Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Annual Eye Check-ups Are Important!

The blog has taken a hiatus for a while because the husband recently underwent an emergency surgery, and I have been busy juggling work, mom and wife duties. Some of you would have known from my husband’s Facebook updates that he suffered a retina detachment about a month ago, and had to undergo an emergency surgery to attach the retina back. Currently, he is recuperating at home, with his vision slowly regaining bit by bit. The entire recovery process will take up to half a year for the vision to be back completely – It’s slow, but we are glad the surgery and recovery have been going well. Ever since the incident happened, I’ve gotten many questions from friends about why or how the retina detachment happened, whether the husband did any sky-diving or extreme sports that caused it, or whether it was the overuse of contact lens, etc. The husband will do a detailed post on the entire journey later on when he is more able to, but for now, I’ll just touch on the very basic and why I think this incident has caused me to rethink the importance of annual eye check-ups.

According to Mr Google, the retina is the light-sensitive layer of tissue that lines the inside of the eye and sends visual messages through the optic nerve to the brain. When the retina detaches, it is lifted or pulled from its normal position. If not promptly treated,retinal detachment can cause permanent vision loss. What happened for my husband’s case was that he started to see a lot of floaters in his right eye vision one fine day, and that lasted for a day before he started to see a black shadow that covered the lower part of his right eye vision. That black shadow slowly grew to cover half of his entire right eye vision over the next two days, and that was when we went to see our optometrist, Brian for a check (He is Joey’s optometrist, who did her Ortho-K lenses) You see, it was the long weekend, and we didn’t know where else to go to for a detailed eye check-up. I knew Brian had some equipment that can do detailed scans of the eye, so we headed there right away.

Brian did a scan and told us to head to the A&E department right away because it was most certainly a case of retina detachment. Frankly, we didn’t expect it to be so serious but the urgent tone in Brian’s voice told us it was not a small matter. Brian gave us a printout of the eye scan to bring to the hospital, which proved to be very useful because the doctors could immediately diagnose it to be retina detachment without delay or the need to do more thorough checks. The surgery was scheduled that very night.


The very first question the doctor asked my husband was whether he did sky-diving or had any falls that could have caused the retina to detach, but nothing of that sort happened. So, the only explanation that the doctor could give was perhaps due to his high myopia (900 degrees in both eyes) and also due to aging of the eye muscles and tissues, the retina detached. As the retina is the inside of the eye, we could not detect anything at all from the outside. In fact, his eye looked perfectly normal, and there was no pain at all. Thankfully, our optometrist directed us to the hospital right away, otherwise we might have found out only when it’s too late.

It seems that retina detachment can happen for various reasons and to anyone. We’ve had friends coming to us and sharing with us their experience of dealing with retina detachment – There was a friend who had it when she was only 18 years old and she got it without doing any extreme sports. And there was another who had it twice in a week even though he was extremely careful after he got it for the first time. So you see, it could happen very randomly and unexpectedly to anyone.

The truth is, many people know the importance of annual body check-ups, but very few people actually bother to consider their eye health condition. About a year ago, Brian asked me to bring my family members for a detailed eye check-up because he has a couple of new machines in his clinic. It was then he explained to me the importance of having annual eye check-ups, just like how we would diligently go for body check-ups. At that check-up, my mother and mother-in-law as well as my husband and kids did a scan of their eyes and we were advised on what to look out for in our eye health.


My mother-in-law’s eyes are good, and Brian gave her some advice on how to take good care of her eyes especially when she is aging. My mother’s eye condition was not as good as she often complained of headaches and pain in the eye, and Brian explained why it was so. He also advised my mother to go for treatment at the hospital to relieve the pain in the eyes that she suffered often, by writing a letter of diagnosis and recommendation, along with the eye scan photos.

Chu, Swee Eng (1600127)_ODChu Swee Eng eye report

After your eye check-up, you will receive a detailed report as well as the scan of your eye via email, and whether any follow-up actions are necessary. Jayne also did a check-up and we were glad her eyes are good, and no glasses are necessary.


In fact, a year had passed since then and Brian had been telling me to bring my family back for an annual check-up again soon, but I had been procrastinating. If only my husband had gone for a check-up sooner, the condition of the eye could have been detected and this whole episode of retina detachment might have been avoided. That is the reason why regular annual eye check-ups are so important! We use our eyes so much every single day that they are bound to be worn out and need good care just like how we take care of our bodies. Don’t ever neglect proper eye care, because our eyes are very valuable assets to us.


If you are interested to go for a check-up on your eyes, I strongly recommend AeroV Optometrist. They are equipped with instruments that can assess and inspect the health of your eyes (to determine if you have or may have conditions such as Cataract, Glaucoma, Diabetic Retinopathy), the refractive error of your eyes (to determine if you need any form of vision corrections) and the curvature distribution of your corneas (to determine and design the most suitable contact lenses for your eyes). They are also equipped to diagnose and/or manage binocular vision problems such as Strabismus (eye-turn), Amblyopia (lazy eye). Prices are very affordable - The retinal check is S$50, eye pressure is S$20 and the front eye check is S$15. For an essential and important eye check-up that you only need to do once a year, I think that’s very reasonable and highly recommended! More importantly, Brian is one of the nicest and most professional optometrist I have met. He is especially good with kids!



Disclosure: The J Babies was given complimentary eye check-ups for review purposes. All experiences and opinions represented in this post are solely ours, and no other financial compensation was received for this review.