Is the eye test at IGARD the same as an eye test in a hospital?
An eye test at IGARD is not the same as an eye test in a hospital. Eye surgeons in hospitals diagnose and treat eye diseases (that can lead to blindness), whilst IGARD specialises in managing visual defects and anomalies that may (or may not) be a consequence of an eye disease.
Patients seen at IGARD may be:·
- asymptomatic (i.e. no complaints and just need new spectacles or contacts),·
- symptomatic (i.e. have complaints about their vision or eyes) or·
- could have already been discharged from the hospital (e.g. after a cataract surgery).
Visual defects can occur during the developmental phases of life (i.e. children). It can also be a result of an eye injuries or due to poor general health (such as diabetes). Some common issues seen by IGARD are myopia (shortsightedness), astigmatism, hyperopia (farsightedness), amblyopia (lazy eyes), strabismus (squints), asthenopia (eyestrain) and presbyopia (old sight).
These visual conditions are examined by IGARD in relation to the health status of the eye, and often spectacles, contact lenses or other optical aids will be prescribed.
At what age should you start testing your child’s sight and how important is it?
A baby should get their eyes checked once BEFORE they are 12 months old. The eyes are still immature and visual processing areas in the brain are still developing.
Poor vision development can occur during childhood and it is important to check their eyes regularly. Issues can be caused by uncorrected refractive errors (e.g. high myopia, astigmatism, hyperopia), strabismus (crossed eyes) and amblyopia (lazy eye). Hence, the child must be seen by an optometrist who has a special interest in children vision development.
Children will also need to get their eyes checked during preschool (at age 3-4 years old). A Pediatric Eye Examination is specifically catered towards the child’s respective age group. Some children may be tested using pictures and symbols and non-verbal children may be tested by other means. The optometrist is trained to pick up subtle cues from a child’s response which could have been missed easily, and likewise the optometrist rechecks this for consistency. At this point, the optometrist will look into the general eye teaming skills (muscle balancing) in the child and ensure that their eyesight is adequate for school. Parents can also get their children assessed for their visual perceptual skills. For example, children with poor visual analysis skills may have trouble learning their A, B, C’s and recognising some words. They may sometimes correctly read the word ‘house’ and at other times incorrectly read the same word as ‘horse’.
At school-age, children should get their eyes checked yearly. If they are already wearing prescription spectacles, they should be reviewed every 3 – 6 months and/or recommended by the optometrist. School-age children must have 6/6 vision so that their eyes can function optimally when they read from a book and read from the whiteboard.
For people in Singapore, you may like to know that Paediatric Optometry Pte Ltd (“IGARD”) is an Approved Institution registered with MCYS (Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports) under the Baby Bonus Scheme. Paediatric Eye Examination, PediaVue Baby Eye Screening, Children Eyewear, Contact Lenses and Vision Therapy are available at IGARD.
How are children’s eye tests different to adults’ eye tests?
To add to the above, children do not normally complain about their eyesight as they may not have experienced what is considered ‘normal’. Eye problems, if left uncorrected, can aggravate resulting in frustration and avoidance of certain visual tasks. Parents who are worried about behavioral issues in their children should see an optometrist who is trained in behavioral optometry in addition to seeing a counselor or psychologist.
Blurred vision and eye discomfort can reduce the overall efficiency of the visual system. Children who have vision problems can be easily distracted and may even avoid the task all together. Hence, children with learning difficulties should have a comprehensive functional vision assessment to investigate how their eyes work together as a team. This is called ‘binocular vision’ or ‘orthoptics’.
What are the most common problems children have with their vision?
Myopia (or shortsightedness) is the most common problem in school-age children. The eyes are unable to focus clearly on objects in far distances. 25% of adults in the world population have myopia but this condition affects nearly 70% of children and teenagers in Singapore.
Myopia usually begins in childhood and it can progress throughout their school and college years.
Before diagnosing a vision problem, the optometrist checks the eye for any physical abnormality. A small number of children are born with an eye disease, leukocoria or cataract, and some children are has crossed eyes (strabismus). These can be picked up by an optometrist and some cases may be referred to an ophthalmologist who can provide surgery for the eyes.
An optometrist specializes in managing vision deficits in children using spectacles, contact lenses, patching and vision therapy. The most common vision problems are myopia (shortsightedness), astigmatism and hyperopia (long-sightedness). Optometrists are particularly concerned if one eye is more short-/long-sighted than the other as the eyes may not be working equally together. A child who has amblyopia (lazy eye) may need both spectacles and patching. Parents may be given specific instructions to patch an eye so that it encourages the use of the poorer eye, and they may be offered some exercises for the eyes to help them work together as a team. A range of orthoptic eye exercises are used during vision therapy to treat binocular vision anomalies, such as an eye drift or an intermittent crossed eye.
Are most problems easy to correct?
Do they all require glasses? Not all cases require glasses, but it is fundamental to use glasses if it is needed. Some problems are easily corrected by just using glasses, but others may need to pursue vision therapy with the optometrist and some cases may need to be referred to an eye surgeon (ophthalmologist).
Seeing an optometrist is not only all about glasses. The optometrist provides recommendations on visual environment and ergonomics. Does your child have a table lamp? Is there adequate lighting when your child is studying? Is your child sitting straight? Does he/she read with the correct posture? Is the book too close to his/her eyes?
Eye Tests: Your Questions Answered
Why do I need an eye test?
Getting your regular eye test is important – not just about getting spectacles or contact lenses, but it involves a thorough assessment of your eyesight in relation to your visual needs. It looks out for potential visual health problems (and eye diseases) that you may have BEFORE you even notice an effect on your eyesight when it gets worse.
This includes an examination of visual defects such as myopia (shortsightedness), astigmatism, hyperopia (farsighedness), strabismus (squints), amblyopia (lazy eyes), asthenopia (eyestrain) and presbyopia (old sight), and screening for common eye problems such as glaucoma, cataract, macular degeneration and retinal health. If your eyes are at risk, our primary eye-care and vision specialists will either monitor your condition or refer you to a specialist eye surgeon for treatment/surgery.
If you wear contact lenses, you will need another test on a regular basis — a contact lens assessment and a cornea health assessment. This is necessary for all current and prospective contact lens wearers.
Find out more about our routine Standard Eye Examination Click Here (Recommended Yearly)
Who is testing my eyes?
Primary eye-care and vision specialists (Not the same as eye surgeons in hospitals). IGARD Group in Singapore is managed by Senior Consultant Optometrist Yap Tiong Peng. Optometrists and opticians works for the community and primary-care level in the eye-care industry in Singapore and IGARD group is consistently working with like-minded professionals in medical and surgical-care to uphold the highest standard clinical practices in the industry.
What should I take to the test?
When you go for your eye test you should take with you the spectacles you currently use, the names of any tablets or medicine you are taking and the name of your doctor (i.e. GP, specialist, etc).
Bring your old prescription with you (if you still have it). If you were referred to us, please bring your referral form or report (if any).
How long will an eye test take?
Standard Eye Examination at IGARD should take about 20 – 30 minutes. Some standard routine tests will be conducted, but the exact tests will vary from individual-to-individual as everyone can have very different problems, needs and requirements that needs to be addressed. It should typically include a short consultation, Occupational Vision Assessment, Glaucoma Screening, Cataract Screening, Retinal Health Screening and an evaluation of your eyesight.
Ocular Refraction will be necessary thereafter if you are getting new spectacles and if you require contact lenses, you will also need to undergo a Cornea Health Assessment. Children will automatically be given a Pediatric Eye Test and Senior Citizens will be given a Geriatric Eye Test.
What happens during an eye test?
It may be a regular eye test for you, or you may have specific problems with your eyes and vision. Or you may have been sent by your doctor.
Every eye test at IGARD will include a discussion to establish your specific needs and visual requirements, so that the eye test you receive will be catered to your specific requirement. For example, additional tests will be done if you are considered “at risk” or if you have diabetes.
Your eyesight is normally checked by asking you to read letters on a chart. For those who are not able to read, there are other tests available. Ocular Refraction is necessary if you need new spectacles (and if so what degree you need), and it also includes an assessment of your binocular vision (that allows two eyes to work together) and your eye muscles (that controls their movement).
Visual health involves an assessment of 2 main parts: the outer eye and the inner eye. The outer eye health is checked by shining a light on the front of your eyes and to see how well they react to light. If you have a red eye or if you wear contact lenses, cornea health assessment will be provided. The inner eye health is checked thoroughly from through the media to the back of the eye (the retina). Retinal Health Screening is a standard test provided routinely for everyone.
In addition, Glaucoma Screening is provided routinely for everyone, especially for adults above 40 years old, to keep your eye pressures and optic nerve health in check
.Along the way of each test, our primary eye-care and vision specialists will keep you informed about your results, and you will also be offered to ask questions.
What if my spectacles or contact lens prescription hasn’t changed?
You are recommended to have a Standard Eye Examination on a yearly basis. However, if your prescription is still valid, you will be allowed to get your spectacles and contact lenses dispensed without a Standard Eye Examination at IGARD. Please bring along a valid prescription (from an optometrist/ophthalmologist), referral letter (if you have one) or your NHS HC1 form (if you are from the UK).
It is possible for you to pre-order your contact lenses if your prescription hasn’t changed. This will help save you time and effort should your contact lenses be unavailable at the point of order. Phone 67323233 / 67332123 or email eyecentre@IGARD.com.sg to pre-order and to book an appointment for collecting the contact lenses. There are no additional charges (except for your contact lenses) unless if you decide to attend a Standard Eye Examination.
Can I just buy spectacles or contact lenses without checking my eyes?
Yes if your prescription is still valid. For spectacles, please bring along your prescription (from a registered optometrist/ophthalmologist/doctor in Singapore or overseas), referral letter (if you have one) or your NHS HC1 form (from your optometrist/optician if you are from the UK)
.For contact lenses, you may pre-order using your current prescription as this will help save you time and effort should your contact lenses be unavailable at the point of order. Call 67323233 / 67332123 or email eyecentre@IGARD.com.sg to pre-order and to book an appointment for collecting the contact lenses. Note that it is compulsory for you to see our optometrist before you can collect your contact lenses. There is no additional fee for this short consultation but appointment will be necessary.
If you are unsure, please book an appointment for your yearly Standard Eye Examination.
Book an Eye Test (Standard Eye Examination) Click Here to Book Appointment
How much does an eye test cost?
Corporate Patients – please enquire from your Company HR or email info@IGARD.com.sg
University Students – please enquire either at your university or email info@IGARD.com.sg
IGARD services are available at Orchard (Main Centre at 51 Cuppage Road #01-04), Kent Ridge (National University of Singapore) and Jurong West (Nanyang Technological University) by appointment only.
Book an Eye Test (Standard Eye Examination) Click Here to Book Appointment
I am on a low income. Do I still have to pay?
Yes. However, you may like to visit IGARD during one of our community vision screenings instead.