The Eye Health Optometrist

We visit the optometrist for your prescriptive glass or contact lens but did you know that Optometrist are also trained primary eye care providers regulated by the Optician and Optometrist Board, Ministry of Health. Eye Health Optometrist are healthcare professionals skilled to detect debilitating eye conditions such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, cataract and age-related macular degeneration. These diseases are usually silent and asymptomatic during the early stages, when left untreated, they can result in vision impairment or vision loss.

Be sure to ask for an eye health check by one of our friendly Eye Health Optometrists on our platform. Click here to locate an EyRIS-partnered Eye Health Optometrist now!

Your Eye Health Optometrist are trained to detect these changes during the early stages of AMD, they are well placed to advise you.

EyRIS SELENA +

Did you know EyRIS SELENA+ was trained with more than 490,000 images from the local diabetic population and over 71,000 images from 10 different countries around the world. According to a study by the inventors which was published in the renowned Journal of American Medical Association, it displayed remarkable ability to detect vision threatening diabetic retinopathy.

EyRIS specialises in the development and deployment of AI Deep Learning System in the healthcare industry. SELENA+ is an automated system that is able to detect 3 retinal diseases concurrently. Through analysis of colour retinal images, the system is able to identify signs of diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma suspect features and age-related macula degeneration. This award-winning product was also recently cited as one of projects in Singapore’s National AI Strategy. Retinal imaging, otherwise known as fundus photography is the most common and cost-effective DR screening method.

SELENA+ has gotten HSA Approval in Oct 2019, click here for EyRIS SELENA+ HSA Approval

Fundus Image

Did you know that scientists have been looking at the back of eye using an ophthalmoscope since 1851? With the introduction of photography in the 19th century, the first colour photograph of the retina was first taken in 1861.

Fundus image is merely a photo of the rear of the eye, otherwise known as the retina.

All the optometric practices on our platform have invested in state-of-the-art fundus camera, which makes taking the image effortless, and without the need for eye drops. The image acquisition process involves sitting in front of the machine where you will experience a short burst of light on each eye. It’s like having your photo taken with the flash except in our case, it’s a photo of the eye!

These images can help detect vision-threatening eye conditions such as diabetic retinopathy, age related macular generation, glaucoma suspect and other conditions. Many eye conditions are asymptomatic and silent during the early stages and can be devastating when symptoms start to surface. Early detection plays an important role in the prevention of complications caused by these eye conditions.

Recent research around the world has correlated the relationship between observable changes to the blood vessels on the fundus image as a predictive measure for diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Imagine having your cardiovascular risk assessments done with a fundus image.

Did you know that the blood vessels you can see on the fundus image were formed when you are still a foetus in your mother’s womb? These sets of blood vessels share similar embryologic, anatomical and physiological origins as those in other parts of the body, especially the brain. In research institutes around the world, including Singapore Eye Research Institute, have found correlation between retinal changes and some systematic disease like diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke and Alzheimer’s Disease. Such predictive tests are in their final stages of research and many studies are expected to be published in due course. Imagine going to your Eye Health Optometrist not just for your eyes but also for your health check.


Many Singaporeans miss the mark

When it comes to signs of eye diseases, Singaporeans do not give importance to changes in their vision. A majority in our population worry about going blind yet many are not getting their eyes checked on a regular basis. Did you know it is recommended to have your eyes screened at least once a year if you are above 40 years old?

Many eye conditions are silent and asymptomatic in the early stages and can lead to vision loss when it takes a turn for the worse. A description of the common eye conditions in Singapore are listed below. If you suffer signs of abnormalities in your vision, do make an appointment with our Eye Health Optometrist now!

The Eye Disease – Diabetic Retinopathy (DR)

Normal ( Non Referable )

Moderate Non-Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy ( Referable )

Vision Threatening Diabetic Proliferative Retinopathy ( Referable )

Diabetic Retinopathy is a condition where damaged blood vessels affect the light sensitive tissue at the back of the eye (retina). The early stages of the disease cause no symptoms but can eventually lead to vision impairment or total vision loss. Even though your vision may seem fine, all diabetics are encouraged to have your eyes screened at least once a year because early intervention is the only way to prevent vision impairment.

This vision threatening eye condition is usually asymptomatic in the early stages, it can develop in anyone who has both type 1 or type 2 diabetes. It is also a known fact that the longer you have diabetes and the less controlled your blood sugar is, the more likely you will develop this eye condition.

How does this disease develops?

Excess sugar in the blood over time leads to blockage of tiny blood vessels that nourishes the retina. During early stages of the disease, these blockages subsequently result in the existing blood vessels to weaken causing tiny bulges (microaneurysms) to protrude from vessel walls. These damaging changes lead to leakage of fluid and blood into the retina, which causes some of the symptoms listed. This phase of the disease is sometimes referred as non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy.

The advanced stages of the disease, also known as proliferative diabetic retinopathy, is where the damaged blood vessels close off, forcing the growth of new abnormal blood vessels in the retina. These new blood vessels, which are poorly formed, tend to be leaky and also initiate the formation of scar tissue in the retina. These climatic changes can cause retinal detachment or glaucoma, which requires immediate medical attention.

Screening by an Eye Health Optometrist from our platform can help you not only detect diabetic retinopathy but other conditions such as glaucoma suspect, age related macular degeneration. Make an appointment with one of our Eye Health Optometrist today. Click here to locate the nearest one to you NOW!

Did you know that an estimated 1/3 of Singaporeans who have diabetes do not get their eyes regularly screened? Healthcare professionals recommend diabetics to have their eyes screened at least once a year. Statistically, 3 in 10 diabetics will suffer from diabetic retinopathy and 1 in 10 will eventually suffer from vision impairment if left untreated. DR can only be treated through early detection and intervention.

Source: Singapore National Eye Centre

Diabetics who have the following existing conditions have a higher risk developing the eye condition, they are: -

  • Duration of diabetes — the longer you have diabetes, the greater your risk of developing diabetic retinopathy
  • Poor control of your blood sugar level
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Pregnancy
  • Tobacco use

What are the symptoms?

  • Spots or dark strings floating in your vision (floaters)
  • Blurred vision
  • Fluctuating vision
  • Impaired colour vision
  • Dark or empty areas in your vision
  • Vision loss
  • Usually affect both eyes

The Eye Disease – Glaucoma

Glaucoma refers to a group of eye conditions that results in damage to the optic nerve.  The abnormally high eye pressure is a risk factor, although some can have glaucoma despite normal eye pressure. The optic nerve is like a cable that conducts signals from the eye to the brain. Glaucoma can occur at any age but more prevalent in the older population. It is the leading cause of blindness for people over 60 years old.

Those who are more predisposed to this condition include:

  • Family history
  • Steroid Medications
  • History of eye injury
  • Diabetes
  • High myopia (nearsightedness)
  • High hyperopia (farsightedness)

Early detection of glaucoma is key in the prevention of vision impairment caused by this debilitating eye condition. Also nicknamed “Silent Thief of Sight”, it can slowly and painlessly cause permanent loss of vision. In a healthy state, the eye continually produces and drains fluid through a structure called trabecular meshwork, like a faucet slowly dripping in the sink. In a diseased state, the sink drainage becomes clogged thus resulting in increased pressure of the eye.

Eye Health Optometrists from the platform are well equipped to help detect early signs of glaucoma and make timely referrals to the ophthalmologist.

The Eye Disease – Age Related Macula Degeneration (AMD)

Normal ( Non Referable )

Intermediate Age Related Macula Degeneration ( Referable )

Advance Age Related Macula Degeneration ( Referable )

Age related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of permanent vision loss in people over 60 years old. The light sensing nerve of the retina, called the macula, is responsible for central vision and most of colour vision. Age will wear down tissue around the macula which sometimes causes severe vision problems.

What’s the difference between dry and wet form of Age Related Macular Degeneration ?

Dry form

People with this may have yellow deposits, called drusen, in their macula. A few small drusen may not cause changes in your vision but as they get bigger and more numerous, they might dim or distort your vision, especially when you read. As the condition gets worse, the light-sensitive cells in your macula get thinner and eventually die. In the serious form, you may have blind spots in the centre of your vision. As that gets worse, you might lose central vision.

Wet form

New blood vessels form underneath your macula. These new blood vessels leak blood and fluid into your retina thus resulting in distorted vision. Straight lines begin to look wavy and you develop blind spots and loss of central vision. These blood vessels and their bleeding eventually form a scar, leading to permanent loss of central vision.

Symptoms of macular degeneration may include:

  • Worse or less clear vision. Your vision might be blurry, and it may be hard to read fine print or drive.
  • Dark, blurry areas in the centre of your vision
  • Different colour perception