Although Singapore has one of the highest rates of myopia in the world, the level here has remained stable over the past decade. According to the Health Promotion Board (HPB), it has remained constant over the past 10 years - at 65 per cent among Primary 6 pupils and 28 per cent among those in Primary 1. This comes at a time when myopia rates are rising across the world. These higher rates have been traced to increased exposure to electronic devices. Singapore has bucked the trend owing to various measures taken in recent years, say experts, such increasing prescriptions of eye drops containing atropine and HPB’s initiatives under the National Myopia Prevention Programme. Prof Saw Seang Mei, Head, Myopia Research Group, SERI, was interviewed for the story.
The Straits Times carried a report on an eye condition, pterygium and featured a patient who was the first person in the world to undergo femtosecond laser-assisted pterygium surgery (Flaps). The new laser surgical technique was performed at SNEC. The current gold standard for treatment of pterygium is conjunctival autograft (CAG). Assoc Prof Jodhbir Mehta, Head and Senior Consultant, Corneal and External Eye Disease Department, SNEC shared that when CAG is done manually, a considerable amount of skill is needed to cut an autograft as thin as possible and if it is too thick, chances of the pterygium recurring are much higher. Flaps however uses the same laser technology commonly applied in cataract and Lasik surgery and Flaps patients are less likely to develop pterygium lesions.
In the absence of obvious symptoms, people tend to think that it is better to do as many health screening tests as possible. However, screening tests should be based on a risk assessment that is specific to each person, and should take into account screening guidelines for the general population based on factors such as age, sex and family history. Dr Ng Lee Beng, Consultant, Department of Family Medicine & Continuing Care, SGH described some of the health screening tests that are good to have and some that are of uncertain value, such as cancer markers which are not sensitive and may not pick up cancer most of the time.
Assoc Prof Tina Wong, Head & Senior Consultant, Glaucoma Department, SNEC shared the gold-standard tonometry test is the Goldmann applanation tonometer, which involves contact of the instrument with the surface of the eye. She shared that an eye professional uses this to detect intraocular pressure (pressure inside the eye), which is the only risk factor that can be treated to prevent glaucoma. A form of non-contact tonometry is a warm puff of air, delivered to the eye from a machine, to ascertain eye pressure. Prof Wong shared this test is not as accurate. But because it does not require operator expertise, it is useful for screening the general population at a primary-care level to ascertain if specialist referral is warranted. Tonometry, she added, should be part of the evaluation for glaucoma and not done in isolation to screen for it. Those with risk factors, such as a family history of glaucoma should get screened, she said.
SNEC is embarking on a 3.5 years study to determine if atropine eye drops can prevent or slow the onset of myopia in young children with myopic parents, just before it starts, or at the very early onset. Adj Assoc Prof Audrey Chia, Head and Senior Consultant, Paediatric Ophthalmology and Adult Strabismus Department, SNEC, and investigator for the Atropine Treatment of Myopia 3 (ATOM 3) said the new study is a collaboration between Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI), Singapore Clinical Research Institute (SCRI) and SNEC. Atom 3 taps on the success of Atom 2, conducted from 2005 to 2012, which showed that low-dose atropine eye drops can slow down myopia progression by 50 per cent to 60 per cent, with no side effects such as near blur.
Scientists have discovered that the image that the eye sees after it blinks remains steady because the brain has learnt to correct the misalignment, and repositions the eyes during the blink to make up for the change in position. Prof Roger Beuerman, Senior Scientific Director, SERI, said that the new finding extends the older concept of saccadic eye movements – small micro-adjustments of the eye position due to the ocular muscles – that refresh the image on the retina.
The Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI) yesterday announced a five-year collaboration with Japanese company Santen Pharmaceutical to conduct research on major eye diseases in Asia. A total of $37 million will be invested in a joint Santen-Seri lab at the Academia building near the Singapore General Hospital over the next five years. The research will be partially funded by the Government's Research Innovation Enterprise 2020 Plan, which was unveiled last year to encourage innovation and technology adoption in companies. Prof Aung Tin, Executive Director, SERI, said that an industry partnership will speed up the process of translating scientific research into products that help patients, such as new medication or surgical devices.
A number of Singapore's top eye specialists owe their rise in part to a "Flying Eye Hospital" which has been making stops in the Republic since the 1980s. Today, Singapore physicians are paying it forward by volunteering with Orbis, the international non-profit organisation which provided them a chance to learn from some of the best in the field. The charity organisation, which was founded by an American ophthalmologist in 1982, aims to fight blindness by training healthcare professionals from developing countries in the area of eye care. It does so through its Flying Eye Hospital, which has state-of-the-art healthcare equipment on board as well as a classroom, and has travelled to 92 countries worldwide. Prof Ian Yeo, Deputy Medical Director (Education), SNEC, was interviewed and shared about his experience volunteering with Orbis.
Getting myopia at a young age can set you up for worse myopia later in life, a study by the Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI) has found. Prof Saw Seang Mei, Head, Myopia Research Group, SERI, said that parents should try their best to delay myopia in their children by making sure they spend time outdoors. Doctors hypothesise that the bright light outdoors would trigger the release of a chemical known as retinal dopamine, which stops myopia from developing. Prof Saw and her team recruited nearly 1,000 children aged between seven and nine over several years for the study, and followed up with them until they reached age 11. In an earlier study, Prof Saw and her team also found that having high myopia of more than 500 degrees puts adults at risk of issues such as cataracts, glaucoma and myopic macular disease - a degenerative disease that causes loss of vision - down the road. This makes prevention at a young age even more important.
From eye screenings and eyewear, to surgery and education in eye care–these
free services have benefited about 500 needy residents since March last year.
The end-to-end help is provided by a group of 18 organisations, including
optical shops, lens manufacturers, volunteer eye surgeons and polytechnics
offering optometry courses.
This is part of the SPECtacular Experience initiative, which started in
Sembawang GRC and then extended to Tampines GRC. It is still ongoing in
Sembawang and is expected to benefit 1,200 more residents there by the end of
In October, the initiative will be extended further to Tanjong Pagar
GRC,where it aims to reach 240 residents by January.
Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong cited the initiative at a corporate
giving seminar recently as an example of how companies can use their skills to
The Straits Times (11 August 2016)
Researchers have found new genes associated with the most prevalent form of
glaucoma in Singapore.
The finding could help identify new drug targets to treat glaucoma – dubbed
the silent thief of sight, and in the future, predict one’s risk of getting the
Led by researchers from the Agency for Science, Technology and Research’s
Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS) and the Singapore Eye Research Institute
(SERI), among others, the study screened more than 10,000 patients with primary
angle closure glaucoma.
The Straits Times (5 August 2016)
Associate Professor Jodhbir Singh Mehta, a clinical scientist, is heading a
team that hopes its research will one day reduce the need for major corneal
It’s a faraway goal, but research is steaming ahead under
At the Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI ), Associate Professor Jodhbir
Singh Mehta’s team is delving into tissue engineering and stem cell growth at
the front and back of the cornea.
Their ultimate goal is to grow corneal cells from donor eyes so that damaged
cells can be replaced instead of patients having a total corneal transplant.
An early success was finding a receptor on corneal endothelial cells that
deals with oxidative stress, which is a leading factor in Fuchs’ Dystrophy – an
eye disease affecting the cornea, in which a transplant may be needed.
Singapore Health (July-August 2016)
He started wearing glasses at the age of three, and by the time he turned 21,
his myopia was above 2,000 degrees, making him “blind” without the aid of
spectacles or contact lens.
Lee, who will be 60 next month, told The New Paper over the phone on
Wednesday: “When I was 21, I had (rhegmatogenous) retinal detachment. On my left
eye, the retina was torn, and on my right eye, it was detached. This was the
result of extreme myopia.”
The New Paper (22 July 2016)
Imagine the day when you can tell if you have dengue by just taking a photo
of your eye with a smartphone. It would allow you to get treatment faster and
reduce the risk of serious illness. Although this is now science fiction,
multidisciplinary research has hinted that it could be possible in the
In the first study of its kind, Singapore researchers have found that blood
vessels in the eye exhibit different characteristics in patients suffering from
severe dengue than they do in uninfected individuals.
The Straits Times (14 June 2016)
SATISFACTION with public healthcare institutions (HCIs) rose in 2015, with
85.9 per cent of patients and caregivers saying that service was either good or
excellent, up from 79.1 per cent in 2014, according to the Ministry of Health
According to its annual Patient Satisfaction Survey (PSS) that was released
on Monday, 83.8 per cent received better service than theyhad expected, up from
80.6 per cent the previous year. The proportion of respondents who would
recommend public HCIs to others also increased to 84.9 per cent, up from 82.4
per cent previously.
The Business Times (14 June 2016)
Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) occurs when the throat intermittently relaxes
and blocks the airway, causing breathing to repeatedly stop and start during
Glaucomais a serious eye condition thatdamages the optic nerve, resulting in
vision loss and blindness.A study showed that those with moderate to severe OSA
are more likely to have glaucoma.
The Straits Times (15 March 2016)
For decades, gastric cancer has been a silent killer, sneaking up on more
than 700,000 unsuspecting victims in Asia every year and surfacing only when
patients have little chance of recovery.
But in recent years, Singapore scientists have edged closer to uncovering the
sinister cancer early.
One method – a simple blood test that could potentially detect the cancer
even before symptoms start to surface, simply by measuring the levels of
micro-RNA, which are the chemicals that help regulate genes.
gastric cancer was on Friday highlighted as one of the bright stars in
Singapore’s research push, as the country’s research funding body, the National
Research Foundation (NRF), unveiled a record $19 billion budget for the next
A new smartwatch may help
to prevent myopia in children. FitSight displays the amount of time users spend
in the sun each day – which is believed to reduce the incidence of myopia, or
Targeted at children aged
six to 12, the watch has a light meter that tracks light intensity of their
surroundings, which is then translated into hours and minutes.
Last month , Professor
Saw Seang Mei, head of myopia research at the Singapore Eye Research Institute,
embarked on a two-month study involving 100 children of primary school age to
test the first prototype.
Half of the group wear
the watch as they go about their daily activities and all participants will
answer questions on behavioural change during the trial.
Almost every day, someone
here is diagnosed with diabetic macular edema, a leading cause of blindness
among working-age people.
The tragedy is that many
show up for treatment too late – by which time much of the damage is done.
Macular edema costs
Singapore more than $38 million a year in lost work, according to the Singapore
National Eye Centre (SNEC).
The amount is based only
on time off needed for treatment, and does not include loss of productivity due
to loss of vision or the cost of treatment, said Associate Professor Gemmy
Cheung, deputy head of medical retina at the SNEC.
With treatment, sufferers
can stop their eyesight from getting worse. But many seek treatment only after
their vision has deteriorated significantly – said Professor Wong Tien Yin, SNEC
Trainee eye doctors say
they are benefiting from a free simulation app that helps them practise their
surgical skills on mobile devices. Touch Surgery is designed for doctors of
various disciplines and users can pick from 60 different operations to
It was introduced in
Britain three years ago but a new version showing cataract surgery in four parts
was launched here in May at the Singapore National Eye Centre’s (SNEC) 25th
by NUS and SERI recruited 285 Singaporean children aged six to 12 to spend more
time outdoors on weekends. Under the programme, the children and their families
were invited to a two- to three-hour guided walk to parks and mature reserves
every weekend over nine months. However, sustaining the programme proved to be
difficult as seen by the plunging attendance rates – from 43 per cent in May
2011 to 6.6 per cent in February 2012. Those who continued with the programme
saw their myopia stabilise. Main investigator, Prof Saw Seang Mei, NUS Saw Swee
Hock School of Public Health, and Co-Head, Myopia Research Group, SERI, said
that there should be a comprehensive programme which can include park visits,
outdoors CCAs in schools, outdoor programmes in the community and even and
outdoor gadget to help monitor the time spent outdoors. She added that there is
a need for early intervention as children who develop myopia at a very young age
are more likely to become blind later in adult life, due to diseases such as
myopic macular degeneration.
SNEC Medical Director and SERI doctors on study for
A large-scale study by SERI has found that
many diabetic patients in Singapore are at risk of losing their vision, as most
of those who suffer from Diabetic Retinopathy (DR) or damage to the blood
vessels in the eye are unaware of the condition. The study, which was published
in the British Journal of Ophthalmology, found that five in six people who are
diagnosed with DR, are unaware that they have the eye condition. The report
noted that DR is the top cause of blindness among working-age adults in
Singapore. Assoc Prof Cheng Ching Yu, Head of the Ocular Epidemiology Research
Group in SERI, added that about 17,500 people are visually impaired because of
this eye condition. The article also cited another SNEC study of more than 500
people done this year and released at the SNEC’s 25th Anniversary International
Meeting on 23 May. The SNEC study found that 42 per cent of diabetics had never
had their eyes screened and the incidence of both DR and the late-stage
vision-threatening DR was highest among Indians. Assoc Prof Cheng shared if the
eye condition is left untreated within four years, one in nine would develop
vision-threatening DR and one in 14 would become blind. The study is the first
in the world to look at rates of vision-threatening DR. The article also noted
other key findings of the study.
ST also reported Health Minister Mr Gan
Kim Yong stressing the importance of educating the elderly on need for regular
eye checks. Prof Wong Tien Yin, Medical Director of SNEC, said that eye problems
such as cataract are easily treated. Glaucoma is a major cause of blindness in
Singapore, but patients’ vision can be saved if it is discovered and treated
early. Prof Ecosse Lamoureux, Director of Population Health at SERI, advised
that people with diabetes, high blood pressure or close family members suffering
from eye problems like glaucoma should have their eyes checked annually from age
40. TV News (23 May), ZB (24 May, p4), TM (24 May, p3) and WB (23 May, p7)
carried similar reports.
The Sunday Times, Pg 6 (24 May 2015)
25 Years Of Service To The
SunTimes Life! featured a special supplement on SNEC, which
celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. Guided by its public service ethos,
SNEC has not only offered best possible eye care for over two decades, but it
also seeks to lead in research, training and innovation. SNEC is the designated
national eye care centre in Singapore’s public healthcare network, but as an
academic and public institution, it goes beyond providing clinical care and has
a mission that includes training future generations of doctors and eye care
professionals, and conducting cutting edge research and innovation for better
care. Prof Wong Tien Yin, Medical Director, SNEC shared on the institution’s
“best-in-class” clinical care, its pursuit of academic medicine and culture of
innovation. The supplement also featured interviews with various SNEC doctors
and healthcare professionals on stories including SNEC’s new Vision Fund, SERI
and eye research, IT at SNEC, and training of young doctors at SNEC.
The Sunday Times, Pg 21-24 (19 April 2015)
SNEC and SERI doctors on gene mutation in East
Singapore researchers have found that gene mutation in some
East Asians is a double-edged sword. Although the gene mutation gives them added
protection against heart attacks, it will also significantly increase their risk
of going blind. This particular mutation, found almost exclusively in East
Asians, raises the level of HDL or good cholesterol, which protects the heart.
It was noted that about 2 to 3 per cent of the Chinese in Singapore have this
gene mutation. The mutation also places the East Asians at 70 per cent higher
risk of getting age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the top cause of
irreversible blindness in Singapore, affecting one in 20 people over the age of
40. The study, which looked at over a million genetic markers in the DNA of more
than 22,000 people in Singapore, China, Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong, was
published last month in the prestigious research journal, Nature Communications.
Assoc Prof Cheng Ching-Yu, a clinician scientist at SERI, was the principal
investigator for the study. He shared that the findings do not show if the eye
condition is due to the mutation or higher levels of HDL these people have.
However, an earlier study had shown that those with AMD generally have higher
HDL, hence there may be a connection for the condition. On the treatment for
AMD, Assoc Prof Gemmy Cheung, Senior Consultant, SNEC’s Vitreo-Retina Service,
explained that there is no treatment for early AMD, aside from providing
patients with nutrients including vitamins B, C and E. For late-stage AMD,
monthly or bi-monthly injections will be given. The report also noted that
doctors at SNEC give more than 4,000 such jabs in a year and the number has been
increasing over the years. SNEC highlighted that 145,000 people in Singapore
suffer from AMD, with 14,000 in the late stage. MyPaper (pA4) carried a similar
The Straits Times, Pg B1 (24 February 2015)
Eye docs see glaucoma more clearly
Straits Times reported on the President’s Science and Technology Awards. The
report highlighted that the President’s Technology Award (PTA) was conferred to
two eye research teams. The first, from SERI led by Prof Wong Tien Yin, Medical
Director; SNEC; Senior Principal Clinician Scientist, SERI; and Vice-Dean of
Clinical Sciences, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School with Prof Wynne Hsu and Prof
Lee Mong Li from the NUS School of Computing. The team developed advanced
algorithms to monitor and record subtle changes to the retina over time. The
system is designed to help doctors detect eye diseases early, even before the
symptoms appear. Members of the team comprise: Prof Aung Tin, Deputy Medical
Director (Research), SNEC and Executive Director, SERI; Dr Carol Cheung, SERI
and Duke-NUS; Assoc Prof Jimmy Liu Jiang, A-Star; Dr Damon Wong, A-Star and Dr
Peter Lau, NUS
The other winning team comprised Assoc Prof Tina Wong,
Senior Consultant, Glaucoma Service, SNEC and Principal Clinician Scientist,
SERI, Prof Subbu Venkatraman and Prof Freddy Boey from the NTU. The team was
recognised for their work in developing a sustained drug-delivery technology to
apply the anti-glaucoma medicine.
The Sunday Times, Pg 38 (23 November 2014)
Accolades for work in treating cancer in
The Straits Times reported on the President’s Science and
Technology Awards. The report highlighted that the President’s Technology Award
(PTA) was conferred to two eye research teams. The first, from SERI led by Prof
Wong Tien Yin, Medical Director; SNEC; Senior Principal Clinician Scientist,
SERI; and Vice-Dean of Clinical Sciences, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School with
Prof Wynne Hsu and Prof Lee Mong Li from the NUS School of Computing. The team
developed advanced algorithms to monitor and record subtle changes to the retina
over time. The system is designed to help doctors detect eye diseases early,
even before the symptoms appear. Members of the team comprise: Prof Aung Tin,
Deputy Medical Director (Research), SNEC and Executive Director, SERI; Dr Carol
Cheung, SERI and Duke-NUS; Assoc Prof Jimmy Liu Jiang, A-Star; Dr Damon Wong,
A-Star and Dr Peter Lau, NUS
The other winning team comprised Assoc Prof
Tina Wong, Senior Consultant, Glaucoma Service, SNEC and Principal Clinician
Scientist, SERI, Prof Subbu Venkatraman and Prof Freddy Boey from the NTU. The
team was recognised for their work in developing a sustained drug-delivery
technology to apply the anti-glaucoma medicine.
The Straits Times, Pg B7 (5 November 2014)
Astigmatism ‘common’ in kids with vision
The article reported that there is a growing number of
pre-school children with problems such as myopia or astigmatism. According to
the 2011 HPB figures, about 16 per cent of kindergarten children are
short-sighted, up from seven per cent in 2009. There is no separate figure for
astigmatism, which can occur together with myopia, but the SNEC said that it is
“quite common” among the pre-schoolers it sees. In Singapore, astigmatism is the
most common cause of amblymyopia, or “lazy eye”. Adj Assoc Prof Audrey Chia,
Senior Consultant at SNEC Paediatric Ophthalmology and Adult Strabismus Service,
explained that if the condition is not treated early, it may lead to permanent
poor vision in the affected eye. The report noted that NUH has seen a 15 per
cent rise in pre-school referrals in the past few years. Vision problems among
young kids are being detected at annual screenings held by HPB at child care
centres and kindergartens.
The Straits Times, Pg B7 (23 October 2014)
Eye Surgeon’s Legacy Will Live On
letter by Rajasegaran Ramasamy, who said he was saddened by the death of
Professor Arthur Lim. Rajasegaran cited an older article about Prof Lim years
ago in which he said no one should go blind because of cataracts. Rajasegaran
also noted that many of Singapore’s top ophthalmologists were taught by Prof
The Sunday Times, Pg 34 (7 September 2014)
Arthur Lim Changed How Society Viewed Visually
A letter by Tan Guan Heng, ex-president of the
Singapore Association for the Blind (now the Singapore Association of the
Visually Handicapped). He said that Professor Arthur Lim paved way for the
charity to become a national voluntary welfare organisation for the welfare of
the blind. Apart from that, Prof Lim believed that the blind should not be seen
as passive recipients of charity, but as contributing citizens of society. Tan
added that Prof Lim was a visionary, giving blind people a voice and stake in
the charity's management. He had in fact encouraged and guided Tan to become the
first blind president of the association.
The Sunday Times, Pg 34 (7
Arthur Lim always ahead of the curve: Dr
TV News reported that Minister (EWR) Dr Vivian
Balakrishnan paid tribute to the late prominent eye surgeon Professor Arthur
Lim. Minister (EWR) said Prof Lim was always ahead of the curve, even in times
of great uncertainty. In his eulogy at a service, he said that even though
ophthalmology was viewed as a minor discipline by many in the 1980s, Prof Lim
had played a huge role in urging authorities to invest more money into research
in that area. Prof Lim’s involvement in the set-up of the SERI and the NUH’s
ophthalmology department had helped to raise Singapore's profile globally as a
medical centre for treatment of eye conditions. TDY (p6) reported Minister’s
attendance at the wake.
TODAY Online (4 September 2014)
Exposure to sunlight may prevent myopia
carried a commentary on the prevalence of myopia by Professor K Ranga Krishnan,
dean of the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore. He noted that children
who develop myopia early in life are more likely to progress to a more severe
form. This is not only a simple cosmetic issue that can be treated by wearing
spectacles, but is also a risk factor for severe eye problems which can lead to
complications and reduce vision. He opined that in sunny places such as
Singapore, where the difference between outdoor and indoor light intensity is
most extreme, myopia is perhaps more easily developed when children stay
indoors. In a study by the Singapore Eye Research Institute, each hour a
teenager spent outdoors lowered the risk of myopia by 10 per cent.
Interestingly, time spent on outdoor sports was also associated with reduced
risk of myopia, but this was not seen for indoor sports.
TODAY Online (8 August 2014)
New chiefs at SNEC and NDCS from Aug 1
Business Times reported on the new leadership appointments at SNEC and NDCS,
which will take effect from 1 August 2014. Prof Donald Tan, Medical Director of
SNEC for the last six years will pass the leadership baton to his deputy, Prof
Wong Tien Yin. In recognition of his contributions, Prof Tan will be appointed
senior adviser at SNEC. Prof Wong will also take on the position as Academic
Chair, SingHealth Duke-NUS Ophthalmology Academic Clinical Program
Meanwhile, at NDCS, Assoc Prof Kwa Chong Teck, Executive Director
of NDCS who has headed the Centre since 1997, will pass on the leadership baton
to his deputy, Assoc Prof Poon Choy Yoke. The report noted that this top post,
formerly called “executive director”, has been renamed to “director” to better
reflect the role and to include spearheading NDCS’s agenda in clinical services,
education and research. In recognition of his contributions, Assoc Prof Kwa will
be appointed senior adviser of NDCS. Assoc Prof Poon will also become academic
chair of the newly established SingHealth Duke-NUS Oral Health ACP. ST Online
(25 Jul) carried a similar report.
The Straits Times, Pg 1 (24 July 2014)
S’pore-made blood test to detect genetic eye
A blood test to detect corneal stromal dystrophy has been
developed by SNEC, A*STAR’s Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS), SGH and NUH, as
part of the POLARIS programme. Corneal stromal dystrophy is a genetic eye
disease which may run in families. It causes proteins to clump together in the
cornea, clouding it and affecting vision. In some cases, patients need corneal
transplant. This first made-in-Singapore genetic test can help those with a
family history of the disease predict how likely they are to get it, how fast it
will progress and whether they should avoid Lasik vision surgery, which can
cause it to flare up.
Prof Donald Tan, Medical Director, SNEC shared that
the centre operates on 10 to 11 corneal stromal dystrophy patients each year,
and has around 200 such patients registered in its database. Prof Patrick Tan,
POLARIS Programme Director, Senior Investigator at A*STAR’s GIS and Professor at
Duke-NUS shared that the condition was picked to be worked on because of the
wealth of existing research and expertise on it here, and further explained the
benefits of having such a test in Singapore. The report noted that POLARIS is a
national scheme to turn biomedical findings into treatments for Singapore
patients. CNA, Ch8 news, ChU news and Capital 95.8FM carried similar
The Straits Times, Pg 1 (24 July 2014)
Cataract cases increased by 37% over 10
Cataract cases in Singapore have increased by 37% in the last
10 years. According to research from the Singapore National Eye Centre, cases
have increased from 10,013 cases in 2004 to 13,680 cases in 2013.
Allan Fong, Deputy Head and Consultant, General Cataract & Comprehensive
Ophthalmology Service shares that although cataract is a condition that usually
affects the elderly, the younger generation can also develop cataract due to
diabetes, eye injury, severe myopia, congenital cataract etc. He also shares on
the common symptoms of cataract which include deterioration of vision,
sensitivity to glare, increase in the degree of myopia or astigmatism, fading of
colours and double vision or multiple images in one eye. He also advised those
affected to seek early treatment as any delay may result in
SNEC currently uses the phacoemulsification technique for
cataract removal where the cataract lens is entirely removed and an artificial
lens implant is inserted. Dr Fong urged readers to use sunglasses and hats to
shield their eyes when they go outdoors as sun rays between 9am to 3pm are
strongest and could harm the eyes.
Lianhe Zaobao, Pg 3 (10 July 2014)
All eyes on man with clear vision
interview with Professor Wong Tien Yin, Senior Consultant and Deputy Medical
Director of Research at the Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC), Group Director
of Research at Singapore Health Services (SingHealth) and Vice-Dean of Clinical
Sciences at Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School was featured. It was noted that the
work of Professor Wong and his team from the SNEC and SERI has been translated
into international guidelines on how to manage diabetic retinopathy. His team
was recently ranked among the world's most prolific researchers in two major eye
diseases, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic retinopathy
Prof Wong also noted the changing research landscape in Singapore –
in the past, first generation clinician scientists including Prof Donald Tan,
SNEC’s Medical Director, and Prof Aung Tin, SERI’s Executive Director, had to do
everything much on their own; today, the 10 to 15 third-generation clinician
scientists at SERI receive training and guidance from the experienced clinician
scientists. He also shared his advice to aspiring researchers. A short overview
of Prof Wong’s career and key achievements accompanied the main article.
The Sunday Times, Pg 41 (8 June 2014)
New treatment for glaucoma
Scientists from NTU and the Singapore Eye Research
Institute (SERI) have jointly developed a new nanomedicine that allows glaucoma
patients to do away with daily eye drops. The treatment involves a painless
injection to the front of the eye, which delivers millions of nano-sized
capsules that release anti-glaucoma drugs slowly over six months. Co-lead
scientist Adj A/Prof Tina Wong shared that 10% of blindness from Glaucoma is
caused by poor adherence to prescribed dosages of the eyedrops, which can be
prevented. The new therapy has gone through a pilot study with six patients
conducted at the Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) and researchers said it
has yielded exceptional results, having shown to be safe and effective in the
treatment of glaucoma.
Lianhe Zaobao, Pg 4 (4 June 2014)
SNEC gets global accreditation
Eye Centre (SNEC) is the first in Singapore and South-east Asia to
accredited by the International Joint Commission on Allied Health
Personnel for Ophthalmology (IJCAHPO).
IJCAHPO provides international
accreditation by setting academic standards for ophthalmic training programmes
to enhance the quality and availability of ophthalmic patient care. IJCAHPO is
the international division of the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel
for Ophthalmology (JCAHPO), which offers certification and continuing education
opportunities to ophthalmic allied health personnel.
The Business Times, Pg 11 (30 May 2014)
New treatment for glaucoma unveiled
first-of-its-kind study conducted by SERI and NUS shows it can be harder to live
with poor vision than chronic diseases. The study involving more than 10,000
Singaporeans aged between 40 and 80, compared the loss of quality of life that
poor eyesight brings with that of other chronic conditions, and could possibly
guide policymakers working on programmes to tackle eye diseases. Published in
the top eye research journal Ophthalmology last month, the study – which culled
data from three other population-based eye studies- found that for every 100,000
people here, the burden of visual impairment for the Chinese was equivalent to
512 healthy people dying every year. The impact was even greater for Malays and
Indians, with the figure calculated at 707 and 609 respectively. Doctors expect
an ageing population to lead to more people living with visual
Dr Marcus Ang, Associate Consultant, Corneal and External Eye
Disease Service, SNEC, who is the study’s co-investigator said he was not
surprised with the findings. He explained that while conditions like diabetes
and hypertension may lead to life-threatening conditions, whereas eye issues can
greatly impact normal daily activities. Dr Ang also observed that patients tend
to delay treatment for visual problems, especially those who see poorly with one
eye but still can see with the other. Dr Ang advised people who experienced poor
vision to seek help early.
The Sunday Times, Pg 16 (16 May 2014)
Three ‘Visionary’ S’pore Docs
Three doctors in Singapore have made it to the list of
the world's 100 most influential people in ophthalmology by a British
professional journal. Professor Donald Tan, medical director of the Singapore
National Eye Centre, is third among the Who's Who in eye care. He is cited for
his roles in myopia trials, cornea surgery and transplant. Prof Tan holds the
patent to an instrument that is now widely used in eye transplants. The other
two Singaporeans on the list are Professor Aung Tin, executive director of
Singapore Eye Research Institute, and Professor Saw Seang Mei, an epidemiologist
with the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health. Prof Aung is best known for his
insights into angle closure glaucoma, which is the type half the people get.
Prof Tan said his discoveries made it possible to develop new diagnostic
instruments. Prof Saw is not an eye doctor, but has worked extensively in the
area of myopia, including environmental factors that affect short-sightedness.
She is one of only 13 women to make the list. Singapore has done well to have
three on the list, given that it is the smallest country in the list, said Prof
Tan. He is particularly pleased that the nominations came from outside of
Singapore, as "we didn't vote for ourselves". The report also published DMS’
quote: "I am pleased that our doctors are being recognised by their peers in the
global arena for their achievements." He hopes this recognition will spur them
to even greater heights, both in delivering better eye care and in advancing
science and research in the field.
The Straits Times, Pg B3 (2 May 2014)
Min Daily News, Pg 2 (2 May 2014)
$5m professorship to honour Arthur Lim
The Singapore NationalEye Centre (SNEC) and Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School
Singapore yesterday announced a $5 millionprofessorship to honourArthur Lim Siew
Ming, a pioneer of Singapore’s ophthalmology sector.
The Arthur Lim Professorshipin Ophthalmology will be established with SNEC
donating $2.5 million from the SNEC Health Research Endowment fund, with a
dollar-for-dollar matching grant from the Ministry of Education through
Duke-NUS. Prof Lim created a globally renowned eye department and raised the
practice of ophthalmology in Singapore to world-class levels with the
establishment of the SNEC, Singapore Eye Research Institute and the Department
of Ophthalmology at the National University Hospital, among various feats.
The Business Times, Pg 9 (21 January 2014)
Love between teacher and student
Southeast Asia’s father of Ophthalmology, Professor Arthur Lim, has not only
led Singapore to world-class status in the field of ophthalmology but also
trained batch after batch of outstanding ophthalmologists. Dr Vivian
Balakrishnan, Minister for Environment and Water Resources is one such doctor
who has trained under Prof Arthur Lim. Yesterday, the Arthur Lim Professorship
in Ophthalmology was launched and Dr Vivian gave a heart warming speech of
gratitude. Dr Vivian expressed his fond memories of Prof Arthur Lim as his
teacher – one who was so determined to enhance the field of ophthalmology that
he would record all of his students’ surgeries for them to reflect and learn
from their mistakes.
Professor Arthur Lim is the founder of the Singapore
National Eye Centre, who began research on cataract and blindness in China in
the 1980s. In 2012, Prof Lim was awarded the Business China Excellence Award for
his work in helping to fight blindness in China. The Arthur Lim Professorship in
Ophthalmology is a joint collaboration between Duke-NUS and SNEC, who will each
contribute $2.5 million to fund the professorship.
Lianhe Zaobao, Pg 9 (21 January 2014)
Launch of The Arthur Lim Professorship in Ophthalmology
SNEC will launch an inaugural Professorship in Ophthalmology for a
world-class doctor to join the SNEC team focusing on education and research.
This Professorship honours Professor Arthur Lim and recognises his
contributions. Medical Director of SNEC, Prof Donald Tan acknowledged
the significance of this Professorship as it honours a medical visionary – Prof
Arthur Lim. He said that Prof Arthur Lim founded SNEC over 20 years ago and put
ophthalmology in Singapore at a world-class level. Prof Tan went on to say that
the SNEC focuses on teaching and research and they are now ready to bring in
another Professor to further enhance their program. The team hopes that this
professorship will take SNEC another step further in ophthalmology. Prof Wong
Tien Yin added that they are looking for a well-rounded candidate capable in
several ÿelds of study in ophthalmology. Both interviewees shared that they have
already sourced two to three potential candidates from the UK, USA and Japan.
However, they said that the selection process will take a while as they want to
secure the best possible candidate to receive the prestigious
Zaobao, Pg 9 (20 January 2014)
SNEC and AIC to introduce training workshop for nurses
at nursing homes
SNEC and AIC have collaborated to introduce a training workshop for staff
nurses, enrolled nurses and nursing aides at nursing homes to administer eye
care checks at their respective elderly homes. Dry eyes, glaucoma, cataracts and
diabetic retinopathy are the most common eye diseases amongst the elderly and
without proper eye care could worsen the conditions. AIC plans to organise four
more training workshops next year to reach out to more nurses in Singapore.
There is currently more than 60 nursing homes and almost 9600 residents, most of
which require proper eye care due to their old age. Soon Kuan Bee (pictured), a
69 year old part time nurse at Lee Ah Mooi Old Age Home, attended the first
training workshop last month. She said that she used to wash her patients’ eyes
several times a day, but after attending the workshop, realised that one wash a
day was sufficient. She also shared her increase in confidence to perform eye
care on the elderly after attending the workshop. Another nurse who attended the
first training workshop, Mr Lee Qing He, 48, said that prior to the workshop, he
relied on brochures from SNEC to administer post-surgery care to his patients.
However, the training has invoked new knowledge to him and he now has a better
understanding of the correct post-surgery care procedures.
Wanbao, Pg 14 (19 December 2013)
Eye-drops for kids with severe myopia
Children who suffer from rapidly deteriorating myopia can now turn to a new
treatment offered by the Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) – low-dose
atropine eye-drops that cost less than $20 for a month’s supply. Prof Donald
Tan, Medical Director, SNEC shared that the eye-drops can slow down
short-sightedness by as much as 60 per cent, and that the centre will provide
the drops to as many children here as possible. The report noted SNEC’s
five-year trial of 400 children that begun in 2006, which found the daily use of
low-dose atropine to have no noticeable side effects. The report also noted Prof
Tan’s hope to conduct trials that will satisfy health regulators within a few
years so that the eye-drops can be dispensed by any doctor. Currently, the
eye-drops can be dispensed only by SNEC’s pharmacy, and all patients have to be
Straits Times, Pg B4 (18 December 2013)
SNEC doctor on Thyroid Eye Disease
A report on the prevalence of Thyroid Eye Disease (TED). Dr Audrey Looi, Head
and Senior Consultant, Oculoplastic Service, SNEC noted that females are more
likely to develop TED than males. She also highlighted the symptoms shown during
the early and end stage of TED..
Lianhe Wanbao, Pg A5
(15 December 2013)
A Good Nurse Who Has a Good Sense of Observation
A letter from a patient who complimented on the flexibity exercised by the
staff in changing her appointment to another date during her visit to SNEC on 31
Lianhe Zaobao, Pg 41 (16 November 2013)
Free Eye Screening and Carnival Fun at SNEC's 14th National Eye Care
Over 2,000 elderly had their eyes checked for free, while 600 children
enjoyed a carnival at SNEC’s 14th National Eye Care Day on Saturday. SNEC
premises were transformed along the theme of "Alice in Wonderland – through the
Looking Glass" for a children’s carnival at the event.
Shin Min Daily News, Pg 4 (9 November 2013)
Lianhe Zaobao, Pg 2 (10 November 2013)
$300m spent on glasses every year
Singapore, which has one of the world's highest rates of myopia, spends a
US$250 million (S$311.5 million) on prescription glasses every year. The US, on
the other hand, spends US$13.4 billion, 53 times times as much, but for a
population 59 times as big as Singapore's 5.4 million. Lack of outdoor activity
among children here could be one reason for the high rates of myopia, an
increasing problem for East Asian countries.
The Straits Times, Pg B3 (7 October 2013)
Lianhe Zaobao, Pg 8 (7 October 2013)
Today, Pg 21 (7 October 2013)
Shin Min Daily News, Pg 4 (6 October 2013)
Berita Harian, Pg 10 (6 October 2013)
New treatment method for Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration
EYELEA, a new treatment method for wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration,
requires less frequent injections to halt or slow the progression of the
condition as compared with other treatment options such as the use of laser or
Lianhe Wanbao, Pg 26 (7 October 2013)
App to catch kids with colour blindness
Parents will soon be able to tell within minutes if their young children are
colour blind with a simple game called "DoDo's Catching Adventure" which is
available as a free app from next month on the Apple App Store. Designed by NUS
researchers for children between the ages of three and six, the game requires
them to "catch" butterflies of matching colours by tapping a screen. A study on
32 children by SNEC this year found that the game, believed to be a world first,
was as effective as existing tests in identifying red-green colour blindness,
the most common variant
The Straits Times, Pg B1 (5 October 2013)
Lianhe Zaobao, Pg 10 (5 October 2013)
There is an instant solution for every beauty problem these days. But many of
these quick-fixes can have negative consequences, especially when one does not
observe aftercare rules or proper hygiene.
Straits Times Urban, Pg 10 - 12 (20 September 2013)
Eyes May Reveal Stroke Risk : Studies
Two studies done by the Singapore Eye Research Institute concluded
that changes in retinal blood vessel could indicate that a person is at risk of
having stroke. Patients with existing stroke risk factors such as high blood
pressure may undergo retinal imaging to further evaluate how likely they are to
My Paper, Pg A2 (22 August 2013)
Today, Pg 26 (28 August 2013)
Berita Harian, Pg 14 (24 September 2013)
New Lens to Help Old Eyes
SNEC is taking a conservative approach in offering corneal implants for
presbyopic correction, and is awaiting one-year results on the Kamra before
considering its use.
The Straits Times Mind Your Body, Pg 6 - 7 (22 August
Improper Use of Contact Lens Will Lead to Cornea Injury
A total of 5843 patients with infected cornea took part in the Asia Cornea
Society Infectious Keratitis Study headed by Prof Donald Tan across 8 Asian
countries to alleviate corneal blindness in Asia. Through this study,
investigators hope to understand the cause to better counteract corneal
infections brought on by bacteria and fungi.
Min Daily News, Pg 9 (10 August 2013)
Launch of 'MyEyeDrops' Chinese App
Singapore National Eye Centre has launched the chinese version of MyEyeDrops
app to help remind glaucoma patients to apply their eyedrops on time.
Lianhe Zaobao, Pg 5 (2 August 2013)
Lianhe Wanbao, Pg 10 (2 August 2013)
Shin Min Daily News, Pg 14 (8 August 2013)
We Are Sure We Have A Way to Treat Myopia
FOR 16 years, doctors at the Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) have been
trying to find a way to stop myopia in its tracks. They finally have the
answer: eyedrops with a concentration of 0.01 per cent atropine. The eyedrops
could be available for prescription in the next six months. The eyedrops do not
but they seem to slow down its degenerative effects by up to 60
The Straits Times, Pg A6 (18 July 2013)
Lianhe Zaobao, Pg 14 (18 July 2013)
Sick of the Haze
Exposure to the haze can cause eye irritation and conjunctivitis, an
infection commonly called red eye. Symptoms may include a burning sensation,
redness and tearing of the eyes. While these do not harm vision, they cause
The Straits Times Mind Your Body, Pg 4 (27 June 2013)
Heart-warming Service at SNEC Branch @Balestier
A compliment letter from a patient who has just undergone a cataract surgery
on both her eye at SNEC Branch @ Balestier.
Lianhe Zaobao, Pg 18 (3 May 2013)
Minimally Invasive Surgery to Beautify Your Eyes
Dr Choo Chai Teck, Senior Consultant at Singapore National Eye Centre said
that minimally invasive surgery is currently the preferred form of cosmetic eye
surgery by patients. The benefits of minimally invasive surgery are that only
minimal anesthesia and small incisions are required. The procedure takes a short
time and is very low risk. Patients also require very short recovery time.
However, this surgery is not applicable for everyone and suitability evaluations
are required for patients. Some eye-care tips were also shared on how readers
can prevent the dark eye circle, eye bags and dermatochalasis.
Lianhe Wanbao, Pg 17 (15 Apr 2013)
Mock Cataract Surgery
A surgical simulator which allows novice surgeons to practise the different
steps of cataract surgery without putting patient a risk is now available in
Singapore. A/Prof Chee Soon Phaik, Head of Cataract Service at SNEC said the
simulator would be especially useful for beginners who need training in this
technique. SNEC is considering to purchase the simulator.
The Straits Times Mind Your Body, Pg 6 (11 April 2013)
Government Agencies Too Go the App Way
SNEC is continuously looking at new and innovative ways to connect and
provide cost-effect patient care and treatment. Since the official launch of
MyEyeDrops on 19 Feb 2013, SNEC has already started thinking of new apps. SNEC
will also be launching apps MyEyeMatters and MyEyeGym later this year.
The Business Times, Pg 8 (8 April 2013)
Excellent Care at Eye Centre
A letter from Ms Eleanor Leong Wei Wei who sought eye treatment from Dr Chee
Soon Phaik at the Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC). She shared that from the
consultation to post-surgery care, both Dr Chee and the nurses displayed
patience, dedication and care that were beyond excellent.
The Straits Times Online, 5 April 2013
Excellent Care at SGH
A compliment letter from Mr Ramakrishnan Kandasamy whose father sought
treatment at SGH's A&E Department on 15 January 2013. The eye doctors who
attended to him exhibited the most utmost professionalism and care in
establishing the cause and attending to his eye.
The Straits Times Online, 15 March 2013
Healthcare Mobile Apps
A write-up on the various healthcare Apps offered by the hospitals and
healthcare institutions in Singapore.
Lianhe Zaobao, Pg 1 (7 March 2013)
Myopa May Be More Than Meets the Eye
Singapore has one of the highest rates of myopia in the world, affecting
about two-thirds of Primary Six children and 80 per cent of NS men. People with
high myopia – defined as short-sightedness over 600 degrees – the excessive
elongation of the eyeball may lead to a host of problems including early-onset
cataracts, retinal tears and detachment, glaucoma as well as macular
degeneration. If left untreated, these conditions could lead to irreversible
Today, Pg 24 (27 February 2013)
Eye drop app for forgetful patients
Singapore National Eye Centre has launched the world's first free mobile app
for glaucoma patients, aimed at helping patients and caregivers remember to
apply their medication on time through reminder alerts.
The Straits Times, Pg B5 (20 February 2013)
Lianhe Zaoba, Pg 6 (20 February 2013)
Today, Pg 26 (20 February 2013)
Shin Ming Daily News, Pg 7 (19 February 2013)
Researchers Come Up with Jabs for Glaucoma Treatment
NTU researchers from the Ocular Therapeutic Engineering Centre (OTEC) have
developed a new solution which requires a quick and painless injection only four
times a year to treat glaucoma. This may possibly eliminate the need for daily
medication in treating glaucoma, which affects about six per cent of the
The Straits Times, Pg B8 (31 January 2013)
Lianhe Zaobao, Pg 17 (31 January 2013)
Today, Pg 28 (30 January 2013)
S'pore Scientists in Global Study Identify Eye Disease Genes
A team of researchers in Singapore have managed to identify 27 genes related
to CCT through collaboration with researchers from 14 other countries.
This research collaboration is driven by Singapore Eye Research Institute and
Genome Institute of Singapore along with more than 50 other research centres
which took up to four years to gather and analyse the sample data.
The Straits Times, Pg B4 (17 January 2013)
Lianhe Zaobao, Pg 18 (18 January 2013)
Wanted: More doctor-researchers
An interview with Professor Wong Tien Yin, SingHealth’s Group Director,
Research, and Executive Director, SERI, on turning Singapore into an
internationally competitive research nation. To raise biomedical research to the
next level, Prof Wong’s first priority is to encourage more doctors to do
research. This will enable Singapore to build up a national pipeline of
clinician-scientists, a group that is rare the world over because of the effort
it takes to juggle treating patients with doing research. He also emphasised the
need to wipe out the “silo mentality” and increase collaboration across research
groups as well as coordinate efforts so that work is not duplicated.
The Sunday Times, Pg 43 (13 January 2013)
No More Reading Glasses for Her
A new procedure termed “Icolens” , where a bifocal lens is implanted into the
cornea of the patient’s non-dominant eye, is used to cure presbyopia or the
age-related loss of ability to focus on near objectives. Dr Cordelia Chan, head
of the Refractive Surgery Service and Senior Consultant at the Cornea &
External Eye Disease Service at SNEC, said the concern with using synthetic
implants, such as icolens, is the risk of corneal scarring, which can
potentially affect vision.
Mind Your Body, Pg 6 (10 January 2013)
Protect Those Peepers
Age-related eye problems such as glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy can be so
silent that there are no symptoms until the diseases have progressed very far.
Hence, it is important for people aged 40 years and above or those who have a
family history of these eye conditions to go for a baseline eye
Mind Your Body, Pg 8 (27 December 2012)
SNEC Founding Director & SERI Founding Chairman recognised for his
efforts to eradicate cataract blindness in China
Professor Arthur Lim, Founding Medical Director, SNEC, and Founding Chairman,
SERI, was awarded the Business China Excellence Award for his work to combat
cataract blindness in China.
Prof Lim, 78, has been working to
eradicate cataract blindness in China since 1986. Back then, China had about
four million people with cataract problems and faced a lack of doctors to
perform the operations. But under Prof Lim’s leadership, more than 5,000 local
specialists were trained in 10 eye centres, which he helped establish across the
country. This helped nearly half a million eye patients. By personally
performing pro bono surgery and donating generously to the eye centres in China,
he has enhanced relations between Singapore and China, the award organisers said
Prof Lim was also given the Friendship Award in 1996 by the
Chinese government. It is the highest award that can be bestowed on a foreign
The Business Times, Pg 16 (29 November 2012)
The Straits Times, Pg B9 (29 November 2012)
Lianhe Zaobao, Pg 26 (29 November 2012)
Fighting myopia, 1 eye drop a night
Singapore researchers had found a way to put the brakes on myopia in
children, and even improve the eyesight of a lucky few. A simple eye drop could
be the best solution to fighting short-sightedness, which afflicted eight in 10
people here by the time they were adults. Singapore Eye Research Institute
(SERI) had tried battling myopia on several fronts - using computer software to
exercise the brain and an eye gel, for example - but nothing had proven as
successful as the latest eye drops. They contained a very dilute solution of the
chemical atropine, which had been proven to slow myopia, but could cause
problems such as glare and the loss of near vision in higher concentrations. The
five-year trial that ended last year involved 400 children, aged six to 12, who
applied a single drop every night.
The Sunday Times, Pg 4 (11 November 2012)
Shin Min Daily News, Pg 8 (11 November 2012)
They're in their 40s, and have cataracts
Patients in their 40s and under are suffering from eye problems such as
cataracts as the "myopic generation" comes of age. These diseases are usually
found in the enderly, but doctors have started noticing cases involving younger
people. They attribute this to the "cohort effect" - the first generation
discovered to be suffering from widespread short-sightedness in the 1980s and
are growing up and experiencing more serious eye problems.
The Straits Times, Pg B1 (10 November 2012)
Surgery to Extract and Store Lenticules a Potential Cure for Presbyopia
ReLEx SMILE (SMall Incision Lenticular Extraction) laser treatment uses only
one laser for the entire procedure and removes only an inner lens-shaped piece
of cornea (lenticule) which corresponds to the patient's myopia and/or
astigmatism, through a keyhole incision in the cornea. Local experts believe
that the lenticules could be re-implanted back into the cornea to correct
presbyopia, or for the treatment of diseases such as cornea thinning. While
there has not yet been a successful re-implantation of the human lens tissue, a
new spin-off company, Lenticor, located at the SNEC, will be storing lenticules
for patients, similar to the concept of cord blood banking, and aims to do this
for 1,000 patients by next year.
Lianhe Zaobao, Pg 19 (10 November 2012)
An eye for an eye
Scientists from Singapore Eye Research Institute get a S$25m grant from
National Medical Research Council to study how removed corneal tissue can be
re-implanted to correct far-sightedness..
The New Paper, Pg 14 (10 November 2012)
Optical shops roped in for eye-screening
A new initiative by Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI), which will rope
in family doctors and optical shops to conduct eye-screening for patients.
Patients will have their eyes photographed by their nearest participating
optometrist after being referred by a GP, and the photos will be processed at a
newly set up centralised laboratory which will generate a report in as little as
one hour. Patients can then seek further advice from the GP based on the report,
or be referred to an eye specialist. About 30 GPs and 20 optometrists are
taking part in this initiative, which is being helmed by the Singapore Eye
The Straits Times, Pg B4 (7 November 2012)
Lianhe Zaobao, Pg 8 (7 November 2012)
Lianhe Wanbao, Pg 9 (6 November 2012)
Shin Min Daily News, Pg 11 (7 November 2012)
My Paper, Pg B2 (7 November 2012)
Berita Harian, Pg 3 (7 Noember 2012)
Let there be sight
Ms Lisa Ong, a principal optometrist at Singapore National Eye Centre's
(SNEC) Low Vision and Optometry Service, counselled and rehabilitated patients
who were visually impaired to improve their quality of life. While many of her
patients, both young and old, still retained some usable vision, their poor
sight could no longer be corrected with glasses. Hence, any remaining vision
they had would need to be maximised. Her wish for this year's World Sight Day -
which falls on 11 Oct 2012 - is for greater awareness on low vision. She also
hopes for more services and support to be made available for those with visual
Today, Pg 28 (10 October 2012)
A faster way to detect eye disease
A group of researchers in Singapore have devised a computer program to reduce
blindness caused by severe myopia. The program is based on early and rapid
detection of peripapillary atrophy (PPA), and can be used as a quick and
automatic screening tool in hospitals. It was noted that in Singapore, about 9
per cent of 40 to 80 year old Chinese people suffer from severe myopia, with the
rate at about 4 per cent for Indians and Malays in the same age group. The
computer programme was a collaborative effort between ASTAR and NUS’ School of
Public Health and SERI.
The Straits Times, Pg B6 (9 October 2012)
Stroke in the eye
Stroke in the eye is one of the common causes of vision loss in people aged
50 and older in Singapore. This condition occurs when the blood supply to the
optic nerve or retina is interrupted.
Lianhe Wanbao, Pg 4 (1 October 2012)
Eye doc only Asian to win Bayer grant
Dr Gemmy Cheung, a consultant ophthalmologist from SNEC's medical retinal
service, won a US$25,000 (S$30,860) international research grant for a study
that will pave the way to simpler diagnosis of a major cause of blindness in
Singapore. Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD), an eye disease that
progressively destroys a person's central vision, is the second most common
cause of blindness here - after cataracts - affecting those aged 40 and above.
Times, Pg B7 (28 September 2012)
Shin Min Daily News, Pg 7 (30 September 2012)
Study links three genes to Glaucoma
In a first large-scale study to examine genetic variations associated with
closed angle glaucoma, scientists in Singapore had isolated three genes related
to glaucoma which could pave the way to identifying those at risk. The findings
would bring about wider understanding of primary angle closure glaucoma (PACG),
as well as explain why some people were genetically predisposed to the disease.
The research also confirmed that the condition was more common among the Chinese
as they have more narrow angles in their eyes. More than 20,000 people from
seven countries took part in the three-year study, including nearly 2,000
Times, Pg B7 (4 September 2012)
Lianhe Zaobao, Pg 9 (4 September 2012)
18 (4 September 2012)
The New Paper, Pg 8 (4 September 2012)
Glaucoma- The silent thief of sight
Glaucoma is the most prevalent eye condition among those 50 years and
above. 40 per cent of the vision loss cases in Singapore resulted from damage to
the optic nerves.
Lianhe Wanbao, Pg 15 (2 September 2012)
Seeing the world in a new light
More patients are offered the gift of sight due to a successful corneal
procurement programme by the Singapore Eye Bank as well as an increase in the
number of local donors. Presently, more than 300 corneal transplants are
performed in Singapore each year. The figure is a six-fold increase from 20
Today, Pg 24 (22 August 2012)
Many in the dark about lens hygiene
Public hospitals in Singapore sees about 50 people a month for eye
infections, two-thirds of which got infected from contact lenses. Of these about
one case a month required a cornea transplant. A person could get an eye
infection if they don't take proper sanitary measures in cleaning and storing
Straits Times, Pg 2 (13 August 2012)
Cataract surgery is now very safe with new technology (bladeless Lasik).
This new method of cataract surgery is now available at the Singapore National
Eye Centre (SNEC). The laser system provides real-time 3D views of the eye,
allowing surgeons to adjust the parameters before and during the procedure,
making cataract surgery even safer.
Your Body, Pg 32 (2 August 2012)
Keep an eye on short-sightedness
Childhood myopia is common is Singapore but preventive action can avoid or
slow down the problem. Practising good eye habits is one of the best ways to
prevents myopia in your child. Children should take frequent breaks to rest the
eyes when doing near work such as reading, watching TV or using the
Your Body, Pg 31 (2 August 2012)
A common complication of diabetes is diabetic retinopathy, a major cause of
vision loss in working Singapore adults aged between 21 and 60 years. Diabetics
should have their eyes checked annually by a doctor and have photographs of the
retina taken even if sugar levels are well-controlled, so as to maintain good
vision in case retinopathy is detected and can be treated early before permanent
Your Body, Pg 25 (2 August 2012)
Sights set on preventing glaucoma post-op scars
Researchers in Singapore has designed a gel that has proven effective in
preventing further scarring in the eyes of patients who have undergone glaucoma
surgery. A trial found that only 12 per cent of patients given the gel required
a second corrective operation, compared with half using the normal procedure.
The results of the study have been published in the Ophthalmology journal in the
US. The team is not commercialising the drug but is now working on a second
version. The improved gel is expected to be ready by early next year and be on
the market in four years.
Times, Pg B1 (24 July 2012)
Pg 7 (24 July 2012)
Shin Min Daily
News, Pg 8 (24 July 2012)
S'pore Doc to Head Cornea Society
Professor Donald Tan, Medical Director of SNEC and Chairman of Singapore Eye
Research Institute is the first non-American to be elected to head the Cornea
Society. The society plays a pivotal role in unveiling new techniques and
treatment to eye surgeons worldwide. Prof Tan attributed his new role to
Singapore’s prominence in cornea transplants and using new forms of transplant
Times, Pg B7 (19 July 2012)
Easier on the Eye
At the Singapore National Eye Centre, three doctors have started using the
femtosecond laser system to treat both straightforward and complicated
cataracts. A/Prof Chee Soon Phaik, Head and Senior Consultant, Cataract
Service, SNEC shared that the biggest advantage to laser is that it has the
ability to create a precise capsule opening that is round and centred on the
intraocular lens implants. This minimises optical aberrations (distortions) of
the lens, which is something every surgeon would wish to be able to deliver to
Business Times, Pg L15 (14 - 15 July 2012)
Research on new plasma eye drops to alleviate dry eyes
A study by SERI and SNEC has shown that eye drops made from plasma can
effectively relieve dry eyes. The lead investigator of the study, Adj Assoc Prof
Louis Tong, Consultant, Corneal and External Eye Disease Service, SNEC, said
that while its composition is not perfectly identical to tears, plasma contains
many proteins that are present in tears. The proteins provide a normal,
anti-inflammatory environment for the eye surface, and therefore, plasma could
well be a tear substitute. He added that the research observed reduced damage on
the epithelial cells (cells at the surface of the eye) in patients after six
weeks of treatment.
Shin Min Daily News, Pg 8 (3 July 2012)
Aesthetic Eyelid Surgery
Our specialist provides reply on queries on Droopy Eyelid, Aesthetic Eyelid
Surgery and Botox Injection.
Zaobao, Pg 22 (15 April 2012)
A report noting that a third of diabetic patients in Singapore may develop
diabetic retinopathy. Prof Wong Tien Yin, Director, SERI, shared that the risk
for diabetic retinopathy increases with the course of the disease. For diabetic
patients, they face a 5 per cent increase in risk of contracting diabetic
retinopathy each year. If the blood sugar content increase by 1%, the risk of
diabetic retinopathy will be more than 25%. The report further cited MOH data
that in 2004, 8.2 per cent of adults aged 18 to 69 years had diabetes and in
2010, 11.3 per cent had diabetes. The number of diabetics is expected to
increase given the aging population.
Zaobao, Pg 7 (9 April 2012)
Femtosecond Laser to Treat Cataracts More Precisely
Local patients might be able to undergo safer and more precise cataract
surgery using a new technique known as Femtosecond Laser. The recovery period
for patients for using the new technique is 3 weeks, as compared to the 1 – 2
months recovery period for patients using ECCE.
Zaobao, Pg 8 (4 April 2012)
Coming Soon: A Better Way to Treat Cataracts
SNEC is rolling out a safer and more reliable cataract surgery procedure
which uses the femtosecond laser technology system. The system, previously used
in LASIK, will give ophthalmologists greater control when performing
microsurgery within the eye. The technology will also allow SNEC to ensure
“better and more predictable outcomes” for patients.
Pg 23 (22 March 2012)
Overnight Wear of Contact Lenses Associated with Corneal Infection
A study by 3 students from Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and
Information in NTU showed that about 75% of contact lens wearer do not undergo
regular eye checks. They only consult an eye specialist when they experience
dry eye symptoms, itchiness and swelling. Dr Lim Li, Senior Consultant, Corneal
& External Eye Disease Service pointed out that overnight wear of contact
lenses has been associated with an increased risk of corneal infections and is
not recommended. Dr Lim said that regular check-up is recommended 6 months to
yearly even if the contact lens wear do not experience any eye problems. This
is because problems with contact lens wear can occur even if the wearer is
Wanbao, Pg 8 (20 March 2012)
Family Members of Chinese Glaucoma Patients Should Get Their Eyes
A local study by the Singapore Eye Research Institute found that siblings of
Chinese glaucoma patients are six times more likely to suffer from glaucoma.
Glaucoma is quite common amongst the Chinese, and patients diagnosed with
glaucoma should inform their siblings aged 40 and above to go for screenings as
a preventive measure.
Zaobao, Pg 6 (5 March 2012)
Singapore Malay Eye Study (SiMES) 2
Singapore Malay Eye Study (SiMES) 2, is the follow-up to the first eye study
of the Malay population (40 years and above) in Singapore by the Singapore Eye
Research Institute (SERI) in 2004-2006. Study participants were invited to take
part to help the researchers achieve a better understanding of the natural
history and prognosis of major eye diseases and how to prevent them. SERI is
presently contacting the 3,280 participants to take part in this new, second
phase which commenced in January 2012. Eye checks are conducted at SERI located
in Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC).
Harian, Pg 8 (22 February 2012)
LASIK Surgery is safe at this present stage
A top ophthalmologist in Taiwan, Dr Cai Rui Fang, had announced his decision
to stop performing LASIK procedures, sparking public concern that LASIK
procedures are risky. However, many eye surgeons here have assured that at the
present stage, Lasik procedures are safe. It noted that there have been no cases
of severe adverse effects after Lasik here and that the chances of severe side
effects is less than one per cent.
Zaobao, Pg 6 (21 February 2012)
An article about the lives of two patients who suffer from Retinitis
Pigmentosa (RP). RP is usually inherited genetically, and not all patients will
lose their vision. Although vitamins A, C, E and Lutein may help slow down the
loss of vision in patients, they are unable to restore vision. Some treatments
for RP that are studied currently are retinal implants and gene therapy.
Minggu, Pg 12 - 13 (29 January 2012)
A cornea for vision
A patient of SNEC shares on how 2012 marks a new beginning in his live.
Sunday Times, Pg 4 (1 January 2012)
Top 10 local discoveries : SNEC pressure-sensor contact lenses
Researchers from SNEC are currently testing a contact lens fitted with a tiny
sensor which can detect the changes in eye pressure and send the data to a
recorder. The smart contact lens would benefit patients with glaucoma as it
measures eye pressure around the clock. In glaucoma, elevated eye pressure is
one of the factors that can damage the optic nerve, eventually causing
The Straits Times, Pg C12 (24 December 2011)
7% Singaporeans above 40 years old has Age-Related Macular Degeneration
A study done by SNEC which found that around 7% of Singaporeans above 40
years old has Age-related Macular Degeneration. This percentage increases to
16.3% for people aged between 70 – 79 years. The disease incidence amongst the
different ethnicity, Chinese, Malay and Indians, are comparable. This is the
first such study on AMD and ethnicity. Awareness for AMD is still relatively low
amongst Singaporeans. Given the rapidly aging population, there will be more
people contracting AMD. If not treated early, AMD can result in blindness.
Lianhe Zaobao, Pg 9 (14 December 2011)
GLAUCOMA ALERT : Preventing blindness with technology
Computer engineers have joined hands with eye specialist to detect and
prevent blindness, as well as understand its genetic roots. They are
developing specialised image processing software to analyse photographs taken of
the retina – the nerve layer at the back of the eye – to screen people and
detect glaucoma early. The work is a collaboration between the Institute of
Infocomm Research and the Singapore Eye Research Institute (Seri). The project
is called Aglaia – Automatic Glaucoma Diagnosis and Its Genetic Association
Study through Medical Image Informatics.
Straits Times, Pg D8 (10 December 2011)
Fewer short-sighted kids here
A six-year study of about 20,000 pupils between seven and 12 years old by the
HPB showed there has been a 5 per cent drop in the number of children who have
had to turn to spectacles; while 38 pupils out of every 100 had myopia in 2004,
the number dropped to 33 in 2009. The board said the dip in numbers, believed to
be the first in the world, is the likely result of a comprehensive 10-year
National Myopia Prevention Programme that promotes early intervention and good
eye-care habits in schools.
Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said that
while the figures from the study attested to the good efforts made, individuals
should play their part. The battle with myopia will go on and go bigger. Early
next year, the Singapore National Eye Centre will open a paediatric myopia
clinic that will provide therapy solutions and education.
Sunday Times, Pg 1 & 10 (13 November 2011)
Zaobao, Pg 1 & 6 (13 November 2011)
The eye physiotherapist
A write-up on our Orthoptist, Karen Zhang.
Your Body, Pg 22 (20 October 2011)
Docs find better way to transplant corneas
The Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) offers an improved corneal
transplant technique called Descemets Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty (DMEK)
which is the latest in minimally invasive corneal transplantation. The operation
cost between $1500 and $1700 with subsidies up to $5900 for private
patients. The procedure involves transplanting a delicate sheet of corneal cells
on a 1/100mm-thick membrane - a thinner layer than previously used - in patients
whose corneas are cloudy from ageing processes or diseases.
Straits Times, Pg B15 (24 September 2011)
Zaobao, Pg 19 (24 September 2011)
SNEC Balestier Branch clinic will offer eye surgeries starting next
NEC’s satellite clinic located at Balestier will offer eye surgeries from
next month onwards. Patients in the Balestier area will benefit from the
increased convenience and shorter waiting times. A SNEC spokesperson said the
objective of the satellite clinic is to ease the patient load at SNEC and to
offer greater convenience for patients in the community. Since the branch began
operations in 2007, it has helped to ease waiting times at SNEC. Dr Cordelia
Chan, Senior Consultant at SNEC's Cataract and Comprehensive Ophthalmology
Service explained that with a well-equipped operating room, doctors will be able
to perform less complex surgeries for the patients such as cataract surgery in
these clinics, however, other complex surgeries will continue to be arranged to
take place at the SNEC.
Zaobao, Pg 7 (18 September 2011)
Paper, Pg B3 (20 September 2011)
Nurses put on thinking caps and produce magic
Nurses at the Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) came up with a special
pupil ruler and a pupil dilation chart to improve the cataract surgery process
for patients. These help to ensure that a patient's pupil is dilated to the
necessary size prior to surgery. Associate Professor Chee Soon Phaik, a senior
consultant at SNEC's cataract service department, said that if the patient's
pupil is inadequately dilated on arrival at the operation room, we resort to
using more potent eye drops that may have side effects. Sometimes they even have
to inject medication or use pupillary expansion devices and all these make
surgery more complicated and costly. The chart now enables nurses to check the
progress of dilation at regular intervals prior to the patient entering the
operating theatre. More medication may be administered only if needed.
Straits Times, Pg 16 (18 September 2011)
'Smart' lens for clearer glaucoma test
Doctors at the Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) are using a “smart”
contact lens that could measure patients’ eye pressure over 24 hours to help
them treat glaucoma.
Straits Times, Pg A9 (14 September 2011)
Clear vision for nun with new corneas
Sister Marguerite Fernandez of the Good Shepherd Convent underwent her first
corneal transplant in 2008 and her second transplant just last week after
suffering from granular dystrophy for almost 40 years. The Singapore National
Eye Centre Cornea Transplant Programme started in 1991 and has performed more
than 3,000 tranplants. There are now 23 patients awaiting transplants, a
process that takes only three to four weeks because corneas are more readily
available than vital organs and much easier to find a match for.
Straits Times, Pg C5 (26 August 2011)
Keep an eye on your sight
Be on guard against Cataract, Glaucoma and Age-Related Macular Degeneration;
eye ailments that can develop without warning.
Your Body, Pg 38 (25 August 2011)
Coloured contact lens may harm your eyes
A local shop has been selling coloured contact lenses illegally. The coloured
contact lenses were sent for laboratory tests and HSA confirmed that the lens
passed the sterility tests. However, coloured pigments were found on the
interior surface of the lens. Experts raised concerns that the pigments may
impair the breathability of the lens, and cause the interior surface of the lens
to be uneven, thus promoting the chances of bacterial growth. Consumers are
advised not to buy contact lenses from unlicensed vendors over the Internet or
Zaobao, Pg 6 (20 August 2011)
Common Eye Ailments
A study published in January this year in American journal Eye & Contact
Lens found that most people suffering from eye infections wore soft contact
lenses. Between April 1999 and March 2001, 93.7 per cent of lens wearers who
sought treatment at public hospitals here wore soft contact lenses. The common
eye infections which most contact lens wearers suffered from include infective
keratitis, epithelial keratitis and allergic conjunctivitis.
Your Body, Pg 12 (18 August 2011)
How clean are your soft lenses?
Studies have shown that cornea infections affect about five in 10,000 contact
lens wearers per year and those wearing soft lenses are at higher risk than
those using hard ones. According to SNEC, from July 2010 to last month, 58
patients treated by SNEC doctors had to be hospitalised at SGH for corneal
infections. All had worn soft contact lenses.
Your Body, Pg 12 - 13 (18 August 2011)
The risks associated with wearing contact lenses
Our doctor talks about the risks asociated with wearing contact lenses as
well as corneal infection.
Wanbao, Pg 16 - 17 (15 August 2011)
It is important to get your lenses fitted by an optician or
optometrist and follow the recommended wearing time, cleaning the lenses
thoroughly and regularly and avoid them when sleep/swim. The possible risks
associated with wearing contact lens include redness, dryness in eyes,
discomfort, swollen eyelids and corneal infection.
Harian, Pg 12 (3 August 2011)
Myth causes some to opt out as organ donors
Many people opt out of donating their organs when they die for fear of
Pg A6 (27 July 2011)
The evolution of Lasik
When Lasik was first offered here in 1996, there were concerns about
long-term complications from the surgery. Now, far fewer people would bat an
eyelid at the thought of going for the eye procedure. New machines with
technologically more advanced features have made the procedure safer. These cut
down surgery time and provide more precise treatments to the eye.
Your Body, Pg 16 (21 July 2011)
Lasik surgery, a popular procedure chosen by many here to improve their
visual acuity, has had a high success rate but it is not without risks and side
effects says experts interviewed for the report. Centres and clinics offering
Lasik here say severe and persistent complications are few and far between, but
the procedure does have some uncomfortable and common side effects such as some
degree of dryness in the eyes a month or two after the procedure and reduced
quality of night vision.
Your Body, Pg 14 (21 July 2011)
100 boxes of fake coloured contact lenses seized
More than 100 boxes of counterfeit coloured contact lenses under Ciba
Vision’s “Freshlook ColourBlends” had been seized and tests by HSA had found the
poor quality lenses soaking in bacteria laden solution.
Straits Times, Pg A3 (21 July 2011)
Zaobao, Pg 8 (21 July 2011)
Fleshy growth in eyes due to the sun
A report on pterygium and how it affects people daily lives. Currently the
exact cause of this condition is still unknown but doctors believe that
ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun has been shown to be the most likely
contributing factor. Other factors include a dusty environment and genetic
Your Body, Pg 4 (14 July 2011)
More choosing partial cornea transplants
More people are choosing partial cornea transplants over full
cornea replacement as the risk of rejection is lower. There are two types of
partial cornea transplant - anterior lamellar keratoplasty (ALK) which involves
removing the front layers of the cornea and replacing them with donor tissue and
endothelial keratoplasty (EK) which replaces just the endothelial layer, leaving
most of the cornea intact.
Straits Times, Pg C9 (8 July 2011)
More help for dry eyes
New products and treatment methods, ranging from special eye drops to
eye-warming devices, are being tested for dry eyes.
Your Body, Pg 15 (30 June 2011)
An indepth article on how dry eye can affect a person's quality of life. A
study by SNEC found that dry eye had a significant impact on quality of life and
even the ability to work. The article also covered other research findings on
Your Body, Pg 13 - 14 (30 June 2011)
Indians and risk of diabetic blindness
One in 20 Singaporean Indians has a severe form of a diabetes-related eye
disease which could leave
them blind. Another one in 10 already suffers from
some sort of visual impairment caused by diabetic retinopathy, according to the
recently published Singapore Indian Eye Study. The study helped to shed light
on the prevalence of diabetes in this ethnic group.
Straits Times, Pg B3 (22 June 2011)
Whose Eye Is This?
An exhibition, titled 'Eye That Tell Stories', featuring 20 images of irises
of Singapore's iconic personalities, was organised by Singapore Eye Research
Institute to raise funds for research on eye diseases.
Straits Times, Pg A3 (22 June 2011)
22 (22 June 2011)
Zaobao, Pg 12 (22 June 2011)
Wanbao, Pg 10 (22 June 2011)
Zaobao, Pg 14 (29 June 2011)
Clearing cataracts and poor vision
New lenses fitted during cataract surgery not only replace the eye's cloudy
lens with a clear one, but it can correct for up to three other conditions at
once. They are myopia (short sightedness) or hyperopia (long sightedness);
presbyopia (laohua in Mandarin) and astigmatism. These newer lenses have been
available here for the past 11/2 years, doctors said.
Your Body, Pg 6 (16 June 2011)
Retinal Artery Occlusion
Retinal artery occlusion is an early indication that a patient is suffering
from a serious health problem. The condition is caused by a blood clot which
hinders the patient's blood flow in the artery. Patient suffering from retinal
artery occlusion needs immediate medical attention. Those who are at risk of
getting this condition include those suffering from high blood pressure,
diabetes and those who are heavy smokers .
Harian, Pg 11 (4 May 2011)
No more eye drops?
Glaucoma patients may soon have a hassle-free and more effective alternative
to daily eye drops in managing their condition.
Health, Pg 1 & 6 (May / June 2011 Issue)
Goodbye Lasik Hello Relex?
Relex (Refractive Lenticule Extraction) is the newest vision correction
surgery available in Singapore National Eye Centre that corrects myopia.
World April 2011, Pg 202
Not too young for glaucoma
Although it is uncommon, young people can develop glaucoma, which is the
leading cause of irreversible blindness here, says doctors. Screening are
essential, even for those in their 20s and 30s with known risks of glaucoma, to
prevent irreversible blindness.
Your Body, Pg 6 (14 April 2011)
Contact Lens Woes
Our eye specialist provides insight into the adverse effects of using contact
lens, reasons that lead to an eye infection and the preventive measures to avoid
Harian, Pg 11 (9 March 2011)
An eye bank to look forward to
Medical tourists can look forward to an increased supply when the National
Eye Bank of Sri Lanka (NEBLS) opens next week. The NEBSL is set up by the
Singapore Eye Bank (SEB) and also the Sri Lankan Ministry of Health. It is
funded partly by a $5 million donation which the Lee Foundation gave the
Straits Times, Pg B2 (16 February 2011)
Business Tines, Pg B7 (16 February 2011)
Zaobao, Pg 15 (17 February 2011)
Optometrist used prism lenses to improve patient's vision
Our optometrist used prism lenses to help improve a patient's vision, whose
vision in the right eye reduced significantly after suffering from brain tumour
Wanbao, Pg 9 (11 February 2011)
SAF regulars get more help to fix eyesight
More short-sighted regulars in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) are to be
given perfect or near-perfect eyesight to improve the way they shoot, swim or
pilot airplanes. From next year, the SAF will increase the number of
vision-correcting operations it offers to its existing regulars. Currently, this
type of corrective eye surgery, called photorefractive keratectomy (PRK), is
offered mostly to new enlistees who sign on with the SAF for critical jobs
requiring good eyesight.
Straits Times, Pg A1 - A4 (28 December 2010)
S'pore scientists find two glaucoma-linked genes
Singapore scientists have discovered two genes from the collagen family that
show a strong link with central corneal thickness (CCT), a risk factor of
Pg 8 (15 December 2010)
Zaobao, Pg 8 (15 December 2010)
Doc Pioneers Eye Scan That Can Predict Disease
Prof Wong Tien Yin, Director of Singapore Eye Research Institute, has
pioneered a non-invasive scan of the blood vessels at the back of the eyeball,
which can predict the risk of disease years before symptoms appear, or other
diagnostic tests sound the alarm.
The Straits Times , Pg D2 (11 December 2010)
Eye on the future
Singapore Eye Research Institute has been awarded the Special Merit Award at
this year's Singapore Prestige Brand Award for its sterling research
Straits Times , Pg 29 (9 December 2010)
From brow embroidery to eyeliner tattoos and lash extensions, women - and men
- are pulling out all the stops to get dazzling peepers. However, doctors
warned that there are health haazards and common side effects of these beauty
procedures include red and irritated eyes, tearing and eye discharge.
Straits Times Urban, Pg 11 (12 November 2010)
Kids get cataracts too
Kids can get cataracts too. However, the condition is rare, with an
incidence rate of about 15 cases per 10,000 children here.
Your Body, Pg 6 (3 November 2010)
Eye for details
Personal profile of Dr Doric Wong, Head & Senior Consultant,
Vitreo-Retinal Service, Singapore National Eye Centre.
Your Body, Pg 22 (21 October 2010)
Results for Diabetic Retinal Photography known in half an hour
Singapore Eye Research Institute improved the work process of diabetic
retinal photography in polyclinics. With the improved process, results are
available within 30 minutes, enabling doctors to make the prognosis of the eye
condition within the same day.
Zaobao, Pg 12 (16 October 2010)
Top 5 Causes of Blindness
Delayed treatment of various eye conditions such as Cataract, Undercorrected
refractive errors, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration and Diabetic retinopathy can
lead to blindness.
Your Body, Pg 14 - 15 (14 October 2010)
Smile, there is fresh vision for 'old eyes'
Two new procedures namely Femtosecond Lenticule Extraction (FLEx) and Small
Incision Lenticule Extraction (Smile), are available in Singapore National Eye
Centre for the treatment of myopia.
Straits Times, Pg B5 (6 October 2010)
Today, Pg 12
(6 October 2010)
Zaobao, Pg 9 (6 October 2010)
Cutting-edge Researchers Are Lauded
Prof Wong Tien Yin of the Singapore Eye Research Institute, Singapore
National Eye Centre and National University Health System was awarded the
President's Science Award during the prestigious President's Science and
Technology Award ceremony held yesterday. Professor Wong pioneered the eye
scan, which can detect an individual’s risk of heart attack and diabetes.
Times, Pg C2 (1 October 2010)
Today, Pg 4
(1 October 2010)
New Lenses for Myopic Kids
French lens maker Essilor unveils new progressive and bifocal lens that claim
to be able to reduce the rate of myopia progression by up to 62 per cent in
Straits Times, Pg 16 (30 September 2010)
Our doctor explained the cause of presbyopia and its symptoms.
Wanbao, Pg 6 (29 September 2010)
More Opt for Contact Lens Implant
Eye specialist have
observed that more people who desire perfect vision are now opting for
implantable contact lenses. In Singapore, about 1,000 such lens implants have
been done since 2005, with 300 of the procedures performed this year alone so
far, according to figures from STAAR Surgical Company, which produces the lenses
Straits Times, Pg 12 (9 September 2010)
Stemming Vision Loss
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) usually sets in as one ages and
destroys central vision, causing symptoms like blind spots in the central field
of vision. There is no cure for AMD, but vitamins and antioxidants can stop it
from robbing your sight.
Straits Times, Pg 6 (26 August 2010)
2010 Medical Breakthroughs
Prof Wong Tien Yin, Director, SERI, discusses how he and his team use
web-based system of retinal vascular imaging to predict diabetic retinopathy,
glaucoma and heart disease thereby revolutioinising the way diseases are
detected and diagnosed.
Digest, Pg 82 - 84 (August 2010)
Nurses' Day Celebrations 2010
A four-parter in celebration of Nurses’ Day. Nursing services from various
hospitals and institutions and nurses’ experiences in different capacities and
job areas were featured. These included the Nurse Clinician Service (NCS) at
polyclinics; KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH)’s clinic in providing
holistic and personalised service for expectant mothers; breast care nurse
clinicians at the National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS)’s innovative drain
pouch and veteran nurses’ take on how their profession has evolved over the
years. One of the veteran nurses featured was Ms Lim Mein Chee, who shared on
proper work-life balance.
The Sunday Times, pg 11 - 14 (1 August 2010)
Age-Related Macular Degeneration
The current treatment for Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) involves
monthly eye injections to prevent loss of vision. However local eye researchers
who are testing a new drug can reduce the number of injections to once every 6
Pg 5 (6 July 2010)
Beware of tired eyes
Eye strain is a common problem for those who spend long hours looking at a
computer screen. Use eye drops and take a break, eyecare experts
Straits Times, Pg 54 (1 July 2010)
In an article reviewing the current hype of watching 3D television, our
doctor from the Singapore National Eye Centre, offers her input on the risks to
your eyes from watching 3D TV. She cautions that people with squint, or lazy
eye, might have a more difficult time fusing 3D images, and therefore experience
blur, nausea and headache. Her advice is to take breaks when feeling unwell and
watch 3D TV in moderation.
LifeStyle Magazine, pg 76 (June issue)
Get a clear picture
According to the World Health Organization, cataract is the leading cause of
impaired vision worldwide, accounting for nearly half of the world’s blind, or
18 million people. The majority of cataract operations done at SNEC use a
technique called phacoemulsification, which involves making an incision in the
cornea that is so small that stitches are not necessary.
Singapore Health, pg 15 (May / June 2010)
Initiatives to boost eye-bank process
Singapore will take the lead in the setting up of an Asian-wide body, which
will look into corneal transplants and promoting high-quality banking practices.
The Republic's role in the forming of the Association of Eye Banks of Asia
(AEBA) will see it coordinating with members to increase corneal donation and
establish shared corneal tissue programmes among Asian countries. This was
announced by Prof Donald Tan, medical director of both the SNEC and the
Singapore Eye Bank (SEB), at the official launch of the SEB expansion and the
Lee Kong Chian Centre of Excellence for Cornea, Eye Banking and Eye Diseases.
Singapore will co-develop a new National Eye Bank with Sri Lanka that will see
patients here - and in Asia - stand a better chance of finding a match faster
for corneal transplants.
The Straits Times, pg B4 (22 May 2010)
The Business Times, pg 18 (22-23 May 2010)
My Paper, pg A6 (24 May 2010)
The New Paper, pg 10 (22 May 2010)
Lianhe Zaobao, pg 4 (24 May 2010)
A new surgical procedure is being touted as a long-term solution to treating
Singapore National Eye Centre offers a new surgical procedure for presbyopia
("lau hua"), the KAMRA Corneal Inlay.
The Straits Times, pg 9 (2 May 2010)
Eye research institute aims to be among world's top 5
Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI) aims to be one of the world’s top
five research institutes in five years time. SERI is currently one of the
largest eye and vision research institutes in the Asia-Pacific in terms of staff
numbers, grant income, the number of research initiatives and the output from
The Business Times, pg 15 (15 April 2010)
KAMRA Treatment for Presbyopia
An article on KAMRA Treatment for Presbyopia.
Lianhe Wanbao, pg 24 (14 April 2010)
An article on the pros and cons of 3D television, content and its related
My Paper, pg B1, B6 & B7 (8 April 2010)
Presbyopia ("lau hua", 老花）
Our doctor explains the causes and treatment options for presbyopia ("lau
Lianhe Wanbao, pg 6 (5 April 2010)
Retina imaging service to be offered soon at four polyclinics
The Singapore Advanced Imaging Laboratory for Ocular Research (SAILOR), a
collaboration between A*Star's Institute for Infocomm Research and SERI was
launched on 22 March 2010 at the second Asia-Pacific Ocular Imaging Symposium.
SAILOR will pilot a project using retina imaging service to screen for
conditions like glaucoma and heart disease at four polyclinics in a few months
Today, pg 3 (23 March 2010)
My Paper, pg A3 (23 March 2010)
Lianhe Zaobao, pg 6 (23 March 2010)
Eye styes are usually a benign eye disease. However, frequent recurrence of
styes could be a symptom of cancer.
Lianhe Wanbao, pg 17 (15 March 2010)
1 in 3 Indians risks eye disease due to diabetes
According to a study by the
Singapore Eye Research Institute, one third of Indians here have diabetes and
could be at risk of eye diseases related to it. This was alarmingly more than
those from India where only one in five suffers from the disease. The study was
the second part of a three-part study, which examines the visual health of
Chinese, Malay and Indian communities here. The first part of the study, a
two-year study on Malays, was started in 2004. The last part, on the Chinese,
has just started and are aiming to recruit 3,400 people.
The Straits Times, pg B8 (4 February 2010)
Lianhe Zaobao, pg 10 (7 February 2010)
Science of sight
Singapore National Eye
Centre (SNEC) is a pioneer in developing Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty (ALK)
and Endothelial Keratoplasty (EK), replacing the method of the past, Penetrating
Keratoplasty (PK). The procedure involves replacing a patient’s damaged corneal
tissue, rather than replacing the cornea completely.
Health, pg 23 (January / February 2010)
An eye on old age
Presbyopia is a natural ageing condition of the eye that affects everyone.
This medical condition affects mainly middle-aged individuals and could be fixed
by getting a pair of reading spectacles. However, with the introduction of
KAMRA, a corneal implant, patients do not need to go through the hassle of
adjusting reading glasses every few years.
Health, pg 4 (January / February 2010)
A letter from Christina Cheang who praised the doctors and nurses of the
Singapore National Eye Centre for their care and dedicated professionalism.
Straits Times, pg A36 (1 January 2010)
New methods of Cornea Transplants
Singapore National Eye Centre is a pioneer in developing Deep anterior
lamellar keratoplasty (DALK) and Descement’s Stripping Automated Endothelial
Lianhe Wanbao, pg 16 (6 December 2009)
More diabetics at risk of going blind
The Vitreo-Retinal team at Singapore National Eye Centre advises people with
diabetes to get regular eye screenings as diabetics are at risk of getting
diabetic retinopathy, the leading cause of blindness in Asia.
Singapore Health, pg 23 (November / December 2009)
Restoring sight to the blind
The Singapore Eye Research Institute works on stem cell transplants and
corneal surgeries to prevent blindness and help patients regain their
The Straits Times, pg 19 (29 September 2009)
Clear vision, intelligent fusion
Singapore Eye Research Institute (Seri) have come this far to establish
itself as a leading research centre for eye diseases and will continue to pursue
innovative and high impact research to improve diagnosis and treatments for its
Straits Times, pg 19 (29 September 2009)
Meet the ‘eye repair’ experts
Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI) scientists have earned national
recognition and won the President’s Science Award for successful work on eye
Times (29 September 2009)
Study on link between race and eye diseases
The Singapore Eye Research Institute (Seri) is currently doing a study on eye
diseases of our local racial group. With the findings, Seri hopes to plan and
tailor a suite of prevention, screenings and treatments for each racial
Straits Times, pg B3 (28 April 2009)
Zero infections at SNEC last year
Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) has made an astonishing record of zero
infection last year which involves almost 17,000 operations.
Times (28 April 2009)
Spot health risks via eye images
Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI) eye specialist Wong Tien Yin has
found that the blood vessels in the retina can sound an alarm of a health
Straits Times, pg D9 (25 April 2009)
Eye research institute looking to raise funds
Singapore Nation Eye Research Institute (SERI) is looking to raise funds for
expansion, to increase its number of researchers, doctors and administrators by
Straits Times, pg D9 (25 April 2009)
S’pore institute focuses on super antibiotics for eyes
Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI) had patented two potential drugs that
mimic a body’s natural defences against eye infections.
Times, pg 9 (26 March 2009)
Singapore most prolific in world for eye research per capita
Singapore has been ranked as the most productive country in eye research,
when adjusted for population size. Singapore produced 20.49 publications for
every one million people from 2002 to 2006, placing it in the top spot, ahead of
research heavyweights such as Britain and the United States.
Straits Time, pg D10 (20 December 2008)
Eye doc put S’pore on research map
Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI), award winning scientist and
researcher has place Singapore on the medical research map.
Time (27 March 2008)
Eye doc solves infection puzzle
Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) associate professor has cracked the
puzzle of a threatening cornea-attacking virus which could save dozens of
patients each year.
Straits Times, pg H4 (14 March 2008)
More saved from going blind, thanks to new cornea transplant
Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) professors and doctors have discovered a
new technique to cornea transplant, which will help save many from going
Straits Times, pg H2 (11 March 2008)
Hope for those with near-vision problems
Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) has created hope for people who suffer
from near-vision problems, also known as presbyopia.
Straits Times, pg H9 (18 July 2007)
Singapore expertise in demand for eye ops
Singapore National Eye Centre is fast becoming a referral centre for cornea
Times, pg 3 (2 January 2007)
They turned to S’pore when their sight failed
Foreign patients turn to Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) to sort
treatment after unsuccessful attempts in Thailand and the United States.
Times, pg H5 (2 January 2007)
Eye jab saves tourist’s sight
An eye jab from our doctors at the Singapore National Eye Centre saves a
tourist from losing his sight.
Straits Times, pg H5 (25 December 2006)
QUESTION & ANSWER SERIES ON COMMON EYE CONDITIONS
(WITH LIANHE WANBAO)
Dry Eyes (干眼症)
Our doctor talks on the causes of dry eyes, the symptoms of the condition and
the various treatment options available
Lianhe Wanbao, pg 10 (19 July 2010)
Our doctor answers queries on glaucoma, often called 'the silent thief of
sight', and discusses the latest treatment options.
Lianhe Wanbao, pg 19 (12 March 2010)
Diabetic Retinopathy (患上糖尿病是否会影响我的视力?)
Our doctor gives advice on diabetic retinopathy, advising people with
diabetes to go for regular eye check-ups.
Lianhe Wanbao (19 October 2009)
Children's Eye Conditions (儿童如何防治近视与懒惰眼?)
Our doctor provides answers to queries on common children's eye conditions,
like myopia and amblyopia (lazy eye).
Lianhe Wanbao, pg 22 (18 September 2009)
Glaucoma (视力的窃贼 - 青光眼)
Our doctors answers to numerous questions on glaucoma, for example what is
glaucoma, who is at risk of getting glaucoma, and the treatment options for
Lianhe Wanbao, pg 6 (17 August 2009)
Aesthetic Eye Surgery (消除眼袋有而法)
Our doctor talks about the reasons for the formation of eyebags, and
undergoing double eyelid surgery.
Lianhe Wanbao, pg 6 (20 July 2009)
Our doctor provides answers to queries on cataracts and the need for cataract
Lianhe Wanbao, pg 12 (15 June 2009)
Blurred Vision, Double Vision and Eyelid Twitching (视力模糊复视眼睑抽动)
Our doctor answers questions on the possible reasons for blurred vision and
eyelid twitching, and discusses the severity of double vision.
Lianhe Wanbao, pg 17 (17 May 2008)
Six Most Common Eye Complaints (常见的六种视力问题)
Our doctor offers advice on numerous eye conditions which you may at be
higher risk to, with age. He also cautions that these eye conditions may signal
a more serious underlying condition.
Lianhe Wanbao, Pg 4 (20 April 2009)
Common Eye Conditions in the Elderly (年长者常见的眼疾)
Our doctor gives answers to questions on common eye conditions which the
elderly are more susceptible to, and advises them to get proper treatment if
they need it.
Lianhe Wanbao, pg 16 (23 March 2009)
Contact Lens (勿上网选购或买现成隐形眼镜)
Our doctor answers a number of questions on contact lenses including dangers
of wearing coloured contact lenses, and whether wearing contact lenses increases
the risk of getting corneal infection, cosmetic non prescription contact lenses
and risks of infection from contact lens misuse.
Lianhe Wanbao, pg 24 (17 March 2009)
Floaters & Retinal Detachment (年纪大了–当心飞蚊与视网膜脱落)
Our doctor provides answers to questions on floaters and retinal detachment,
and suggests early eye screenings and advises that people should go for eye
check-ups immediately if they discover an increase in the number of
Lianhe Wanbao, pg 6 (17 February 2009)
Sports Related Eye Injuries (运动时, 如何保护双眼?)
Our doctor gives answers to
queries on eye injuries sustained from sports like playing football and
swimming, and also suggests several precautionary measures to protect your
Lianhe Wanbao, Pg 14 (15 December 2008)
Implantable Contact Lenses (植入式接触镜可纠正近视度数)
Our doctor provides an alternative for candidates who are looking for ways to
not rely on reading glasses and contact lenses but are not suitable for the
Lianhe Wanbao, pg 6 (17 November 2008)
Our doctor provides answers
to queries on headaches/migraines caused by eye diseases, and blurry vision.
Lianhe Wanbao, pg 10 (15 September 2008)
Our doctor answers
questions on Glaucoma, which is the leading cause of blindness worldwide, and
suggests treatment possibilities.
Lianhe Wanbao (18 August 2008)
Ptosis and Thyroid Eye Disease (眼睑下垂)
Our doctor gives her insight on what possible conditions, symptoms like
droopy eyelids and eyes of different sizes could indicate.
Lianhe Wanbao, pg 2 (21 July 2008)
Myopia & Amblyopia (适合儿童的近视疗法及弱视)
Our doctor answers questions about young children having myopia, possible
methods to slow progression of myopia, lazy eye and ways to cure it.
Lianhe Wanbao, pg 16 (11 May 2008)
Floaters, Flashers & Diabetic Retinopathy (飞蚊症, 闪光及糖尿病视网膜病变)
Our doctor answers questions regarding floaters, flashes, and diabetic
retinopathy, and gives advice on possible action to take if suspected of having
Lianhe Wanbao, pg 16 (23 March 2008)
the following relevant links :-
I Want an Eye Examination / an
Eye Conditions & Procedures