Age-related eye problems

Age-related eye problems

Not only does ageing contribute to vision problems such as presbyopia, it also increases risk for eye health problems.

What eye problems are associated with ageing?

Age increases risk for many eye diseases and conditions, including:

  • Age-related macular degeneration

Based on research by Singapore Eye Research Institute in 2009, age-related macular degeneration is one of the leading causes of blindness in people over 50 years of age.

Glaucoma is the cause of about 40% of blindness in Singapore. Based on research by Singapore Eye Research Institute in 2009, around 3% of people above 50 years old have glaucoma, while this figure is higher at 10% for those above 70 years of age.

Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness worldwide.

  • Retinal detachment

Those over the age of 40 are at higher risk of retinal detachment.

Normal, harmless floaters are often caused by age-related changes to the vitreous fluid in our eyes. Sudden onset of or increase in floaters can be indicative or retinal detachment.

As we age, our tear production decreases, resulting in dry eyes.

How to counter age-related eye problems

Comprehensive eye exams should be taken every 1-2 years for people 40-64 years old and annually for those 65 years old and above. If you have other risk factors for eye diseases, such as diabetes or family history of eye diseases, you should get a comprehensive eye exam more often.

This allows your optometrist/ophthalmologist to monitor your eye health and detect any eye diseases early. Early detection of eye diseases is important in treating the condition before it has irreversible consequences or results in blindness.

Have not had a comprehensive eye exam before or in the past year?

Book an appointment here.


Sources:

  • https://www.singhealth.com.sg/patient-care/patient-education/age-related-macular-degeneration
  • https://www.singhealth.com.sg/patient-care/patient-education/glaucoma
  • https://www.singhealth.com.sg/patient-care/patient-education/retinal-detachment
  • https://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-2020/age-related-eye-issues.html
Correcting presbyopia with contact lenses

Correcting presbyopia with contact lenses

Myth: Only eyeglasses can correct Presbyopia

Fact: It is well-known that progressive spectacle lenses help you to see clearly, but did you know that presbyopes now have multifocal contact lenses that allow excellent vision at all distances? 

Contact lenses are great for those who do not like the feeling of wearing eyeglasses, do not like the look of eyeglasses, or those who lead a more active lifestyle.

The NaturalVue® Multifocal 1 Day Contact Lenses are a great option to correct Presbyopia, as these lenses offer excellent vision at all distances1 – at near (reading your phone), intermediate (computer distance), and far (trees and road signs) – without using readers. 

In a clinical study1, people with presbyopia gave higher ratings to NaturalVue Multifocal for vision in everyday situations vs. their current correction. NaturalVue® Multifocal Contact Lens wearers can perform 92% of daily activities without reading glasses, even in low light.

People prefer NaturalVue™ Multifocal 1 Day contact lenses over some options for better vision1, like reading very small print or using a cell phone:

Why NaturalVue® Multifocal?

  • See clearly like spectacles2 with little compromise
  • No need for readers – Clear vision near, far, and everywhere in between
  • Superior overall vision – 89% found better vision for everyday activities.1
  • Daily disposability for a fresh new pair every day
  • Added UV protection for your busy outdoor days**

5 pairs free trial of NaturalVue® Multifocal 1 Day Contact Lenses


Sources:

1. VTI Data on file, 2015. N=59. Data assessed after 1 week of wear. Preference based on those who expressed a preference among brands tested. p<0.05.

2. VTI Data on file, 2015. N=59. Data assessed after 1 week of wear. Of those who expressed a preference of mode of vision, 79% preferred NVMF vs. select tested brands. Attribute ratings based on subjective ratings from patients vs. select brands (100-point scale, 0=extremely poor and 100=extremely good/no problem).

**UV absorbing contact lenses aren’t substitutes for protective UV absorbing eyewear – for example, protective UV absorbing goggles or sunglasses – because they don’t completely cover the eye and surrounding area. Patients should continue to use UV absorbing eyewear as directed. Note: Long term exposure to UV radiation is a part of risk factors associated with cataracts. Exposure is according to a number of factors, for instance, environmental conditions (altitude, geography, cloud cover) and personal factors (extent and nature of outdoor activities). UV absorbing contact lenses help provide protection against harmful UV radiation. However, clinical studies have not been done to demonstrate that wearing UV absorbing contact lenses reduces the risk of developing cataracts or other eye problems.

5 biggest myopia myths

5 biggest myopia myths

1. Myopia can be cured or reversed with eye exercises.

FALSE: While eye exercises may relieve eye fatigue temporarily, there is no scientific evidence that myopia can be reversed or its progression slowed down with eye exercises.  

2. Contact Lenses are unsafe for kids

FALSE:  Daily disposables provide decreased inflammatory adverse events (12.5x less) as compared to reusable contact lenses1

In fact, children may be safer soft contact lens wearers than teens with more  

parental supervision and support. 

3. Soft multifocal contact lenses are not effective in reducing myopia progression. 

FALSE:  The NaturalVue® Multifocal 1 Day Contact Lenses are indicated to reduce myopic progression in children.  NaturalVue Multifocal 1 Day soft contact lenses utilize patented optics to move the light rays inside the retina so that the signal for the eye to grow and elongate is reduced (addressing Peripheral Hyperopia). 2,3

NaturalVue® Multifocal 1 Day Contact LensesProven to Decrease Myopia Progression in 98% of children studied.

  • 81% of children’s progression stopped completely, with some showing reversal. 4
  • 0.82D average dioptric decrease per year in children ages 6-194*

4. Wearing glasses that correct their vision is sufficient for myopic kids

FALSE:  Data has shown that routine correction of myopia in eyeglasses or contact lenses increases myopia by signaling the eye to elongate or grow.  This occurs when routine correction moves images behind the retina (known as peripheral hyperopia) which may signal the eye to grow.5

Data suggests that the optimal correction should bring the image inside of the retina.5 The patented optics of NaturalVue® Multifocal contact lenses focus peripheral light rays in front of the retina to remove peripheral hyperopia, thus reducing the signal for the eye to grow.2,3

5. It is better to be undercorrected so that our myopia will not worsen.

FALSE:  Undercorrection of myopia may lead to the stimulation of eye elongation due to the presence of blurred vision at any distance and accelerate the progression of myopia. Instead, a full distance correction for myopia with a progressive reading addition is suggested to reduce the progression of myopia.6

5 pairs free trial of NaturalVue® Multifocal 1 Day Contact Lenses


Sources:

  1. Chalmers et al. Multicenter Case-Control Study of the Role of Lens Materials and Care Products on the Development of Corneal Infiltrates. Optometry and Vision Science, Vol. 89, No. 3, March 2012.
  2. Dillehay S, Woods J, Situ P, Payor R, Griffin R, Tyson M, Jones L. (2014). Comparison of Three Power Levels of a Novel Soft Contact Lens Optical Design to Reduce Suspected Risk Factors for the Progression of Juvenile Onset Myopia. ARVO Poster, Poster #A00863637; Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science. 55(13). 3637
  3. Payor R, Woods J, Situ P, Dillehay S, Griffin R, Tyson M, & Jones L. (2014) Feasibility Testing of a Novel SCL Optical Design to Reduce Suspected Risk Factors for the Progression of JuvenileOnset Myopia. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science. 55(13). 3638. Retrieved from http://iovs.arvojournals.org/article.aspx?articleid=2269075.
  4. Cooper J, O’Connor B, Watanabe R, Fuerst R, Berger S, Eisenberg N, Dillehay SM. Case series analysis of myopic progression control with a unique extended depth of focus multifocal contact lens. Eye & Contact Lens. 2018;4(5):e16-e24.

*Both eyes combined; On an annualised basis in children 6-19. Retrospective analysis of 32 children, ages 6 to 19, across 10 different practice locations who wore the lenses for 6-25 months.

5. Peripheral Hyperopia explanation summarized from: Gifford P, & Gifford KL. (2016). The Future of Myopia Control Contact Lenses. Optometry and Vision Science, 93(4), 336-343. Smith EL., Kee C, Ramamirtham R, Qiao-Grider Y, & Hung L. (2005). Peripheral Vision Can Influence Eye Growth and Refractive Development in Infant Monkeys.
 Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science. 46(11): 3965. Cooper J, Schulman E, Jamal N. (2012). Current Status on the Development and Treatment of Myopia. Optometry. 83(5):179-199.

6. http://reviewofmm.com/does-the-undercorrection-of-myopia-inhibit-myopia-progression/#:~:text=Overall%2C%20undercorrection%20of%20myopia%20may,reduce%20the%20progression%20of%20myopia.

Myopia – Risks and Management

Myopia – Risks and Management

What is myopia?

Myopia is a very common eye health condition. Often called “short-sighted,” a child with myopia can see clearly up close but has blurry vision when looking at objects in the distance—like a smartboard.

Myopia happens when the normal eye grows too long from front to back. 

Light rays have trouble reaching the right spot on the back of the eye (the retina) to achieve clear distance vision.

It’s more than just stronger, thicker glasses. Myopia in kids can get worse as they grow, increasing the risk of serious eye conditions.

What causes myopia?

  • Myopia can be inherited from one generation to the next. If mum or dad wears glasses, chances are their child will too.1
  • Lack of time spent outdoors in the sun has been linked to the development of myopia.1, 2,3
  • Spending more time reading close-up on digital devices may also contribute to a child’s myopia.2,3,4
  • And there’s the routine correction of myopia – resulting in Peripheral Hyperopia – that has also been shown to signal the eye to grow, thus causing myopia.2

What are the eye health risks?

The number of kids with myopia is growing at an alarming rate around the world.  The younger your child develops myopia, the greater the risk of serious eye conditions like retinal detachment, glaucoma, cataracts, and even blindness.5

Beyond the eye health risks, myopia can negatively impact your child’s performance in school and other activities.

There is NO SAFE level of myopia.5  Practitioners and researchers do not know which child will progress to what degree.  Each prescription (diopter) increase can have a significant impact and the impact can occur anywhere – in low to high myopia ranges.6   Earlier intervention may be ideal, but any intervention is a potential benefit.   If we can reduce the level of progression, data suggests that the impact could be significant:

  • 20% reduction in retinal detachment, cataracts, glaucoma, and overall visual impairment.6
  • 40% reduction in macular degeneration. 6

This means – ½ to nearly 1 year of visual impairment could be saved. 6

What are some evidence-based ways to slow down myopia progression?

Your eye care practitioners may be able to help slow or control your child’s myopia with specially designed glasses, eye drops, or contact lenses. All of these solutions have been shown to have various levels of effectiveness.  Talk to your eye care practitioner for more information like how each works, effectiveness rates, benefits, and limitations. 

  • Specially Designed Eyeglasses
  • Pharmaceutical Eye Drops (Atropine)
  • Specialty Contact Lenses
    • Hard contact lenses (or Orthokeratology or Ortho-K lenses) that physically re-shape the cornea at night during sleep.
    • Soft multifocal contact lenses like NaturalVue® Multifocal 1 Day Contact Lenses. 
      • NaturalVue Multifocal 1 Day soft contact lenses, by comparison, utilize patented optics to move the light rays inside the retina so that the signal for the eye to grow and elongate is reduced (addressing Peripheral Hyperopia). 16,17
      • These lenses provide excellent vision by day.18
      • These lenses are daily disposables, which means comfortable daily wear with no cleaning or maintenance.
      • Clinically effective for myopia progression control.19  
        • 98% of children showed a decrease in myopia progression19
        • 81% of children’s progression stopped completely, with some showing reversal. 19
        • 0.82D average dioptric decrease per year in children ages 6-1919*

5 pairs free trial of NaturalVue® Multifocal 1 Day Contact Lenses


Sources:

  1. Gifford P, & Gifford KL. (2016). The Future of Myopia Control Contact Lenses. Optometry and Vision Science. 93(4): 336-343.
  2. Enthoven CA, Tideman JWL, Polling JR, Yang-Huang J, Raat H, Klaver CCW. The impact of computer use on myopia development in childhood: The Generation R study. (2020) Mar;132:105988. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2020.105988. Epub 2020 Jan 15.
  3. Grzybowski A, Kanclerz P, Tsubota K, Lanca C, Saw SM. BMC Ophthalmology (2020) Jan 14;20(1):27. doi: 10.1186/s12886-019-1220-0.
  4. Huang HM, Chang DS, Wu PC. The Association Between Near Work Activities and Myopia in Children – a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. PLoS ONE. 2015 Oct; 10(10): e0140419
  5. Flitcroft D. The complex interactions of retinal, optical and environmental factors in myopia aetiology. Progress in Retinal and Eye Research. 2012;31(6):622-660.
  6. Bullimore MA, Brennan NA. Myopia Control: Why Each Diopter Matters. Optom Vis Sci 2019 Jun.96(6):463-465
  7. Huang J, et al. (2016). Efficacy Comparison of 16 Interventions for Myopia Control in Children. Ophthalmology. 123(4): 697-708.
  8. Cooper J, Schulman E, Jamal N. (2012). Current Status on the Development and Treatment of Myopia. Optometry. 83(5):179-199.
  9. Cope j., et al. (2016). Acanthamoeba Keratitis among Rigid Gas Permeable Contact Lens Wearers in the United States, 2005 through 2011. Ophthalmology. 123(7): 1435-1441.
  10. Nichols, J. (2017). Contact Lenses 2016. Contact Lens Spectrum. 32(January 2017): 22-29.
  11. Chalmers RL, Keay L, McNally J, & Kern J. (2012). Multicenter Case-Control Study of the Role of Lens Materials and Care Products on the Development of Corneal Infiltrates. Optometry and Vision Science. 89(3): 316-325.
  12. Tan D, Tay SA, Loh, K, & Chia A. (2016). Topical Atropine in the Control of Myopia.  Asia-Pacific Journal of Ophthalmology. 5(6): 424-428.
  13. Liu Y M, & Xie P. (2016). The Safety of Orthokeratology—A Systematic Review. Eye & Contact Lens: Science & Clinical Practice. 42(1): 35-42.
  14. Gifford P, & Gifford KL. (2016). The Future of Myopia Control Contact Lenses. Optometry and Vision Science. 93(4): 336-343. 
  15. Lam CSY, Tang WC, Tse DY, et al. Defocus Incorporated Multiple Segments (DIMS) spectacle lenses slow myopia progression: a 2-year randomized clinical trial. Br J Ophthalmol. 2019 May29, e pub.
  16. Dillehay S, Woods J, Situ P, Payor R, Griffin R, Tyson M, Jones L. (2014). Comparison of Three Power Levels of a Novel Soft Contact Lens Optical Design to Reduce Suspected Risk Factors for the Progression of Juvenile Onset Myopia. ARVO Poster, Poster #A00863637; Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science. 55(13). 3637
  17. Payor R, Woods J, Situ P, Dillehay S, Griffin R, Tyson M, & Jones L. (2014) Feasibility Testing of a Novel SCL Optical Design to Reduce Suspected Risk Factors for the Progression of JuvenileOnset Myopia. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science. 55(13). 3638. Retrieved from http://iovs.arvojournals.org/article.aspx?articleid=2269075.
  18. VTI data on file. N=59. Data assessed after 1 week of wear.
  19. Cooper J, O’Connor B, Watanabe R, Fuerst R, Berger S, Eisenberg N, Dillehay SM. Case series analysis of myopic progression control with a unique extended depth of focus multifocal contact lens. Eye & Contact Lens. 2018;4(5):e16-e24.

*Both eyes combined; On an annualised basis in children 6-19. Retrospective analysis of 32 children, ages 6 to 19, across 10 different practice locations who wore the lenses for 6-25 months.

Nearsighted vision – What are the 2 main causes of myopia?

Nearsighted vision – What are the 2 main causes of myopia?

What is Myopia (Nearsighted vision)?

Is it hard to read signs in the distance but reading a book or a menu seems fine? Chances are you’re myopic, also known as nearsightedness. Read on to find out more about the causes of Myopia.

Myopia (nearsighted vision) is one of the common refractive errors in which you can view objects near to you clearly, but things further away are blurry.

Nearsighted causes and risk factors

Myopia occurs when your eyeball is too long, or the cornea is too curved. This causes light that enters your eye to focus in front of the retina, instead of directly on its surface.

Nearsightedness is usually tied to genetic factors such as ethnicity, age, and parental myopia. However, there are other reasons for nearsightedness development as well. Remember how your parents told you not to look at the computer screen for too long? Environmental factors such as the amount of near work could play a part as well.

Nearsighted Symptoms

The most noticeable symptom is that distant objects may appear blurry. Other symptoms you may notice:

  • Squinting of eyes to see clearly
  • Eyestrain
  • Headaches caused by eyestrain
  • Eye fatigue when trying to see distant objects

Blurry vision at a distance does not automatically mean you have myopia, it could mean something else. 

If you are experiencing any visual blurriness, schedule an appointment with an eye care professional near you for a consultation.

Childhood Myopia

Genetic factors are one of the causes of myopia in a child. Nearsightedness often begins in childhood and your child may have a higher risk if you are myopic. As a parent, you should make sure to watch for the following signs:

  • Sitting closer to the television 
  • Moving closer to objects to read them
  • Having trouble seeing the whiteboard in the classroom
  • Unaware of distant objects
  • Squinting persistently
  • Blinking excessively

If your child has nearsightedness, you can learn more about managing myopia progression in children here.

Nearsighted treatment

When you have myopia, your prescription for your eyeglasses or contact lenses will be a negative number. The higher the number, the more nearsighted you are, i.e. -2.00 is stronger than -1.50. Nearsightedness can be corrected with eyeglasses, contact lenses, or refractive surgery.

Eyeglasses

Eyeglasses for nearsightedness is one way for a clearer vision at a distance. There are many types of lenses for you to choose from. To protect your eyes from permanent damages, consider getting a photochromic lens to protect yourself from UV rays, and filter harmful blue light from your digital screen. If you are over 40, you may need progressive lenses.

Contact Lenses

Do you have an active lifestyle such as participating in sports frequently? Do you simply prefer contact lenses over glasses? Contact lenses may be the better choice for you. 

Speak to the nearest eye care professional today about the different eyeglasses and contact lens options for you. Book an appointment

Refractive Surgery

If you find wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses troublesome, refractive surgery such as Lasik or Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) may be another option. 

  • PRK flattens your cornea and allows light rays to focus closer on the retina. 
  • Lasik surgery creates a thin flap on the surface of your cornea and a laser is used to remove some corneal tissue, before moving the flap back into place.

Orthokeratology (Ortho-K)

There is also a non-surgical procedure for Myopia where you wear a custom made, special gas permeable contact lens overnight, allowing it to reshape the cornea of your eyes as you sleep. When you remove the lenses in the morning, the shape of your cornea is temporarily retained, allowing you to see clearly without eyeglasses or contact lenses.

Refractive surgery and Ortho-K treatment depend on the condition of your eyes and not everyone qualifies for it. 

Speak to an eye doctor today to find out more about such treatments. Book an appointment


Sources:

Hyperopia – Causes of Farsightedness

Hyperopia – Causes of Farsightedness

What is Farsightedness?

Are you having trouble reading a book or focusing on objects near you but you are able to see distant objects clearly? You could be experiencing symptoms of farsightedness. Read on to find out more about the causes of farsightedness.

Farsightedness, also known as Hyperopia or Hypermetropia is one of the common refractive errors in which distant objects may be seen more clearly than near objects.

Causes and risk factors of Farsightedness

Farsightedness occurs when your eyeball is shorter than a normal person. This causes light entering your eyes to focus behind the retina, instead of directly on its surface.

While there are different causes for farsightedness, family history or heredity is usually the main reason. Hyperopia usually occurs at birth but can still develop in adulthood.

Farsightedness symptoms

The most noticeable symptom is blurry vision when looking at objects up close. Other symptoms you may notice:

  • Eyestrain or discomfort
  • Squinting of eyes
  • Eye discomfort or headache when performing tasks that require focus up close
  • Difficulty reading

Blurry vision when focusing on near objects does not automatically mean you have farsightedness, it could mean something else. 

If you are experiencing any visual blurriness, schedule an appointment with an eye care professional near you for a consultation.

Childhood Farsightedness

Genetic factors are one of the causes of farsightedness in a child. Children may not be aware of their vision problems. As a parent, you should make sure to watch for the following signs:

  • Eyestrain or headache when reading
  • Difficulty reading and writing
  • Rubbing of eyes and blinking frequently
  • Esotropia (Common type of crossed eye in which one of the eyes is turned inwards)

Farsightedness treatment

When you have farsightedness, your prescription for your eyeglasses or contact lenses will be a positive number. The higher the number, the more nearsighted you are, i.e. +2.00 is stronger than +1.50. Farsightedness can be corrected with eyeglasses, contact lenses, or refractive surgery.

Eyeglasses

Eyeglasses for farsightedness is one way for a clearer vision. There are many types of lenses for you to choose from. To protect your eyes from permanent damages, consider getting a photochromic lens to protect yourself from UV rays, and filter harmful blue light from your digital screen. If you are over 40, you may need progressive lenses.

Contact Lenses

Do you have an active lifestyle such as participating in sports frequently? Do you simply prefer contact lenses over glasses? Contact lenses may be the better choice for you. 


Refractive Surgery
If you find wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses troublesome, refractive surgery such as Lasik or Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) may be another option. 

  • PRK flattens your cornea and allows light rays to focus closer on the retina. 
  • Lasik surgery creates a thin flap on the surface of your cornea and a laser is used to remove some corneal tissue, before moving the flap back into place.

Refractive surgery depends on the condition of your eyes and not everyone qualifies for it. Speak to an eye doctor today to find out more about refractive surgery.


Sources:

Astigmatism – Causes and Correction

Astigmatism – Causes and Correction

What is Astigmatism?

Do you have trouble looking at objects both near and in a distance? Does the object appear blurry and stretched out? If this describes your blurred vision, you could be experiencing astigmatism symptoms. Read on to find out more about Astigmatism causes and correction.

Astigmatism is one of the common refractive errors in which near vision and objects at a distance appear blurry and wavy. 

Astigmatism causes and risk factors

Astigmatism occurs when the lens or the front surface of your eye (Cornea) has an irregular curve. This changes the way light passes to your retina and it is not refracted evenly.

While there may be different causes for astigmatism, the main reason is usually heredity. If you have a family history of astigmatism or other eye disorders (Keratoconus), you could be at a higher risk of having astigmatism.

Astigmatism Symptoms

The most noticeable symptom is that both vision up close and far away appears blurry and distorted. Other symptoms you may notice:

  • Difficulty seeing at night
  • Eyestrain or discomfort
  • Headaches caused by eyestrain
  • Squinting of eyes to see clearly

Blurry vision does not automatically mean you have astigmatism, it could mean something else. 

If you are experiencing any visual blurriness, schedule an appointment with an eye care professional near you for a consultation.

Childhood Astigmatism

A family history of astigmatism is one of the causes of astigmatism in a child. Your child may not realize that their vision is blurry, so they need to have their vision tested by an eye care professional. As a parent, you should make sure to watch out for the following signs:

  • Closing one eye to read or watch television
  • Frequent complaints of headaches or eyestrain, especially after reading
  • Squinting persistently
  • Tilting or turning the head to see better
  • Shielding their eyes or signs that they are sensitive to light

Astigmatism Treatment

Astigmatism can be corrected with eyeglasses, contact lenses, or refractive surgery.

Eyeglasses

Eyeglasses for astigmatism is one way for a clearer vision. There are many types of lenses for you to choose from. To protect your eyes from permanent damages, consider getting a photochromic lens to protect yourself from UV rays, and filter harmful blue light from your digital screen. If you are over 40, you may need progressive lenses.

Contact Lenses

Do you have an active lifestyle such as participating in sports frequently? Do you simply prefer contact lenses over glasses? Contact lenses may be the better choice for you. If you have astigmatism, you will probably be prescribed a special type of soft contact lenses called toric lenses. 

Refractive Surgery
If you find wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses troublesome, refractive surgery such as Lasik or Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) may be another option. 

  • PRK flattens your cornea and allows light rays to focus closer on the retina. 
  • Lasik surgery creates a thin flap on the surface of your cornea and a laser is used to remove some corneal tissue, before moving the flap back into place.

Orthokeratology (Ortho-K)

There is also a non-surgical procedure for Astigmatism where you wear a custom made, special gas permeable contact lens overnight, allowing it to reshape the cornea of your eyes as you sleep. When you remove the lenses in the morning, your cornea temporarily retains the shape, allowing you to see clearly without eyeglasses or contact lenses.

Refractive surgery and Ortho-K treatment depend on the condition of your eyes and not everyone qualifies for it.

Speak to an eye doctor today to find out more about such treatments.


Sources:

Persistent Eye Floaters – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Persistent Eye Floaters – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

What are eye floaters?

Floaters are small dark shapes that float across your vision. They can resemble dots, specks or lines.

Most people experience temporary floaters that do not require treatment as they go away on their own. However, for more severe or persistent cases, eye floaters may obstruct vision and require removal.

EYE FLOATERS: Causes, symptoms and treatment / COC

Causes of floaters

Floaters are caused by the gel-like fluid in your eye (vitreous) becoming more liquid as you age. As you age, small strands of the vitreous clump together and cast shadows on your retina, which are the tiny specks or dots that you see. As floaters are largely age-related, people 60 years old and above are more likely to experience floaters.

Most people experience floaters at one point or another, but in most cases, the floaters end up sinking and settling at the bottom of the eye, below the field of vision. Hence, the floaters are no longer noticeable.

However, some people experience more serious cases of floaters. Such cases include:

  • Eye infections
  • Eye injuries
  • Eye inflammation
  • Bleeding in the eye
  • Retinal detachment
  • Retinal tear
  • Diabetic Retinopathy

Some people are also at higher risk for floaters than others, due to:

  • Being nearsighted
  • Having diabetes
  • Having previous surgery to treat cataracts

Symptoms of floaters

Floaters look like tiny shapes such as dots, specks, rings, cobweb shapes or other irregular shapes. Floaters seem to float across your vision when your eyes are not moving, but move when your eyes move. Trying to look directly at a floater usually results in the floater moving in the opposite direction.

Floaters are likely to be more noticeable when looking at something bright like a clear blue sky or a sheet of white paper. Floaters may appear as darker or lighter than the rest of your field of vision. Other times, the area where the floaters are located may appear more blurry than the rest of the field of vision. 

When should you be concerned?

Most cases of floaters are not causes for concern as they occur naturally. However, in certain instances, an eye doctor should be consulted as soon as possible. These situations include:

  • A lot more floaters than usual
  • Sudden increase in number of floaters
  • Flashes of light in the same eye as the floaters
  • Darkness on any side of your vision in the same eye as the floaters (peripheral vision loss)
  • Persistent floaters that interfere with your vision

When consulting an eye doctor, they will perform a dilated eye exam to check for floaters and other eye problems such as retinal tears. This exam is done by administering eye drops that widen (dilate) your pupil, allowing the eye doctor to examine your eye. This exam is typically painless. You may only experience some discomfort if the doctor presses on your eyelids to check for retinal tears.

Treatment of floaters

In most cases, the best way to deal with floaters would be to ignore them. Overtime, they will either disappear to the bottom of your eye or your brain will learn to ignore them, making them no longer noticeable.

In more serious cases, where the floaters are caused by an underlying eye problem, the eye doctor will treat that eye problem.

For rare cases where the floaters require removal, the most common treatment is a vitrectomy. During the procedure, the eye doctor will surgically remove the vitreous gel that is causing the floater and replace it with a solution to maintain the shape of your eye. This procedure is usually only used for severe cases of floaters as it comes with risks.

An alternative to the surgical method would be laser vitreolysis, where lasers are aimed at the floaters to break them up or dissolve them, making them less noticeable. However, this method is not preferred as it is still experimental. Discuss the options with your eye doctor if you are experiencing severe symptoms of eye floaters.

Reducing risk of floaters

There is no guaranteed way to prevent eye floaters. However, maintaining good eye health can help reduce risks of getting floaters. One can adopt good lifestyle habits such as:

  • Maintaining a healthy diet and incorporating leafy greens, salmon and citrus fruits
  • Quitting smoking
  • Wearing protective eyewear when necessary to protect your eyes from injury
  • Wearing sunglasses when outdoors during the day
  • Taking breaks to rest your eyes

Sources:

Managing Myopia Progression in Children

Managing Myopia Progression in Children

Why is it important to manage myopia progression in children?

Myopia, also known as short sightedness or near sightedness, is an increasingly common condition that affects children’s sight. There can be many causes of myopia, such as family history or genetics, spending too much time focusing on close objects as a child, not spending enough time outdoors, etc.

Myopia can progress rapidly in children if it is not managed well, and every 1 diopter increase in myopia increases risk of myopic maculopathy by 67% – there is no “safe” level of myopia. As seen in the table below, myopia increases the risks of eye diseases such as cataracts, glaucoma, retinal detachment, and myopic maculopathy.

Some other risk factors (non-exhaustive) include diabetes, high blood pressure, family history of eye disease, or taking prescription medications which may affect the eyes.

Do take comprehensive eye exams to check your child’s eyes or your and detect eye diseases such as cataracts and glaucoma. You should also maintain healthy habits such as relaxing your eyes and eating healthy to get sufficient vitamins for your eyes and body.

What are some ways to slow down myopia progression?

EyedropsEyeglassesContact Lenses
What is it and how can it manage myopia progression?Atropine eyedrops, with differing doses available depending on the child’s needsIt slows down the progression of myopia in about 50% to 60% of children for low-dose atropine 0.01%, and 20% to 30% of children may require higher dose atropine (0.125% / 1%).Bifocal lenses: top half corrects for long distance and the bottom half corrects for reading vision, research has shown that it can slow down myopia progression  Myopia control lenses of differing designs: special lenses designed to help control myopia progression more effectively than the typical bifocal and progressive designsHard contact lenses, also known as Orthokeratology or OrthoK lenses which are worn to sleep; it flattens the central area of the cornea to restore clear vision and the mid-peripheral area is steepened to control myopia progression
Soft contact lenses: multifocal lenses can help slow down myopia progression. These lenses are clinically effective for myopia progression control.
AdvantagesThese eye drops can help to complement the eyeglasses that your child uses.Eyeglasses are usually more cost-effective than contact lenses. No infection risks involved as kids are not required to touch their eyes or put lenses into their eyes.Hard contact lenses: no need to wear anything during the day to see well, parents are able to supervise closelySoft contact lenses: lowest infection risk for daily disposables, minimal lifestyle limitations such as need for sufficient sleep
LimitationsChildren on 1% atropine eye drop treatment often require photochromatic or sunglasses with UV filters, and a progressive or reading additions in their glasses. Other possible side effects are often mild and temporary e.g. glare, dry eyes, eye allergy. Eyeglasses may be inconvenient when leading an active lifestyle, or some kids may find eyeglasses uncomfortableBifocal lenses: obvious line in the middleMyopia control lenses: pricier than normal single vision or bifocal lensesHard contact lenses: need to have sufficient amount of sleep every night, need to ensure hygieneSoft contact lenses: daily disposables may cost more

References:

  1. https://www.snec.com.sg/patient-care/specialties-and-services/clinics-centres/myopia-centre/Patient-Care
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24435660/
  3. https://www.singhealth.com.sg/news/patient-care/childhood-myopia-use-of-atropine-eye-drops

3 Ways to Correct Presbyopia

3 Ways to Correct Presbyopia

There are 3 main ways to correct presbyopia. Each treatment aims to enable the eyes to see near objects clearer with reduced eye strain.

1)      Eyeglasses

Eyeglasses are the most common and least invasive treatment for presbyopia. There are different types of eyeglasses designed to correct presbyopia. The table below compares 3 types of eyeglasses more commonly used by people with presbyopia.

Reading GlassesBifocal LensesProgressive Lenses
What is it?Single vision glasses which only corrects near vision.Lens is separated into two sections by a visible line. Top section of the lens is used to correct far vision while the bottom section is used to correct near distance.Enables you to see clearly at all distances more seamlessly as correction power varies smoothly over the lenses.
AdvantagesTend to be less expensiveAble to wear it all day.Able to wear it all day across various daily activities. Tend to provide more visual comfort than bifocal lenses.
LimitationsReading glasses only help you to see up close. Only worn when seeing near objects. Unable to wear it all day.Provides more limited range of vision as compared to progressive lenses.Tend to be more expensive.

Varilux® Progressive Lenses

Varilux progressive lenses provide sharp vision and smooth transitions at any distance, even in dimly lit conditions — eliminating the blurriness and low-light issues of ordinary progressive lenses, and helping you to achieve the most natural vision possible. It also eliminates off-balance, so that you can continue to live, play and work normally.

Key market leading innovations of Varilux® progressive lenses 

  • SynchronEyes™ – clearer vision from left to right and top to bottom.
  • Wavefront Advanced Vision Enhancement™ – sharp vision at any distance, even in low light.
  • 4D Technology™ – instant focus as your eyes move around.
  • Nanoptix™ – no ‘swim’ effect (where peripheral vision can be slightly altered by the changes that occur at the edge of progressive lenses

Image depicting difference in vision between standard bifocal lenses and Varilux® progressive lenses. Source: Essilor

Do not like the feeling of wearing glasses? Planning to swim or engage in more rigorous exercises? Fret not, contact lenses could also correct presbyopia.

2)      Contact Lenses

Another advantage of contact lenses as compared to eye-glasses is that contact lenses are worn closer to the eye, this increases our field of vision. There are several different types of contact lenses that could correct near vision. Multi-focal contact lenses are most commonly used and they are similar to progressive lenses where it corrects both near and far vision.

3)      Surgery

For those who do not like wearing glasses or contact lenses, surgical procedures could also treat presbyopia. One possible surgical procedure that has been growing in popularity is corneal inlay which lasts for 10 to 15 minutes. Tiny lenses or other optical devices are inserted into the non-dominant eye’s cornea. This implant corrects near vision through increasing the depth of focus at the center of the cornea.

However, surgery may not be a suitable solution for everyone. Thus, you are recommended to undergo a comprehensive eye examination and consult an ophthalmologist who specializes in the surgical correction of presbyopia to determine whether surgery is a viable solution for you.