Benefits of ReLEx SMILE and its limitations

What is ReLEx SMILE?

There are many benefits of ReLEx Smile. But first, what is ReLex SMILE (Small Incision Lenticule Extraction)? It is a minimally invasive, bladeles and flapless laser vision correction procedure (LVC) that uses only 1 femtosecond laser for the entire procedure. It is another type of LVC in addition to LASIK and PRK to correct short-sightedness, long-sightedness and astigmatism. It promises better long-term safety, lesser dry eye and faster recovery.

So what are the benefits of ReLEx Smile? In this article, we will discuss its benefits and limitations.

Benefits of ReLEx SMILE

  • No risk of flap complication: Unlike LASIK whereby a 22mm corneal flap is created, ReLEx SMILE is a flapless procedure with a small incision of only 4mm. As such, there is no risk of flap-related complications.
  • Single step: The entire ReLEx SMILE procedure is a single laser procedure as patients need not change their position unlike LASIK which requires 2 lasers.
  • Shorter treatment time: Compared to other treatments, ReLEx Smile is single step procedure that takes only 24 seconds.
  • Fast healing after surgery: Patients recover their vision quicker with ReLEx SMILE, compared to PRK. With proper care and compliance to medication, some patients are able to return to work the next day.

Limitations of ReLEx SMILE

There are limitations and complications to every Laser Vision Correction (LVC) procedure, but specific to ReLEx Smile, there is one:

  • Treatment of refractive errors: At the moment, ReLEx SMILE is only able to treat short-sightedness and astigmatism. The treatment of long-sightedness will be released in the near future.

Ensure you know your eye history before undergoing any LVC procedure to minimise any possible complications and risks and to maximize the benefits of ReLEx SMILE.

The post Benefits of ReLEx SMILE and its limitations appeared first on Atlas Eye.

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Cataract Surgery Costs in Singapore: An Eye Centre Reveals All

According to the Singapore Doctor’s Directory, the average cost of a cataract surgery in 11 hospitals ranges from $3,000 to $8,000. What accounts for the difference in cataract surgery cost? Why are some cataract surgery in Singapore so much more affordable? And most importantly, how do you know which eye centre provides reliable cataract surgery?

Fret not, in this article you will have a first glance at the cost of cataract surgery in Singapore.

How much does cataract surgery cost in Singapore?

Eye centres and hospitals in Singapore offer different prices when it comes to cataract surgery. The table below shows Atlas Eye’s prices related to cataract surgery:

 Service

Fees

Cataract assessment

$86 to $300

Cataract surgery (1 eye)

$3,000 to $10,000

Post-op medication

$100 to $300

Post-op review

$86 to $200

Many eye centres will be able to give you an estimate of the cost of cataract surgery, depending on your eye condition, lifestyle needs and budget.

The cost of operating on 1 eye is usually more than half the price of operating on both eyes. This is due to the cost of consumables, booking of operating theatre etc regardless of whether 1 or 2 eyes are operated on.

You should also find out if pre- and post-operative eye tests are included in the surgery package – which brings me on to my next point.

What accounts for the difference in cataract surgery cost?

The difference in cost boils down to the following:

  • Cataract assessment
  • Types of cataracts – Our eye doctor performs diagnosis and management of simple and complex cataracts that include:
    • cataract and lens implantation surgery
    • secondary cataracts
    • traumatic cataracts
    • congenital cataracts
    • endocapsular rings
    • secondary lens implantation
    • subluxated implants
    • aniridia
  • Post-operative medication – The procedure usually takes about 15 to 30 minutes per eye and will be done by an experienced surgeon. This is also considered as one of the safest, most successful surgical procedures. You will also need to rest for about 4 to 5 days so make sure you plan it ahead of time. There may also be post-operative services for follow up and consultation depending on your case.

Why are some cataract surgery in Singapore much more affordable than others?

The cost of the procedure is dependent on factors including seniority of the eye surgeon who will operate on you. Your prior medical complications and history will also be considered. Some eye centres may offer a much more affordable price which is almost too good to be true.

This is commonly known as the bait and switch. If something is too good to be true, it usually is. Patients are lured to come in for an assessment for treatment at bargain prices – only to be given the sad truth that they are ineligible for this price since they have a different, more severe case.

How to choose your cataract surgeon?

When it comes to any eye conditions including cataract, you should only approach credible and reputable eye doctors. Eye is one of the most important parts of your body. Since cataract surgery is one of the most common surgeries performed in the world, there are a lot of surgeons who can perform this procedure. One of the easiest ways is to get reviews on them – through forums, Facebook pages, Google reviews and recommendation from friends and family.

Can you use insurance or medisave to pay for cataract surgery?

Fortunately, you can claim for your cataract surgery with Medisave. The maximum amount claimable is up to $2,450 per eye. You can claim from either your own, spouse’s, or children’s Medisave account. Most insurance policies do provide coverage for cataract surgery. The amount claimable will depend on the coverage of the policy.

Are there any subsidies or discounts for cataract surgery in Singapore?

Unfortunately, the Ministry of Health does not allow eye centres to give “discounts” on any medical procedures.

The post Cataract Surgery Costs in Singapore: An Eye Centre Reveals All appeared first on Atlas Eye.

How to Choose the Right Eye Doctor for your LASIK or Refractive Surgery?

Making the decision for a life-changing procedure – Refractive Surgery is difficult. But, what is more difficult is to choose the right eye doctor to perform the procedure for you. Here are some tips for you when it comes to choosing the right doctor:

Get recommendation from your physician. For those who have a family doctor, paediatrician or gynaecologist, you may ask for their recommendations on who you should consult for a Refractive Surgery. These doctors have known you for a long time and they will not put their reputation or your trust at risk by referring the wrong doctor. Furthermore, your physician knows your medical history, hence, he or she will be the best person to refer you to an eye doctor, who understand your medical needs. Run a check on the medical portal of doctors (Singapore Medical Council) to find out the credentials of a particular doctor.

Ask your friends or relatives. If there is someone you know who has had their eyesight corrected, you may ask for their recommendations. They would be able to share with you their experience and surgical outcomes. Sometimes they can even bring you to the eye specialist centre that they have visited. This may make your first visit to that centre more comfortable since your friends or relatives have previous experience.

Ask the staff in the eye specialist centre. Well, you may not be convinced with this as staff are generally on the side of their own doctor. However, it may be helpful by asking the staff more specific questions such as:

  • Does your doctor patiently answer questions from patients?
  • Would you recommend your doctor to your relatives?
  • Can you share the credentials of your doctor?

Meet the eye doctor.  There is no better way to ascertain if you are comfortable with an eye doctor other than yourself. Very often, trust is built through your own experience meeting with the doctor.

 

 

 

 

 

The post How to Choose the Right Eye Doctor for your LASIK or Refractive Surgery? appeared first on Atlas Eye.

ReLEx SMILE in Singapore: Get the full breakdown and avoid hidden fees

ReLEx SMILE (Small Incision Lenticule Incision) is a type of laser vision correction procedure which aims to help you achieve spectacles independence using laser to remove short-sightedness, long-sightedness and astigmastism.

SMILE is a minimally invasive procedure which combines the qualities of both PRK and LASIK – flapless and fast recovery. A flapless procedure where the corneal structure is left largely intact, SMILE is ideal for individuals who have active lifestyles/occupations with a risk of trauma to the head or eyes and/or for those predisposed to chronic dry eye. The single-step procedure takes only 24 seconds and patients need not change their position unlike LASIK that require 2 different lasers:

  • A femtosecond laser creates a disc-shaped piece of corneal tissue (lenticule) just beneath the surface of the cornea.
  • The same laser then creates a small incision of 4mm in the cornea, from which the lenticule is removed, resulting in a reshaped cornea that corrects the vision.

What is the price of ReLEx SMILE surgery in Singapore?

 Items

Fees

Pre-laser evaluation

$19 to $500

ReLEx SMILE (2 eyes)

$5,299 to $6,000

Medication

$97 to $200

Post-op review

$0 to $150

Most eye centres will be able to give you an estimate of the cost of ReLEx SMILE surgery. Final cost will be provided upon confirmation of the procedure.

Are there additional fees involved before the surgery?

Usually, the whole procedure will start with a typical pre-laser evaluation that can cost up to $500 depending on the eye centre and eye surgeon. At Atlas Eye Centre, our pre-laser evaluation, a full eye examination which includes dilation of the pupils and consultation with Dr David Chan, costs $19 and takes 3 hours.

What are post-op reviews going to cost me?

At Atlas Eye, the first 3 post-op reviews are included in the surgery fees. Other eye centres may include 1 to 3 post-op reviews in the surgery fees while others can charge separately for the reviews, which may range between $80 and $150.

Can I claim Medisave or insurance for ReLEx SMILE?

Medisave can be only used if the difference in power between your 2 eyes is at least 300 degrees AND you are intolerant to glasses and contact lenses. Most insurance policies do not cover ReLEx SMILE as it is considered an elective/optional treatment. Patients can however check with the agents for coverage.

Why is ReLEx SMILE gaining popularity these days?

SMILE is a minimally invasive procedure which combines the qualities of both PRK and LASIK. It is a flapless procedure which promises better long-term safety and lesser dry eye. It also promises faster recovery with a small 4mm incision.

The post ReLEx SMILE in Singapore: Get the full breakdown and avoid hidden fees appeared first on Atlas Eye.

Everything You Need to Know About Cataract Surgery in Singapore

What is cataract?

Cataract is a condition in which the clear lens of your eye becomes cloudy and impaired, hence, preventing adequate light rays from entering the eye. Cataract is an ageing eye condition and starts to form in people from the age of about 40. According to the Tanjong Pagar Survey, there was a reported cataract prevalence of 35% in Chinese people aged over 40 in Singapore and jumped to 80% in people aged over 60.

Three main types of cataract

A cataract occurs when the lens inside your eye becomes cloudy, thus leading to blurred and decreased field of vision. Contrast and colour perception may also be affected in its early stages.

There are 3 types of cataracts and they include the following:

  • Nuclear cataract – Usually associated with old age; this forms deep in the centre of the lens (nucleus).
  • Posterior sub-capsular – Occurs to people who have taken high doses of steroids and or have diabetes; this forms at the back of the lens.
  • Cortical cataract – Occurs in the cortex of the lens and is characterised by peripheral clouding towards the centre of the lens.

Early signs and symptoms of cataract

Symptoms for cataract usually are not serious. They usually start out mild which have little effect to your quality of life.

The most common indicators of a developing cataract may include blurry or misty vision. Other symptoms include:

  • Finding lights too bright or too glaring, either from lamps, the sun or car headlights.
  • Finding it harder to see in dim light.
  • Experiencing a brown or yellow tinge to your vision.
  • Finding colours looking faded and less clear.
  • Experiencing double vision.
  • Seeing a circle of light (haloes) around bright lights.

There are also a number of other causes of cataract though it mainly occurs due to old age:

  • Family history.
  • Vices (smoking, alcohol consumption).
  • Obesity.
  • Previous eye injury, inflammation, and or surgery.

Is cataract treatable?

If you or your loved one happen to have cataract, and you find that your quality of life has fallen. It is heartening to know that cataract is highly treatable.

There are products like eyedrops and supplements which claim that they can cure cataracts. However, there are not sufficient studies to support such claims. The only known and proven treatment to cure cataracts is through cataract surgery, whereby the natural eye lens will be removed and replaced by an artificial lens known as an intraocular lens (IOL).

What are the types cataract treatments available and are they safe?

If you have severe cataract, advanced cataract surgery should be considered to help you regain your vision.

The procedure involves the removal of the clouded natural lens and replacing it with an artificial one known as an intraocular lens (IOL) to restore vision. At Atlas Eye Specialist Centre, we perform the following 2 cataract surgery procedures:

  1. Micro-incision phacoemulsification surgery  Micro-incision phacoemulsification is the current standard of cataract removal. It uses ultrasound energy to liquify the cataract enabling the emulsified cataract to be removed through a small wound. With incision sizes of between 2 and 3mm in width, stitches are usually not required as the wounds are self-sealing, allowing for greater comfort and improved speed of recovery.
  2. Laser-assisted cataract surgery – The procedure uses laser energy to automate some of the more difficult steps of the surgery. It promises reduced ultrasound power utilisation, improved wound construction, greater predictability in lens positioning and advantages in some forms of complex cataract surgery.

Cataract surgery usually takes 15 to 30 minutes per eye. It is considered as one of the safest and most successful surgical procedures. Most patients can return to work 1 week after the procedure.

Type of intraocular lens (IOL)

The intraocular lenses (IOLs) available for cataract surgery fall under the following classifications:

  • Monofocal lens: This will only fix issues in 1 segment of your visual range (usually distance vision) and is used for patients who do not mind continuing to use glasses for specific tasks such as reading.
  • Multifocal lens: This correct short-sightedness/long-sightedness and presbyopia at the same time and therefore can potentially eliminate the need for glasses altogether.

Note that both monofocal and multifocal lenses can correct moderate to high corneal astigmatism if they incorporate toric lens design; having different powers in different meridians of the lens.

Which cataract surgery is right for me?

If you need more information on which treatment is suited for your cataract condition, you can visit our eye centre for an $86 cataract assessment. During your assessment, our eye specialist will discuss your surgical options with you based on your eye condition, lifestyle needs and budget.

Does Medisave and insurance cover cataract surgery?

Yes, you can claim Medisave for cataract surgery, up to $2,450 per eye. Medisave can be claimed from either your own, spouse’s, or children’s Medisave account. If you do have health insurance, you may be able to claim part of or all of the surgery cost depending on your coverage.

The post Everything You Need to Know About Cataract Surgery in Singapore appeared first on Atlas Eye.

Community Eye Screening @ Kim Seng Community Centre

Community Eye Screening @ Kreta Ayer – Kim Seng Active Ageing Health Fiesta – 23 July 2017

Bright and early on Sunday morning (23 July 2017), the Atlas Eye team team was all geared up to meet 200 elderly residents at Kim Seng Community Centre for an eye screening.

The eye screening was conducted as part of Atlas Eye’s Corporate Social Responsibility programme to promote good eye and vision health amongst Singaporeans.

The event was graced by Dr Lily Neo, Member of Parliament for Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng constituency.

Most of us would agree that sight is the most valuable of our 5 senses. Our eye health plays an important role to help us see and feel the world around us.

During the eye screening, common eye conditions such as presbyopia, cataracts, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration were detected and referred for further management.

Age-related eye conditions may be present without symptoms in their early stages. If left undetected, these conditions may lead to permanent loss of vision. That is why regular eye examinations are recommended, especially for the elderly, to ensure good eye health and optimal vision.

Atlas Eye was proud to be able to play our part for the community. We were thankful for the appreciative smiles from residents who benefited from the eye screening.

 

GLAUCOMA: the silent thief of sight

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma, commonly known as ‘the silent thief of sight”, is a chronic eye disease whereby increased intraocular pressure in the eyes causes damage to the optic nerves at the back of your eyes. These delicate nerves are responsible for sending messages from the eye to the brain.

What causes glaucoma?

 There are different types of glaucoma, each with different causes.

Open angle glaucoma is the most common type of glaucoma. It is due to an imbalance in the production and drainage of fluid in the eye. This condition progresses slowly, and patients might not be aware until it is picked up at a routine eye examination. Patients might not notice the deterioration of their vision until the late stages as there are no symptoms.

Narrow angle glaucoma is caused by a blockage of drainage canals in the eye. This causes a sudden increase in intraocular pressure in the eye, and requires immediate medical attention. Patients will experience headache, nausea and vomiting. They might also see rings of circles around lights.

 

Normal tension glaucoma is a unique form of glaucoma whereby there is damage to the optic nerve and loss of vision although intraocular pressure in the eye is normal. Japanese people are more at risk of getting normal tension glaucoma.

Secondary glaucoma may develop as a secondary condition after surgery eg diabetes, cataracts, or if there is trauma to the eye.

Who is at risk of glaucoma?

  • Family history of glaucoma
  • Age
  • High myopia or short-sightedness
  • Use of steroids
  • Diabetes
  • Previous trauma to the eye

At the initial stages of glaucoma, there are no symptoms such as pain or discomfort and often, the condition will progressive gets worse. It is only when the patient experiences symptoms such as poor night vision or tunnel vision before the disease is picked up. Unfortunately, the damage caused by glaucoma is irreversible, and may lead to blindness in serious cases. Hence, it is important to schedule regular eye examinations, especially if you are over the age of 40 or have any family history of glaucoma. During the eye examination, the eye doctor will carry out comprehensive testing such as visual acuity, eye pressure check, visual field and a thorough examination of your retina.

If you are diagnosed with glaucoma, the ophthalmologist will decide if eyedrops to reduce eye pressure or surgery is required, depending on the severity of your condition. You are advised to follow up with the eye doctor regularly to keep the condition in control and to preserve your eyesight.

4 Most Common Eye Diseases that can cause Blindness

1.Cataracts

Cataracts are one of the leading causes of blindness. It is due to the clouding of the natural lens in the eye and is most commonly due to aging. It can also be caused by the use of medications such as steroids, smoking, trauma to the eye and prolonged UV exposure.

The first few signs of cataracts are blurring of vision, glares or haloes at night or discolouration of objects.

Thankfully, blindness caused by cataracts are reversible via surgery. With advancements in technology, cataract surgery is performed as a day surgery, needing only topical anaesthetic eyedrops.

2.Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a chronic eye disease whereby increased intraocular pressure in the eyes causes damage to the optic nerves at the back of your eyes. The optic nerves are responsible for sending messages from the eye to the brain.

Glaucoma is commonly known as ‘the silent thief of sight”. During the early stages of glaucoma, there are no symptoms and hence the condition progresses undiagnosed. Often times, it is only when the patient experiences symptoms such as poor night vision that it is diagnosed. By then, the damage caused by glaucoma is irreversible, and can lead to blindness in serious cases. Glaucoma accounts for 40% of blindness in Singapore.

3.Diabetic Eye Disease

Diabetic eye disease is a group of eye disease that affects patients with diabetes. Blood vessels at the retina, the light sensitive portion of the eye is being affected. Diabetic eye disease can also cause swelling at the back of the eye, affecting patient’s vision. People who have had diabetics for many years or have poorly controlled diabetics are at higher risk of having diabetic eye disease.

4.Age-Related Macular Degeneration

AMD commonly affects patients over the age of 50. In this condition, the macula, the back of the eye that is responsible for sharp, central vision is being affected. Patients who smoke or have family history of AMD are at higher risk of being affected by AMD.

Damage caused by AMD is irreversible. Hence, it is important to carry out comprehensive dilated eye examinations yearly

These conditions are commonly found in patients above the age of 40. Schedule a yearly eye examination to detect these eye conditions early.

Book your appointment with us now.

How to Choose the Right Eye Doctor for your LASIK or Refractive Surgery?

Making the decision for a life-changing procedure – Refractive Surgery is difficult. But, what is more difficult is to choose the right eye doctor to perform the procedure for you. Here are some tips for you in order to choose the best doctor effectively:

Get recommendation from your physician. For those who have a family doctor, paediatrician or gynaecologist, you may ask for their recommendations on who you should consult for a Refractive Surgery. These doctors have known you for long time and they will not put their reputation or your trust at risk by referring the wrong doctor. Furthermore, your physician knows your medical history and he or she can be the best person to help you in choosing an eye doctor that specializes in your needs. You may also ask the reason of them recommends a particular surgeon to you. Run a check up on the medical portal of doctors ( Singapore Medical Council ) to find out the credential of the doctor.

Ask your friends or relatives. If there is someone you know who has had their eyesight corrected, you may ask for their recommendations. They would be able to tell you how is their result and experience in a specific eye specialist centre. Sometimes they can even bring you to the eye specialist centre that they have visited. This may make your first visit to that centre being more comfortable since your friends or relatives know the staffs over there.

Ask the staffs in the eye specialist centre. Well, you may not be convinced with this as staffs are generally on the side of their own doctor. However, it may be helpful by asking the staffs more specific questions such as:

  • Does your doctor patiently answer questions from patients?
  • Would you recommend your doctor to your relatives?
  • Can you share the credentials of your doctor?
  • May I read the testimonials from your patients?

Meet the eye doctor. No other way can describe a person better than you personally see him/her. This is in fact the most direct way of deciding your refractive surgeon. Very often that trust is built up after your own experience with the doctor. So, it is time to schedule an appointment to meet the surgeon.

 

 

 

 

 

Top 5 Must Know FAQs about LASIK & Refractive Surgery

Are you thinking about correcting your eyesight permanently? However, there are too many question marks in your mind? Heard from your friends about LASIK but not sure whether is that the truth? You may find your answer below:

Q1. How does LASIK or Refractive Surgery remove my short-sightedness and astigmatism?

chartFirst of all, you must understand why a person is diagnosed with refractive errors (e.g. short-sightedness, astigmatism and etc). Having refractive error means the light was not focused on the light sensitive tissue lining of our eye  (retina), resulting in blurred image. By reshaping the outer part of our eye (cornea), the light can be re-focused on the retina and people who previously need eyeglasses or contact lenses, may not need that anymore.

How to reshape the cornea? By applying “cool” beam laser. This is how the term LASIK been established – Laser Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis.

Q2: Am I qualified to go for LASIK or Refractive Surgery?

Honestly speaking, we cannot answer you without a proper eye assessment. However, there are some general guidelines for those who are interested to get rid of their eyeglasses or contact lenses.

  1. Healthy eye. There are no eye diseases or abnormalities present at the moment as it may affect your qualification. Any eye condition should be solved before the surgery.
  2. Stable eye prescription for at least 1 year. There should be ≤ 0.50 dioptre change in your eye prescription for the past 12 months. Patients who have significant change in their eyesight will be monitored and surgery day should be postponed until their eyesight is stabilized.
  3. Aged 18 years and above. Patients under 18 years old tend to have unstable eyesight and therefore, Refractive Surgery is usually not recommended for them.
  4. For ladies – you are not nursing or pregnant. Eye prescription may fluctuate in ladies who are expecting a baby or nursing due to the hormonal changes in their body.
  5. No Autoimmune diseases. Autoimmune diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and Sjogren’s Syndrome may result in poor visual outcome and increase the risk of complications after Refractive

Q3: Will I get perfect vision after the procedure?

before after
Though doctors strive to make the refractive error zero after Refractive Surgery, this may not always be possible. Refractive Surgery aims to reduce a person’s dependence on spectacle or contact lenses. No one can guarantee you a perfect vision after Refractive Surgery. Our vision may change with time regardless of any Refractive Surgery. Hence, even if one have had Refractive Surgery, he or she may still need eyeglasses at certain phase of life after the procedure.

Q4: Is LASIK or Refractive Surgery painful?

No, it is usually not painful. This is because the doctor will use anaesthetic drops to fully numb your eye before the surgery begins. During the process, you may feel some mild pressure sensation and temperature around the eye, but no pain at all. You will also be prescribed with eye drops to provide comfort after your surgery.

Q5: How much does a LASIK or Refractive Surgery cost?

money

The price ranges from $3500 up to $6500 in Singapore. It may be difficult to find a solid price about the procedure as there are different types of surgery which come with different pricing. A lot of people may choose the most economic treatment but we strongly advise you to choose the most suitable treatment for your eyes. A one-time off payment for a life-time vision, it is totally worth the money.