By May Wong Ek Su, SIECRC

Do you know that cataract is the number one cause of blindness in the world? Cataract is also a significant cause of visual impairment in Singapore, especially in the elderly population. In fact, nearly 80% of Singapore residents aged 60 years and older have cataract.

A cataract is a clouding in the normally clear crystalline lens in the eye. When this occurs, it interferes with the transmission of light rays into the eye and adversely affects vision. A cataract cannot be reversed, but it can be removed during cataract surgery and be replaced by an artificial lens called an intraocular lens.

Cataract surgery is the commonest eye surgery in Singapore. The number of cataract surgeries performed in Singapore each year increased from 10,346 in 1995 to 23,259 in 20041 and 44,961 in the one-year period between 1 June 2016 and 31 May 20172.

At the invitation of Ms Sukhdev Kaur, Senior Lecturer cum Senior Manager in the Advanced Diploma in Perioperative Nursing course at the School of Health Sciences in Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Dr Au Eong Kah Guan, Medical Director and Senior Consultant in International Eye Cataract Centre, gave a lecture on “Cataract Surgery” to students enrolled in the advanced diploma course on 10 July 2017 at the polytechnic. The students were registered nurses who have a minimum of one year hospital working experience.

Dr Au Eong’s lecture went into details about cataract and its surgery, including the symptoms, signs and types of cataract, surgical considerations, pre- and post-operative eyedrops, anaesthesia requirement, cataract surgery equipment, types of intraocular lens and surgical complications.

Dr Au Eong discussed the different types of intraocular lenses that are currently in use for modern cataract surgery. In addition, he spoke on recent advances in cataract surgery such as computer-aided surgery with the Zeiss Cataract Suite which is currently available in Farrer Park Hospital. Such advances have made cataract surgery more precise and its outcome more predictable, especially for patients who need toric intraocular lenses to correct pre-existing corneal astigmatism.

 

References

  1. https://www.moh.gov.sg/content/dam/moh_web/Publications/Information%20Papers/2006/OP_on_Cataract.pdf accessed on 20 July 2017.
  2. https://www.moh.gov.sg/content/moh_web/home/costs_and_financing/hospital-charges/Total-Hospital-Bills-By-condition-procedure/cataract_surgery.html accessed on 20 July 2017.