The Leading cause of Blindness in Singapore and Who can help you
1 in 3 diabetics in Singapore are unaware they have this disease, and of those who knew, 1 in 3 are poorly controlled.
And the leading cause of blindness in Singapore?
Or in simpler terms, damage to the back part of the eye responsible for vision, resulting from diabetes.
Diabetic retinopathy affects about 1 in 3 diabetics. This means that if you have diabetes, you will have a 30% chance of it affecting your eyes.
However, in most cases, it can be prevented by early detection and monitoring of the eyes. As primary eye care providers, optometrists are responsible for eye health screening for the sole purpose of early detection and prevention of eye diseases.
Where can you find them?
You can find them in hospitals, eye clinics and optical shops!
Yes, optical shops too!
However, do take note that not all optical shops have optometrists and/or the necessary equipment to conduct a full eye exam.
It is also important to have retinal photos taken to be able to detect changes over time.
You can search for optical shops with optometrists in the Optometrists and Opticians Board (OOB) website. [Click on “More Search Options”>”Selected Type of Registers”>”Optometrists”]
You may also look for their practising certificates issued by the OOB. It has to be displayed in clear view of the public within the shop. This certificate will indicate if they the individual is an optometrist.
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TIRED of TIRED EYES?As much as the prolonged use of screens and mobile devices are discouraged, the COVID-19 pandemic has aggressively forced us to rely on digital technology in a bid to stay connected and keep things moving; whilst practicing physical distancing.
Eye strain is one good reason why extended screen time is not encouraged. In a relaxed state, when looking at distant objects, our eyes are usually straight. However, when presented with a material to be seen up close, our eyes have to come together to be able to fixate and focus. If held in that position for too long, an achy sensation may start to develop between your eyes or/and inside your eye. That’s because that’s where the muscles in charge of allowing you to see near materials are located!
Not sure how eye strain is supposed to feel like? Try this little activity:
- Take a pen and hold it approximately 20cm from your nose.
- Look at the pen tip and make sure it’s clear.
- Start bringing it closer to your nose while looking at the pen tip.
- Stop when it starts to blur. Hold it there and try to make it clear. Continue moving closer as soon as it clears.
- Once you can’t make the image clear, stay in that position for 20–30s!
Here’s what you should do if you experience eye strain.
- Take frequent breaks from the screen by looking far.
- As mentioned earlier, looking in the distance (at least 6 m away) allows your eyes to be in it’s relaxed state. We advise a 20 to 30 seconds break for every 30 minutes of near work.
- Do not go too close to the screen.
- Try to ensure that your computer screen about 45 to 50 cm away, and your mobile phone about 25 to 30 cm away.
Look for your optometrist !
Your optometrist will be able to assess your eyes and provide you with the right solution and advice.
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