Glaucoma is a condition where damage occurs to the optic nerve that transmits visual images from the retina to the brain. It is usually caused by abnormally high pressure in your eye. If left untreated, glaucoma can cause blindness. (We explore the basics of glaucoma in Singapore on this page: https://www.drchelvinsng.com/glaucoma/ )
The risk factors for glaucoma in Singapore include being over 40 years of age and having a family history or ancestry of this condition. In addition, conditions such as diabetes and sickle cell disease may also increase your chances of developing glaucoma.
How can I tell if I have Glaucoma?
It may not be easy to self-diagnose glaucoma in Singapore especially, if you have no training in eye health or ophthalmology. For this to be diagnosed, you will need to book an appointment with your eye specialist (ophthalmologist).
There are different types of tests that they may recommend:
- Anterior Segment Optical Coherence Tomography (AS-OCT): This camera can detect signs of glaucoma, even before the condition is noticeable by other means.
- Gonioscopy: An instrument called a slit lamp gets inserted into your eye to examine the angle between the cornea and iris. This area is where Glaucoma starts developing.
- Blood Pressure Test: Elevated pressure in your eyes may be related to elevated blood pressure.
- Complete Ophthalmic Examination: Evaluate each part of your eyes, including the retina and optic nerve function and shape. Your doctor will look for any changes in these areas that might indicate you have glaucoma or another type of ocular hypertension (increased pressure).
Treatment for Glaucoma: What types of Treatment are Available?
The main aim of glaucoma treatment in Singapore is to reduce the pressure inside the eye. Once diagnosed, depending on how severe it is, you may either be prescribed eye drops or you will need surgery.
It is best to seek medical attention as soon as possible so that you can have your eyesight protected for as long as possible. However, even if there are no symptoms present, you should still book regular eye specialist appointments and checkups with your doctor. This way, it will become easier to keep track of any changes over time. Here is a quick roundup of the medication that may be recommended for you:
- Eye Drops: These are also called topical therapy and are usually used first, especially for those with mild glaucoma or those at risk of side effects from other types of medications.
- Oral Medication: It is generally given if eye drop therapy has not been effective, and surgery may be considered as a long-term option once your condition becomes severe.
- Surgery: This may be performed if it is difficult to control the pressure through medications alone; this includes draining excess fluid (vitrectomy) and implanting an adjustable-filling bubble (iStent); laser treatment can improve vision in some cases by widening the drainage holes in the eye.
Prevention of Glaucoma: What can I do to help Prevent Glaucoma?
Your doctor will likely recommend ways to reduce your risk of developing glaucoma, especially if you are in one of the high-risk groups for this condition. For example, they may suggest that you have regular eye checkups to monitor any changes, especially after the age of 40.
You should also have your eyesight tested annually or if you notice any issues with your vision. In addition, it is also important to tell your eye specialist about any other health conditions you may have, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, because these can increase your chances of developing glaucoma.
For instance, if you do become diabetic, make sure that you keep a close eye on this condition because studies have shown a link between the two. If left untreated, diabetes increases the chance of complications both in terms of damage to the eyes and increased risk for glaucoma
Tips to Maintain Healthy Vision: What can you do to help prevent the Progression of Glaucoma?
While there is no cure for glaucoma, there are several steps you can take to maintain healthy vision. Here are five tips your eye specialist may recommend:
- Eat a healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables: Eating a diet high in antioxidants can help protect your eyes from damage. The best thing you can do is use the 5-a-day rule and aim to eat at least five portions of fruits and vegetables every day.
- Exercise regularly: This will increase blood flow throughout your body, including the retina, allowing the proper function of this vital component for good vision.
- Get enough sleep: This has a direct impact on stress levels, so if you are not sleeping well due to insomnia, then it would be important that you talk with your doctor about other ways that you can get more restful sleep, such as taking medication or making dietary changes. Similarly, people might not be getting enough sleep because they simply don’t go to bed early enough. Allotting an appropriate amount of time for sleep is important because lack of it will definitely affect your eyesight in the long run; you should be sleeping at least 7 to 8 hours every night.
- Manage stress levels: Stress can raise blood pressure which increases the risk of developing glaucoma or worsening any pre-existing condition that you may have. It is, therefore, important that you learn how to reduce this as much as possible and find ways that work best for you, such as regular exercise or meditation, allowing yourself some time each day just to relax and recharge.
- Protect your eyes from hazardous situations: Some things are out of your control, but there are certain steps that you can take to protect your vision from potential damage. For instance, if you are in a hazardous situation at work, make sure that you have protective eyewear so that your eyes are safe from the risk of being injured. Another example is when using power tools around the home or while performing yard work; it is important to wear goggles or safety glasses while operating these types of equipment to keep dust particles, debris, and other objects away from your eyes.
If you are concerned that high eye pressure may be causing damage to your vision or want further information about glaucoma treatment, then contact Dr. Chelvin SNG on +65 6334 2282/ firstname.lastname@example.org for a consultation.
Chelvin Sng Eye Centre – Glaucoma | Cataract Surgery | Eye Specialist
38 IRRAWADDY ROAD MT ELIZABETH NOVENA SPECIALIST CENTRE, #06-25, 329563
+65 6334 2282