The Paediatric Ophthalmology & Adult Strabismus Department is led by Associate Professor Audrey Chia (Head and Senior Consultant) and has seven faculty members. The department has a key role in managing many childhood eye disorders including myopia, amblyopia, childhood cataracts, retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), retinoblastoma, childhood and adult strabismus (ocular misalignment).
It also manages complex inherited and acquired paediatric eye conditions, supported by other subspecialties at SNEC, such as corneal and external eye disease, glaucoma, neuro-ophthalmology, oculoplastic, and medical and surgical retina. Daily clinics are run at SNEC and at the KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH). Visual electrophysiological tests are conducted to identify children with poor vision, diagnose genetic eye conditions and monitor children who are on medications potentially toxic to the eye.
The department provides training for ophthalmologists in Singapore, as well as an advanced fellowship programme for local and overseas ophthalmologists regionally and internationally.
Handles close to 32,000 outpatient visits at SNEC and KKH annually.
First in the region to acquire the Retcam retinal imaging system in 2000, which was upgraded to include fundal fluorescein angiography in 2009.
Conducts ROP screening in about 250 premature infants across hospitals in Singapore per year.
Performs electroretinograms and visual evoked potential tests for about 60 children every year.
Treated over 1,300 patients with atropine 0.01% eye drops to reduce the progression of childhood myopia since November 2013.
Treating myopia with atropine eye drops (Chia et al., 2012; Chia, Lu, & Tan, 2016)
SNEC has spent more than 15 years researching myopia treatment. A 5-year study conducted by SNEC and the Singapore Eye Research Institute, which began in 2006, demonstrated that 0.01% atropine was almost as effective as higher concentrations of atropine eye drops at slowing myopia progression.
The study found that atropine 0.01% eye drops caused minimal dilation of the pupil and had nearly no side effects on vision in children. Since 2014, SNEC has produced and made available Myopine™ eye drops with 0.01% atropine to reduce the progression of childhood myopia.
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