Eye Myths! True Or False?

We have all heard about eye myths since growing up. Are they true? Or are they just old wives tales? Read on to find out!

  1. Carrots will improve eyesight.

Since young, we were told by our parents to finish the carrots on our plates as they would help us to see better. This old rumour started since World War 2, when the British boasted that their pilots were better able to see at night due to carrots. In actual fact, it was their secret radar system.  Carrots contain Vitamin A and Lutein, nutrients that are beneficial to the eye. Eating carrots will provide you with the small amount of Vitamin A needed for good vision, but the belief that carrots help improve vision is a stretch.

  1. Reading in low light environment will affect the eyesight.

Contrary to popular belief, reading in poor illuminations do not affect eyesight. It may cause headaches or eye fatigue, but it is only a temporary discomfort. While it is more difficult to read in the dark, reading in low light conditions will not damage the eye in any way. Centuries ago when electricity was not available, people read and worked by candle lights that offered far less light than now.

  1. Wearing glasses, especially in your youth, is detrimental to your vision and will make it worse.

Spectacles are prescribed to correct blurry vision. Some people feel that wearing spectacles would cause an increase in their prescription or cause them to be more reliant on their glasses due to the wearer getting more used to sharp and crisp vision that was not available before. Refractive errors are actually due to the length of the eyeball being too long or short, causing light to fall elsewhere other than the retina.  In fact, not wearing prescription glasses when needed may lead to even poorer vision than before.

  1. Vision loss/impairment with old age is not preventable (or rather inevitable).

With age, there are many types of changes that can occur in the eye. Common conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, age related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy are a few of them. The vision loss caused by cataracts are inevitable and progresses with age, but they are reversible via a simple surgery. Unfortunately, for the other conditions mentioned, they can only be detected during eye checks or when the symptoms are experienced. In those cases, vision impairment would have occurred and is unfortunately irreversible. It is therefore important to have annual eye exams to detect any eye conditions. Earlier treatments allow a better visual outcome for most people.

  1. “Overusing” the eyes can wear them out.

Over using anything will wear things out, and the same goes for the eye. Nowadays, many people spend a large amount of time behind the computer and phone for work or leisure. Doing near work for long hours can cause dry eyes due to reduced blinking rates, redness and also headaches. In some cases, it might even lead to accommodative spasm, whereby the muscles remain in a constant state of contraction. This would lead to blurring of objects at a distance. Overusing our eyes for their intended purpose will not cause blindness, but it can lead to varying degrees of eye fatigue. It is hence advisable to take regular breaks while doing intensive near work.


  1. Lifestyle can/cannot affect your vision.

There are many lifestyle choices we make that can affect our vision. Having a diet that is high in sugar can lead to increased glucose levels, which would then cause fluctuating vision. Smoking, drinking and spending long hours under the computer can also lead to problems like age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataracts and dry eyes.  It is important to lead a healthy lifestyle.

  1. Wearing contact lenses at campfires or barbeques can cause them to melt in your eyes.

While enjoying a barbeque or a campfire, the usage of contact lenses is still reasonably safe if a safety distance is ensured. Contact lenses are sterilized in high temperatures of up to 121 degrees Celsius. The heat from BBQ and campfire should not melt the contact lens as the melting point of the contact lens is higher the boiling point of water. Also, at high heat levels, the human skin on the face would be affected by the heat way before the contact lens is affected.

  1. Sitting too close to screens/extensive use of screens will ruin the eyesight.

This myth started back in the 1960s when colour TV sets that were sold were found to emit amounts of radiation that were much higher than the safe limit. The TV sets were recalled, but the stigma still remains today. The act of reading and sitting close to computer screens and iPads do not ruin eyesight. They can, however, cause Asthenopia, known as fatigue or eye strain.   Staring closely at a screen forces our ciliary muscle, which affects how well we focus, to remain contracted without rest. This tires the eyes out after prolonged hours of near work. Blinking rate is also reduced when we stare at the screen. Blinking is important as it keeps the front surface of our eyes moist and lubricated. If the surface is dried out, the user would experience blurry or foggy vision, which would get better after blinking. It is therefore important to take regular vision breaks to protect our eyes from eyestrain and dry eyes.


The Best Type of Cataract Surgery & Implants Choice

During the initial stages of cataract, prescription eyeglasses are changed or sunglasses are worn to counter the glare from bright lights. However, these do not totally remove the cataract and are only considered as temporary measures. If not treated properly, the cataract will gradually worsen. Symptoms of Cataract varies with severity and once it starts affecting your quality of life, treatment will then be required.

With the improvement in technology, patients can now undergo surgery to effectively remove cataract. In this surgery, the cataractous lens in the eye will be removed and will then be replaced with an intraocular lens implant.

Here are some of the types of cataract surgery:

Micro-incision Phacoemulsification Surgery – this is the current standard of cataract removal. This procedure uses ultrasound energy to liquify the cataracts in the patient’s eye. It allows the emulsified cataract to be removed through a narrow incision of 2 – 3 mm. The wounds are self-healing, so stitches are not required. This allows the patient to recover and heal faster.

Laser-assisted Cataract Surgery this procedure is known in the industry for having great potential in treating cataracts. It is considered as the next phase in the improvement of minimally invasive cataract surgery. In LACS, there is improved wound construction, gentle on the eye and allows greater predictability in lens positioning. It also offers advantages in certain forms of complex cataract surgery.

There are also different types of lens implants available in the market:

Multifocal IOLs – These lenses have different zones in different areas of the lens, enabling the patient to clearly see objects at both far and near. It decreases the need for computer or reading glasses after their cataract surgery. This is ideal for patients who find that prescription glasses are a hassle and want to be rid of them.


The above picture demonstrate vision through a multifocal lens implant. Both far and near objects are clear.


Toric IOLs Astigmatism occurs when the cornea or lens are misshapen. Toric lens implants are intraocular lenses that are used to correct astigmatism using the different powers in different meridians of the lens.


Monofocal IOLs – these lenses provide corrective power in only one portion of your visual range, typically distance vision. We may select monofocal IOLs that are for near, mid, or distant focus. Only one of these three can be selected sand the focus will not change after surgery. During your exam and consultation, we can help you choose the best IOL for your needs.

monoiol monovision

The above picture demonstrate vision through a monofocal lens implant.


Before any lens implant can be selected for you, you will need to let the surgeon know your lifestyle needs and requirements so that he is able to select a lens that is most suitable for you.


Is Everyone a Candidate for LASIK or Refractive Surgery?

Very often we heard those who are wearing glasses or contact lenses that “One day I’m going to laser off my power”. However, majority of them are not aware of their suitability for Refractive Surgery. Some of those who are desperate to get their eyesight corrected surgically may not be a good candidate. Here are some basic requirements to qualify a person undergoing Refractive Surgery:


  1. Healthy Eyes

There should not be any eye diseases (especially corneal abnormalities) prior to Refractive Surgery. The reason is that any untreated eye disease or corneal abnormalities can affect the result of procedure. This is why we advise a comprehensive eye assessment before you proceed with any eye treatment. In fact, everyone should get at least one comprehensive eye assessment per year to examine the health of their eyes regardless of the consideration of any treatment. Certain eye diseases can be treated if it is detected early during the comprehensive eye assessment.

  1. You Must Be Able to Refrain from Contact Lens Wear

Before you go for Pre-Operative Eye Assessment or Refractive Surgery, your doctor or optometrist will advise you to refrain from wearing your soft contact lenses for about 1 week (Hard contact lenses – 1 month). This is because contact lens wear can change the shape of the outer part of your eye – cornea and results in inaccurate examination and treatment planning. In many cases, insufficient contact lens laying off period can cause dry eye in patients and they have to defer surgery day. Patients who are concerned about their eyeglasses look will need to schedule their eye assessment and surgery appropriately.

  1. You Must Be an Adult

A patient must be at least 18 years old to undergo Refractive Surgery. Most providers will not perform Refractive Surgery on those patients who are under 18 years old because they tend to have unstable eye prescription.

  1. You Must Be Able to Lie Flat without Discomfort

Although the laser correction is usually done within 1 minute, the whole procedure will take up to approximately 20 minutes to complete as your eye doctor needs to clean your eyes after the procedure. Patients will need to lie down on the bed throughout the treatment. For those who are having health conditions that may affect lying down posture, we advise them to treat the condition before going for Refractive Surgery.

How will ReLEx SMILE benefit me?

Before we delve deeper into how ReLEx SMILE surgery can help you, let us first define what this procedure means.

SMILE is an acronym for Small Incision Lenticule Extraction. It is the most advanced laser refractive surgery and is minimally invasive. In this procedure, a 2-4mm incision is created via laser. A lenticule is created, and is then extracted via the same incision.Relex

What are the advantages of ReLEx® SMILE?

  • Comfortable and gentle

Many patients prefer ReLEx SMILE surgery as it is relatively painless and comfortable. As compared to LASIK, the surgeon will no longer need to create a thin, circular flap in the cornea that is needed to access the underlying cornea to remove corneal tissue. During the surgery, the patient’s eye will be anaesthetised using eye drops. A single 24 second laser is then used to create a small incision of less than 4 mm. This is gentler on the eye and allows a faster recovery period.

  • Zero flap complications

ReLEx® SMILE is carried out under the surface of the cornea. As ReLEx® SMILE is flapless, this also means that the patient will not need to worry about any flap dislodgement or displacement. This procedure is ideal for people who do contact sports such as boxing, mixed martial arts or soccer.

  • Stable refractive outcomes

As compared to traditional LASIK, ReLEx® SMILE surgery is not just effective and predictable.  This procedure also provides stability that is superior to other laser treatments.

  • Minimally invasive

Due to the smaller wound created, ReLEx® SMILE results in a much stronger eye and less discomfort and tearing right after the surgery. With the use of a small incision, fewer corneal nerves are disrupted during the procedure, resulting in lower incidences of dry eyes as compared to LASIK. Patients are also less or totally not dependent on lubricating eyedrops months after the procedure.


  • Changes in vision can be seen in just a few hours

Another great thing about ReLEx SMILE is that your vision will start to improve in just a few hours after your surgery. You will achieve functional vision within the first 24 hours, and vision will continue to improve steadily in the coming days and weeks after surgery. You are advised to take at least 3 days off work to allow your eyes to heal faster. You will need to return to the clinic the next day for a follow up.

Uncover the Myths about LASIK

Uncover the Myths about LASIK

Despite a nearly 30 years’ history of LASIK or Refractive Surgery, there are still some myths among those who are concerned about the procedure. Let’s discuss the common myths that we usually encounter nowadays.


Myth #1: LASIK or Refractive Surgery is painful.

Truth: Generally, there will not be any pain sensation on the eye during the Refractive Surgery procedure. The reason being is your eye doctor will instill anaesthetic eye drops to numb your eye. The anaesthetic effect will usually last until the whole procedure has been completed. Therefore, you will feel no pain even after you step out the operation theatre. However, there might be mild grittiness or stinging sensation which will usually last for the first few hours after the procedure. With the World’s most advanced Refractive Surgery – Small Lenticule Extraction (ReLEx Smile), it greatly reduces the mild grittiness that may occur after the procedure.

Myth #2: LASIK or Refractive Surgery may cause blindness.

Truth: Although nowadays Refractive Surgery is performed under high levels of safety, it is still considered as a surgery whereby certain risks may be involved. However, the number of blind cases due to Refractive Surgery is still ZERO in Singapore. Therefore, a thorough eye examination followed by doctor’s consultation are important to review all benefits and risks of Refractive Surgery before making decision.

Myth #3: I will not need any eyeglasses after LASIK or Refractive Surgery

Truth: 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. For instance, all of us will start to have reading difficulty when we reach the age of 40 to 50s due to the loss of crystalline lens elasticity – Presbyopia. Eyeglasses with near reading prescription can easily overcome this issue.

Myth #4: Laser may burn your eyes.

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Truth: A “cold” laser named Excimer is used in certain Refractive Surgery. “Cold” laser means that it does not burn the corneal cells, in fact, it disrupts the molecular bond that holds together the corneal cells. However, some patients may report burning smell during the procedure. The odour is from the chemical reaction of the laser on the cornea. Some refractive surgery machines have a build-in vacuum device to remove the odour.


Myth #5: There are permanent side effects from LASIK or Refractive Surgery.

Truth: Laser surgery is still considered a surgery, and with every surgery there are risks involved. One common side effect after LASIK is dry eyes, and they usually lessen with time. However, in a small number of patients, it may be permanent. This can be overcome by the use of lubricating eyedrops.

How Do I Know If I Have Cataracts?

How Do I Know If I Have Cataracts?

Cataracts begin to develop when the lens inside the eye has started to become cloudy. This occurs due to aging. In some cases, younger people may also develop this condition due to other medical conditions. These include patients with diabetes or any other inflammatory conditions. Patients with previous history of trauma to the eye may also develop cataracts at a younger age.

Below are some signs that you may have a cataract:

  • Cloudy vision
  • Colours appear less rich as before
  • Night vision problems such as glares and haloes
  • Seeing a ‘film’ over the eye
  • Blurred vision that is not able to be corrected by glasses

Patients may not notice the effects of cataracts during the initial stages as changes to vision are usually minimal. As the cataract progresses, patients may notice that their vision is gradually affected and might find it hard to complete their day-to-day tasks such as driving, cooking or reading. Once this occurs, you are advised to visit an eye specialist to get your eyes checked.

What treatments are available for cataracts?

The progression of cataracts may be slowed down by wearing sun protection such as sunglasses and hats, having a balanced diet and controlling systemic conditions such as diabetes. However, the only effective treatment available for cataracts is surgery. It is commonly misunderstood that a cataract should be “ripe” before it can be removed. Surgery may be advised once the doctor examines your eyes and patients find that impaired vision caused by the cataracts is interfering with their daily activities.

With advancements in technology, cataracts can now be treated via keyhole cataract surgery. A small incision is made and the cataract is broken down and removed via that small incision. An intraocular lens implant is then inserted. With the suitable lens implant, patients can achieve good satisfactory vision.

Post-operatively, patients are required to instill eyedrops to prevent infections and to allow quick recovery. They are also advised to return to see the surgeon for regular post op follow-ups.

Cataract surgery is the most common surgical procedures performed today. It is safe, fast and reliable, and is also Medisave claimable.



Why Is My Vision Blurred?

Blurred vision may be an indication that your prescription of your glasses had gone up but it can also be a indication of other eye or general conditions too.  Sudden blurry of vision is NOT normal. If you experience it, consult your eye doctor immediately.

There are several reasons for the cause of blurry vision.

 1. Your eye prescription had really gone up

As simple as it sounds, yes, it could be one of the many reasons why you are experiencing blurred vision. The Optometrist determines the degree of refractive error you have by performing a test called refraction. Your optometrist present different powered lenses to find the best combination of lenses for you to see clearly.

Treatment options: Prescription glasses, contact lenses, Orthokeratology, or refractive surgery.

Refractive surgeries options: PRK (1st generation), LASIK (2nd generation), ReLEx SMILE (3rd generation)


  1. Vision is cloudy or blurred due to cataract

Patients aged 40 and above are at a increased risk of cataract formation. Cataracts occur when there is a build-up of proteins in the lens of your eye that makes it cloudy. Patients with cataracts may complain of reduction in vision in both distance and near vision, experiencing glares, difficulty with night vision and report that colours are not as bright as before.

Treatment options: Cataract removal surgery


  1. Your Cornea Shape is Changing

A condition known as keratoconus is a disorder which results in a conical abnormal bulge to the front part of the eye. Keratoconus has been shown to have associations with hereditary predisposition.  Symptoms include blurry vision, distortion, multiple images seen, sensitivity to light, and mild eye irritation. 

Treatment options: Cornea cross-linking (CXL), gas permeable contact lenses, scleral and semi-scleral lenses or corneal transplant.


  1. Uncontrolled diabetes

Sudden blurry of vision may be due to condition like diabetes affecting your eyes. In cases of patient with diabetes, they experience fluctuating vision, blurred vision, or even vision loss. This condition may lead to an eye disease known as diabetic retinopathy. If left untreated, it may eventually lead to blindness.

Treatment options for diabetic retinopathy: Laser Photocoagulation

 If you do experience blurred vision, schedule an eye appointment with our ophthalmologist to identify the true cause of it.

Top 6 Frequently Asked Questions About LASIK

Frequently Asked Questions About LASIK

Q1. What is LASIK surgery?

LASIK surgery is a quick and simple procedure, which is done by an eye surgeon to reshape the cornea and improve vision. The goal of this surgery is to improve the way the eyes focus light rays onto the retina.


Q2. How long does LASIK procedure take?

The procedure will only take less than 30 minutes to finish. It is an outpatient surgery so you can go home on the same day. No need to worry about staying at the eye care center overnight to recover from the operation.


Q3. Does LASIK surgery hurts?

A lot of LASIK surgery patients report little to no discomfort during and after surgery. You will not feel pain during the procedure as the surgeon will instill anaesthetic eye drops before starting the surgery. Even during the reshaping of the cornea with lasers, you will not feel any sensation. You will also be administered with pain medication should you feel discomfort after the surgery.


Q4. How do I know if I’m qualified to undergo LASIK?

Not all patients who are keen to do corrective surgery are suitable to undergo LASIK surgery. Your eye care specialist will help you determine whether you are qualified or not.  Here are a few general guidelines for your convenience:

  • You are least 18 years old. Vision of younger patients may still change overtime so they are not yet qualified for LASIK.
  • You are not pregnant or nursing. During these stages, your hormonal levels can affect the shape of your eyes so you may not undergo LASIK.
  • You have stable vision and eyeglass prescription for 1 year prior to surgery
  • The front and back part of your eye is healthy
  • Your cornea should have sufficient thickness
  • You do not have eye conditions such as infections, ocular herpes, eye inflammation, or severe dry eyes. These eye conditions could affect postoperative healing of your eyes.
  • You do not have unmanaged diabetes or rheumatologic conditions.


Q5. How much does LASIK surgery cost?

LASIK surgery can range from $3000 onwards. The price for every operation may vary, based on your eye condition and the technology used. Atlas Eye’s LASIK packages cover 3 post-operation checkups and 2 years warranty of the surgery results. ReLEx SMILE is the next generation LASIK and it range from $5000 onwards.


Q6. What can I expect after the surgery?

After the procedure, your eyes may feel watery, or you may feel a little discomfort for a couple of hours. This is all part of the healing process and will eventually fade away. You will have functional eyesight the night of surgery or the day after the procedure. You are advised to rest for about a day or two and to avoid strenuous activity until your eyes completely heal. Remember to arrange transport on the day of your operation as you will not be allowed to drive.

Stem Cells Regenerate Human Lens After Cataract Surgery and Restore Vision

https://i0.wp.com/i.imgur.com/FkqeSkM.pngCollaboration between scientists from mainland China, the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Shiley Eye Institute have developed a new, stem cell-based technique that permits remaining stem cells to regrow functional lenses after the diseased lens was removed. This treatment was initially tested in laboratory animals, but it has now been tested in a small human clinical trial. This procedure produced far fewer surgical complications than the current standard-of-care. The real boost is that this regenerative procedure resulted in regenerated lenses that had superior visual qualities in all 12 of the pediatric cataract patients who served as subjects for this clinical trial.

Kang Zhang, MD, PhD, chief of Ophthalmic Genetics, founding director of the Institute for Genomic Medicine and co-director of Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering at the Institute of Engineering in Medicine, both at UC San Diego School of Medicine, said: “An ultimate goal of stem cell research is to turn on the regenerative potential of one’s own stem cells for tissue and organ repair and disease therapy.” Zhang and his colleagues published their work in the journal Nature.

Cataracts are cloudiness over the lens of the eye that blurs vision. The lens consists mostly of water and protein. When the protein aggregates, it clouds the lens and reduces the light that reaches the retina. This clouding may become severe enough to cause blurred vision. Most age-related cataracts develop from protein clumpings. You do not have to be older to suffer from cataracts. Congenital cataracts occur at birth or shortly after birth. Scarring of the retina or prenatal damage to the eye can cause congenital cataracts. Congenital cataracts are a significant cause of blindness in children. Current treatment for congenital cataracts is limited by the age of the patient. Most pediatric patients require corrective eyewear after cataract surgery.

To address this medical need, Zhang and colleagues examined the regenerative potential of endogenous stem cells on the lens. Unlike other stem cell approaches that involve creating stem cells in the lab and introducing them back into the patient, Zhang decided to use stem cells that are already in place at the site of the injury to do the heavy lifting. In the human eye, lens epithelial stem cells or LECs generate replacement lens cells throughout a person’s life, even though their production declines with age.

Unfortunately, current cataract surgeries essentially remove LECs within the lens. Whatever cells might be left over produce disorganized regrowth in infants and no useful vision. Zhang and his colleagues first confirmed that LECs had regenerative potential. To confirm this, they used laboratory animals. With that knowledge in hand, Zhang and his collaborators devised a novel, minimally invasive surgical procedure that removes the cloudy lens, but manages to maintain the integrity of the membrane that gives the lens its required shape (the lens capsule). With the lens capsule in place, the LECs were activated to replace the missing lens.

Once again, Zhang and his team ensured that their technique worked in animals before they ever tried it on a human patient. Animals with cataracts whose lenses were extirpated, but whose lens capsules were left intact, regenerated new lenses that were devoid of cataracts and provided excellent sight. With their technique honed and ready, Zhang and others tested their procedure on very young human infants in a small human trial. They discovered that their new surgical technique allowed pre-existing LECs to efficiently regenerate functional lenses. In particular, the human trial involved 12 infants under the age of 2 treated with the new method developed by Zhang and others, and 25 similar infants receiving current standard surgical care.

The results were stark: the control group experienced a higher incidence of post-surgery inflammation, early-onset ocular hypertension and increased lens clouding, but those infants who received Zhang’s new procedure showed fewer complications and faster healing. After three months, the 12 infants who underwent the new procedure had a clear, regenerated biconvex lens in all of their eyes.

“The success of this work represents a new approach in how new human tissue or organ can be regenerated and human disease can be treated, and may have a broad impact on regenerative therapies by harnessing the regenerative power of our own body,” said Zhang.

Zhang indicated that he and his colleagues are now looking to apply what they learned in this project to tackling the issue of age-related cataracts. Age-related cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in the world. Over 20 million Americans suffer from cataracts, and more than 4 million surgeries are performed annually to replace the clouded lens with an artificial plastic lens (intraocular lens).

Despite technical advances, a large portion of patients undergoing surgery are left with suboptimal vision post-surgery and are dependent upon corrective eyewear for driving a car and/or reading a book. “We believe that our new approach will result in a paradigm shift in cataract surgery and may offer patients a safer and better treatment option in the future,” said an optimistic Zhang.

Source: Stem Cells Regenerate Human Lens After Cataract Surgery and Restore Vision