Myopia or nearsightedness is an optician error of the eyes. It is a vision disorder that results in blurred vision and reduced contrast. It is often accompanied by astigmatism and presbyopia.
Myopia In Singapore
Myopia is a serious problem of public health concern within Singapore for several reasons. Firstly, the high rate of myopia (over 0.5 D) is among the highest in the world. Twenty percent of Singapore children are myopia at 7 years of age, with high persistence rates nearing 100 percent at the time of completing school. In addition, there are increasing instances of myopia progressing into astigmatism or even vision loss, with the progressive degrees of myopia ranging from mild to severe.
The National Health Service (NHS) Singapore has launched the Singapore Eye Registry (SIR) to study and document the progression of myopia, to determine the impact of various treatments on vision loss and to identify risk factors for myopia and other visual impairments. As a member of the NHS, Singapore is well placed to study international guidelines and clinical trials in order to determine the most suitable treatments and to implement them in its healthcare system. However, it is also a developing country with limited resources to conduct rigorous clinical trials. Therefore, Singapore’s association with Dr William Lim, MSP, MHA, was established to conduct pivotal trials on the future of myopia treatment in Singapore. Dr Lim is a former director of Clinical Research in Primary Health Care (CRHC), a department of the Ministry of Health.
The Singapore Eye Study Centre (SOESS) is a joint project of the NHS and the Ministry of Health. The mission of the centre is to coordinate and integrate all efforts to improve the management of myopia and nearsightedness in Singapore through a network of experts, practitioners and other personnel with related interests. The primary aim is to provide high-quality myopia treatment services to the general public. Its other aims are to provide consistent follow-up care to patients, improve eligibility of candidates for GPRS Plus and develop diagnostic and treatment tools to use across all healthcare settings. The overall strategy is to maximize gains from the accumulated data and achieve the best possible outcomes from the study of myopia progression in Singapore.
Treatment For Myopia In Singapore
For Singapore patients, myopia can be treated by using a combination of conventional and non-conventional treatment methods. A combination of treatments comprises more than 80 percent of myopia treatment in Singapore. The key treatments used in conjunction with conventional myopia treatments are LASIK eye surgery (laser-assisted in situ keratomileuses), PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) and PRK w/w laser. In addition to these, other methods used are computerized eyesight aid techniques, bifocals, and progressive contact lenses.
In order to prevent or delay myopia progression, lifestyle changes are necessary. These include maintaining an ideal weight, quitting smoking, exercising regularly and eating a balanced diet. Vision therapy, computerized eyesight aid techniques and glasses are also used to slow down or reverse myopia progression.
Currently, in Singapore, there are no public providers that offer myopia correction. For private patients, it is important to check the prescription records of both the primary and the secondary eye surgeon, their previous patients and the expiry date of each pair of glasses or spectacles. This is to ensure that the myopia treatment is not a gift and that the right option is chosen to address the patient’s needs. Also, it is important to check that the annual direct cost of these treatments is not out of reach.
In conclusion, myopia in Singapore is considered to be progressive correction is required. For this reason, the cost of treatment increases with age. For an elderly Singaporean, it becomes more difficult to treat myopia progression. A careful selection of treatment options is therefore needed, but this can be easily done with the help of a professional eye care provider. Here is Singapore’s best LASIK surgeon:
Lasik Singapore – Laser Eye Surgery
1 Scotts Rd, #24-10 Shaw Centre, Singapore 228208