue, but it is only a temporary discomfort. While it is more difficult to read in the dark, reading in low light conditions will not damage the eye in any way. Centuries ago when electricity was not available, people read and worked by candle lights that offered far less light than now.

  1. Wearing glasses, especially in your youth, is detrimental to your vision and will make it worse.

Spectacles are prescribed to correct blurry vision. Some people feel that wearing spectacles would cause an increase in their prescription or cause them to be more reliant on their glasses due to the wearer getting more used to sharp and crisp vision that was not available before. Refractive errors are actually due to the length of the eyeball being too long or short, causing light to fall elsewhere other than the retina.  In fact, not wearing prescription glasses when needed may lead to even poorer vision than before.

  1. Vision loss/impairment with old age is not preventable (or rather inevitable).

With age, there are many types of changes that can occur in the eye. Common conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, age related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy are a few of them. The vision loss caused by cataracts are inevitable and progresses with age, but they are reversible via a simple surgery. Unfortunately, for the other conditions mentioned, they can only be detected during eye checks or when the symptoms are experienced. In those cases, vision impairment would have occurred and is unfortunately irreversible. It is therefore important to have annual eye exams to detect any eye conditions. Earlier treatments allow a better visual outcome for most people.

  1. “Overusing” the eyes can wear them out.

Over using anything will wear things out, and the same goes for the eye. Nowadays, many people spend a large amount of time behind the computer and phone for work or leisure. Doing near work for long hours can cause dry eyes due to reduced blinking rates, redness and also headaches. In some cases, it might even lead to accommodative spasm, whereby the muscles remain in a constant state of contraction. This would lead to blurring of objects at a distance. Overusing our eyes for their intended purpose will not cause blindness, but it can lead to varying degrees of eye fatigue. It is hence advisable to take regular breaks while doing intensive near work.

cucumber

  1. Lifestyle can/cannot affect your vision.

There are many lifestyle choices we make that can affect our vision. Having a diet that is high in sugar can lead to increased glucose levels, which would then cause fluctuating vision. Smoking, drinking and spending long hours under the computer can also lead to problems like age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataracts and dry eyes.  It is important to lead a healthy lifestyle.

  1. Wearing contact lenses at campfires or barbeques can cause them to melt in your eyes.

While enjoying a barbeque or a campfire, the usage of contact lenses is still reasonably safe if a safety distance is ensured. Contact lenses are sterilized in high temperatures of up to 121 degrees Celsius. The heat from BBQ and campfire should not melt the contact lens as the melting point of the contact lens is higher the boiling point of water. Also, at high heat levels, the human skin on the face would be affected by the heat way before the contact lens is affected.

  1. Sitting too close to screens/extensive use of screens will ruin the eyesight.

This myth started back in the 1960s when colour TV sets that were sold were found to emit amounts of radiation that were much higher than the safe limit. The TV sets were recalled, but the stigma still remains today. The act of reading and sitting close to computer screens and iPads do not ruin eyesight. They can, however, cause Asthenopia, known as fatigue or eye strain.   Staring closely at a screen forces our ciliary muscle, which affects how well we focus, to remain contracted without rest. This tires the eyes out after prolonged hours of near work. Blinking rate is also reduced when we stare at the screen. Blinking is important as it keeps the front surface of our eyes moist and lubricated. If the surface is dried out, the user would experience blurry or foggy vision, which would get better after blinking. It is therefore important to take regular vision breaks to protect our eyes from eyestrain and dry eyes.
tv

Read More

Types of Cataract Surgery & Intraocular Lens

During the initial stages of cataract, prescription eyeglasses are changed or sunglasses are worn to counter the glare from bright lights. However, these are only considered temporary measures. If not treated properly, the cataract will gradually worsen. Symptoms of Cataract vary with severity and once it starts affecting your quality of life, treatment should be considered.

With advances in technology, patients can now undergo surgery to effectively remove cataract. During the surgery, the cataractous lens in the eye will be removed and and an intraocular lens will be implanted.

Types of cataract surgery:

Micro-incision Phacoemulsification Surgery – This is the current standard of cataract removal. This procedure uses ultrasound energy to liquify the cataract in patient’s eye. It allows the emulsified cataract to be removed through a narrow incision of 2 to 3 mm. The wounds are self-healing, so stitches are not required. This allows the patient’s eyes to recover and heal faster.

Laser-assisted Cataract Surgery  This procedure is known to have great potential in treating cataracts and is considered as the next phase in the improvement of minimally invasive cataract surgery. In LACS, there is improved wound construction, it is gentle on the eye and allows greater predictability in lens positioning. It also offers advantages for certain forms of complex cataract surgery.

There are different types of intraocular lens available in the market:

Multifocal IOLs – These lenses have different zones in different areas of the lens, enabling the patient to clearly see objects at both near and far. It decreases the need for computer or reading glasses after cataract surgery. This is ideal for patients who find that prescription glasses are a hassle and want to be rid of them.

mfiolmfvision

The above picture demonstrates vision through a multifocal lens implant. Both far and near objects are clear.

 

Toric IOLs Astigmatism occurs when the cornea or lens are misshaped. Toric lens implants are intraocular lenses that are used to correct astigmatism using the different powers in different meridians of the lens.

 

Monofocal IOLs – These lenses provide corrective power in only one portion of your visual range, typically distance vision. We may select monofocal IOLs that are for near, mid or distant focus. Only one of these 3 can be selected and the focus will not change after surgery. During your eye examination and consultation, we can help you choose the an IOL best suited for your needs.

monoiol monovision

The above picture demonstrates vision through a monofocal lens implant.

 

Before any lens implant can be selected, you will need to let the surgeon know your lifestyle needs and requirements so that he is able to select a lens that is most suitable for you.

 

Read More

Is Everyone a Candidate for LASIK or Refractive Surgery?

Very often, we know of many people who wear glasses or contact lenses and are keen to get rid of them through some form of Refractive Surgery. Majority of people are suitable for Refractive Surgery. However, some may be excluded due to underlying eye conditions. Here are some requirements to ascertain a person’s suitability for Refractive Surgery:

relexsmile

  1. Healthy Eyes

There should not be any eye diseases (especially corneal abnormalities) prior to Refractive Surgery. Any untreated eye diseases or corneal abnormalities can affect the result of the procedure, which is why we advise a pre-LASIK evaluation before you proceed with any surgery. In fact, everyone above the age of 40 should have a general eye check on a yearly basis.

  1. Stop Contact Lens Wear

Before you go for a pre-LASIK evaluation or Refractive Surgery, your doctor will advise you to refrain from wearing your soft contact lenses for 3 days and hard contact lenses for 14 days. This is because contact lens wear can change the shape of your cornea and result in inaccurate examination and treatment planning.

  1. You Must Be Above 18 Years Old

A patient must be at least 18 years old to undergo Refractive Surgery. Most doctor will not perform Refractive Surgery for those below 18 because they tend to have unstable eye prescription.

  1. You Must Be Able to Lie Flat without Discomfort

Although the laser correction is usually done within 1 minute, the whole procedure will take approximately 20 minutes to complete as your eye doctor needs to clean your eyes after the procedure. Patients need to lie on the bed throughout the procedure. For patient who cannot lie flat due to any health issues,  we advise them to have the condition treated before going for Refractive Surgery.

Read More

How will ReLEx SMILE benefit me?

Before we delve deeper into how ReLEx SMILE surgery can help you, let us first define what this procedure is.

SMILE stands for Small Incision Lenticule Extraction. It is the 3rd generation of laser vision correction which melds the qualities of both LASIK and Advanced Surface Ablation. During SMILE, a 4mm incision is created with a laser. A lenticule is created with the same laser, and then extracted through the incision.Relex

What are the advantages of ReLEx® SMILE?

  • Comfortable and gentle

Many patients prefer ReLEx SMILE surgery as it is relatively painless and comfortable. As compared to LASIK, the surgeon will no longer need to create a thin, circular flap in the cornea that is needed to access the underlying cornea to remove corneal tissue. During the surgery, the patient’s eye will be numbed using eye drops. A single 24 second laser is then used to create a small incision of less than 4mm. This is gentler on the eye and allows a faster recovery period.

  • No flap complication

ReLEx® SMILE is carried out under the surface of the cornea. As ReLEx® SMILE is flapless, it means the patient will not need to worry about flap dislodgement or displacement. This procedure is ideal for people who do contact sports such as boxing, mixed martial arts or soccer.

  • Stable refractive outcomes

As compared to LASIK, ReLEx® SMILE surgery is not just effective but also predictable.  This procedure provides stability that is superior to other laser treatments.

  • Minimally invasive

Due to the smaller wound created, ReLEx® SMILE results in a much stronger eye and less discomfort and tearing right after the surgery. With a small incision, fewer corneal nerves are disrupted during the procedure, resulting in lower incidence of dry eye compared to LASIK. Patients are also less or totally not dependent on lubricating eyedrops after the procedure.

compare

  • Changes in vision can be seen in just a few hours

Another great thing about ReLEx SMILE is that your vision will start to improve in just a few hours after your surgery. You will achieve functional vision within the first 24 hours, and vision will continue to improve steadily in the coming days and weeks after surgery. You are advised to take at least 3 days off work to allow your eyes to heal. You will need to return to the clinic the next day for a follow-up.

Read More

Uncover the Myths about LASIK

Uncover the Myths about LASIK

Despite LASIK having a history of about 30 years, there are still some myths amongst those who are concerned about the procedure. Let’s discuss the some common myths:

ft62

Myth #1: LASIK is painful.

Truth: Generally, there will not be any pain sensation on the eye during procedure as your eye doctor will instill anaesthetic eyedrops to numb your eye. The anaesthetic effect will usually last throughout the entire procedure. Therefore, you will feel no pain even after you step out of the operating theatre. However, there might be mild grittiness or stinging sensation which will usually last for the first few hours after the procedure. With ReLEx SMILE (Small Incision Lenticule Extraction), it greatly reduces the mild grittiness that may occur after the procedure.

Myth #2: LASIK may cause blindness.

Truth: Though LASIK is performed under high levels of safety, it is still a surgery which involves some low risk. However, the number of blind cases due to Refractive Surgery is still ZERO in Singapore. Therefore, a thorough eye examination followed by doctor’s consultation are important to review all benefits and risks of Refractive Surgery before making a decision.

Myth #3: I will not need any eyeglasses after LASIK.

Truth: Our vision may change with time irregardless of whether one has had Refractive Surgery.  After any form of Refractive Surgery, it is still possible for one to have some dependence on eyeglasses at some point in time. For instance, all of us will develop Presbyopia (“Lao Hua”) from the age of about 40 due to the loss of crystalline lens elasticity.

Myth #4: Laser may burn your eyes.

Hot ice-cubes-1462093181CzQ

Truth: A “cold” laser, excimer, is used during LASIK. “Cold” laser means that it does not burn the corneal cells. However, some patients may experience some burning smell during the procedure. The odour is from the chemical reaction of the laser on the cornea. Some refractive surgery machines have a build-in vacuum device to remove the odour.

 

Myth #5: There are permanent side effects from LASIK.

Truth: LASIK is still considered a surgery, and with every surgery there are risks involved. One common side effect after LASIK is dry eye, and they usually lessen with time. However, in a small number of patients, it can become permanent, though rare. Dry eye can be overcome with the use of lubricating eyedrops.

Read More

How Do I Know If I Have Cataracts?

How Do I Know If I Have Cataracts?

Cataracts begin to develop when the lens inside the eye has started to become cloudy. This occurs due to aging. In some cases, younger people may also develop this condition due to other medical conditions. These include patients with diabetes or any other inflammatory conditions. Patients with previous history of trauma to the eye may also develop cataracts at a younger age.

Below are some signs that you may have a cataract:

  • Cloudy vision
  • Colours appear less rich as before
  • Night vision problems such as glares and haloes
  • Seeing a ‘film’ over the eye
  • Blurred vision that is not able to be corrected by glassescataract

Patients may not notice the effects of cataracts during the initial stages as changes to vision are usually minimal. As the cataract progresses, patients may notice that their vision is gradually affected and might find it hard to complete their day-to-day tasks such as driving, cooking or reading. Once this occurs, you are advised to visit an eye specialist to get your eyes checked.

What treatments are available for cataracts?

The progression of cataracts may be slowed down by wearing sun protection such as sunglasses and hats, having a balanced diet and controlling systemic conditions such as diabetes. However, the only effective treatment available for cataracts is surgery. It is commonly misunderstood that a cataract should be “ripe” before it can be removed. Surgery may be advised once the doctor examines your eyes and patients find that impaired vision caused by the cataracts is interfering with their daily activities.

With advancements in technology, cataracts can now be treated via keyhole cataract surgery. A small incision is made and the cataract is broken down and removed via that small incision. An intraocular lens implant is then inserted. With the suitable lens implant, patients can achieve good satisfactory vision.

Post-operatively, patients are required to instill eyedrops to prevent infections and to allow quick recovery. They are also advised to return to see the surgeon for regular post op follow-ups.

Cataract surgery is the most common surgical procedures performed today. It is safe, fast and reliable, and is also Medisave claimable.

 

 

Read More

Why Is My Vision Blurred?

Blurred vision may be an indication that your prescription of your glasses had gone up but it can also be a indication of other eye or general conditions too.  Sudden blurry of vision is NOT normal. If you experience it, consult your eye doctor immediately.

There are several reasons for the cause of blurry vision.

 1. Your eye prescription had really gone up

As simple as it sounds, yes, it could be one of the many reasons why you are experiencing blurred vision. The Optometrist determines the degree of refractive error you have by performing a test called refraction. Your optometrist present different powered lenses to find the best combination of lenses for you to see clearly.

Treatment options: Prescription glasses, contact lenses, Orthokeratology, or refractive surgery.

Refractive surgeries options: PRK (1st generation), LASIK (2nd generation), ReLEx SMILE (3rd generation)

 

  1. Vision is cloudy or blurred due to cataract

Patients aged 40 and above are at a increased risk of cataract formation. Cataracts occur when there is a build-up of proteins in the lens of your eye that makes it cloudy. Patients with cataracts may complain of reduction in vision in both distance and near vision, experiencing glares, difficulty with night vision and report that colours are not as bright as before.

Treatment options: Cataract Removal Surgery

 

  1. Your Cornea Shape is Changing

A condition known as keratoconus is a disorder which results in a conical abnormal bulge to the front part of the eye. Keratoconus has been shown to have associations with hereditary predisposition.  Symptoms include blurry vision, distortion, multiple images seen, sensitivity to light, and mild eye irritation. 

Treatment options: Cornea cross-linking (CXL), gas permeable contact lenses, scleral and semi-scleral lenses or corneal transplant.

 

  1. Uncontrolled diabetes

Sudden blurry of vision may be due to condition like diabetes affecting your eyes. In cases of patient with diabetes, they experience fluctuating vision, blurred vision, or even vision loss. This condition may lead to an eye disease known as diabetic retinopathy. If left untreated, it may eventually lead to blindness.

Treatment options for diabetic retinopathy: Laser Photocoagulation

 If you do experience blurred vision, schedule an eye appointment with our ophthalmologist to identify the true cause of it.

Read More