Myopia is highly prevalent in Singapore and a local study by Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) has shown that the numbers are expected to spike in the next two decades. Largely attributed to our sedentary lifestyle and increasing dependency on screen time, the impact can be seen even in children as young as preschoolers.
Left uncorrected, myopia can lead to vision impairment and increases the risk of complications such as retinal damage, cataract, and glaucoma.
Mr Chew Wai Kwong, an optometrist at Videre Eyecare shares with us on how we can better monitor and manage our eye health before it has any blinding effects in our life. It is important for Singaporeans to have regular eye screening, and each age group should be aware of the eye conditions that they are prone to.
Eye care for I-Gen (4-16 years old)
Screen for: Myopia, colour deficiency and binocular vision coordination
Children are more susceptible to myopia so it is important to manage their condition as soon as possible to prevent their myopia from increasing rapidly.
One of the ways is through the use of Orthokeratology or Ortho-K overnight lens for children which are offered by Videre Eyecare. They are gas permeable contact lenses that are worn at night to sleep and will gently reshape the cornea to temporarily correct short-sightedness.
Eye care for Millennials (17-34 years old)
Screen for: Digital eye fatigue, early sign of keratoconus and cataract
Due to the long hours spent looking at computer screen and smartphones, this group is more prone to digital eye fatigue and strained eye muscles.
One should opt for a pair of glasses with a blue light filter or contact lenses that provide all-day comfort such as the ACUVUE OASYS 1-Day range to help minimise the strain.
Eye care for X-clusive (35-45 years old)
Screen for: Cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy
Aside from age and hereditary factors, people in this age group tend to suffer from deteriorating eye conditions due to poor management of their existing myopia. Medical conditions such as diabetes can also affect their eye health.
Eye care for S-clusive (45 years old & above)
Screen for: Age-related macular degeneration, presbyopia, cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy
With age, there will be a higher risk of age-related macular degeneration among the elderly. As a result, they are susceptible to developing more serious eye conditions especially if they are myopic.
The right choice for the right fit
Whether you prefer to wear glasses or contact lenses, it is crucial for you to consider which option is best suited for you. For glasses, while it is cheaper and easier to maintain, it might not be suitable for individuals with an active lifestyle. On the other hand, contact lenses are more convenient and provide an unobstructed peripheral vision, but it also requires higher maintenance and proper hygiene practices.
A well-fitted pair of glasses or contact lens will not only offer you comfort but help to prevent your myopia from increasing.
Other factors for you to consider especially when purchasing contact lenses:
- Lifestyle needs — decide if it’s for sports, long-hour wear or for beauty enhancement
- Comfort — look for lens with higher oxygen flux or tear-like properties for all-day comfort
- UV protection — to protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays
- Convenience— dailies are recommended for lower maintenance
- Budget — bi-weeklies and monthlies lenses are more cost-effective
A bespoke experience at Videre Eyecare
Videre Eyecare is a one-stop vision care boutique that offers professional eye examination, contact lens fitting, myopia management for children and vision therapy. It also houses the world’s first truly immersive ACUVUE experience for contact lens wearer.
According to Mr Chew, “It is recommended to have an eye examination once annually even if you do not observe a change in your vision.”
“Many Singaporeans overlook the importance of contact lens fitting. Never risk your eyes by purchasing lenses online and off non-reputable sites as you cannot guarantee their quality and authenticity. An ill-fitted lens can cause irritation, corneal abrasions and blurred vision,” he said.
Additionally, here are some eye care tips to manage your eye health:
- Go for regular eye examinations
- Inculcate good eye care habits from young (e.g. good reading distance and posture)
- Spend more time outdoors to expose to the benefits of natural sunlight
- Take frequent eye breaks from near-distance work
- Wear well-fitted contact lenses or glasses with UV protection