Doctors recommend adults aged 18 and above to get an eye exam every two years. For elderlies, an annual exam is usually recommended. This is because people over 50 years old are prone to Age-related Macular Degeneration, a condition that can cause vision loss when untreated.
However, not everyone has the means to book for an appointment in a Singapore eye centre. Based on the eye health and lifestyle survey by Transitions Optical and We Communications in Singapore in 2016, only 32% out of the 500 respondents said they get their eyes checked once a year. Around 5% of the total respondents claimed they never visited an eye practitioner in their lifetime.
The rising cost of eye care costs people to refrain from their regular eye exam. According to the latest outpatient consultation fees of Singapore National Eye Centre, a subsidized consultation is $37 per visit while a private consultation ranges from $95-$123.
It is still important to get the eyes checked despite the cost. After all, only an eye expert can help correct our vision. In Singapore, myopia or nearsightedness is prevalent. According to the National University of Singapore, the myopia rates in the country are among the highest in the world. Around 75% of teenagers in Singapore have myopia.
This condition usually begins in childhood and progresses with age. It makes children dependent on glasses. An eye expert can suggest ways improve eye care and protection. Other than seeking an eye consultation on a regular basis, here are more ways to take care of the eyesight:
- Wear an eyewear to protect the eyes from the sun’s UV rays
The harmful UV rays can render the risks of cataracts and other eye-related problems higher. A pair of glasses with photochromic lenses can give full protection against UV rays. It darkens automatically when exposed to sunlight and becomes clear when used indoors. This avoids the need to buy two different glasses for indoor and outdoor use.
- Eat vitamin-rich foods
Fill up the plate with foods that are rich in Vitamin A, lutein, and zinc. These nutrients can help improve the eyesight. The best foods for eye health are green leafy vegetables, eggs, nuts, spinach, kale, carrots, and salmon.
- Take a break from the computer screen, tablet, or phone
It is recommended to get up and take a 15-minute break every two hours. Staring at the computer screen for too long can blur one’s vision as well as causing difficulty focusing at a distance.
- Quit smoking
Smoking causes many health disorders such as lung cancer and heart disease. Unknown to some, it is also linked to eye conditions. It can increase the risk of cataracts and worse, causes the loss of vision.
- Do outdoor activities
While exposure to too much sunlight can harm the eyes, the lack of it can also be a problem. The lack of sunlight was also linked to myopia. Sunlight induces retinal dopamine that inhibits the growth of the eyeball. When the growth of the eyeball is inhibited, it also prevents the development of myopia.
A study led by Kathryn Rose at the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Health Sciences suggests that outdoor light has a positive effect on vision. Certain activities such as reading and playing computer games are all done indoors. This could be the reason why more and more young Singaporeans are suffering from myopia.
Taking care of the eyesight is imperative. The eyes have an impact in almost everything we do, including the way we work, communicate, and conduct activities in our daily lives. Get the eyes checked every two years and follow all the tips above to protect the eyes.