By Goh Jiah Ying, IECRC

Singapore International Eye Cataract Retina Centre conducted a Mandarin public forum on “Common Age-related Eye Conditions” for residents of Spottiswoode Park on 29 July 2017. The talk was given by Ms May Wong Ek Su, Ophthalmic Investigation Technologist from the centre who is also an optometry graduate. The health talk was part of a series of programmes organised by the Spottiswoode Park Residents’ Committee to raise awareness of health issues and encourage interactions among its residents.

Many people mistakenly believe that changes in vision are always due to changes in the glasses prescription. However, this is not necessarily true and even mild visual blurring or disturbance can be a sign of potentially sight-threatening eye conditions. In addition, elderly individuals who have systemic conditions such as hypertension, elevated serum cholesterol and diabetes are more prone to develop certain eye conditions that may eventually lead to permanent vision loss if left undetected or untreated.

Ms Wong spoke on the leading causes of blindness amongst the elderly including cataract, glaucoma, aged-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. She also covered dry eye, another common condition affecting the elderly population. Although not usually sight-threatening, dry eye can decrease a sufferer’s quality of life in moderate to severe cases.

Ms Wong gave some important tips to maintain good eye health. These include quitting cigarette smoking, consuming the right type of food and wearing sunglasses to protect the eye from harmful ultraviolet rays. She also highlighted the importance of routine comprehensive dilated eye examination to screen for early signs of eye conditions, even in the absence of symptoms. Early detection and treatment of eye diseases can save sight.

Members of the public who are interested to attend the next public forum by the centre can register here.