February 21, 2024

Glaucoma Screening in Singapore: What is it?

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases where the optic nerve is damaged. The most common type treated by eye specialist clinics in Singapore like Chelvin SNG Eye Center is primary open-angle glaucoma, which occurs when fluid accumulates in the front part of your eye, increasing the pressure inside the eyeball. This may cause damage to your optic nerve and even end up causing vision loss.

Symptoms can include blurred vision, seeing halos around lights, difficulty distinguishing colors, and progressive loss of sight. It’s usually painless, and often there are no early warning signs until significant damage has been done. That’s why it’s so important for people at risk for glaucoma to get regular eye exams, and that brings us to the next issue: 

What is Glaucoma Screening?

A glaucoma screening is a medical test that helps doctors detect glaucoma. It usually involves a comprehensive eye exam, which includes testing the pressure inside your eye, examining your optic nerve for damage, and performing visual field tests to see if you are having blind spots in your vision.

During the glaucoma screening in Singapore, you can expect your doctor to put numbing drops in your eyes and then measure the pressure inside them with a machine called a tonometer. They will also examine your optic nerve for any damage, and finally, they will do visual field tests to check for blind spots in your vision.

After glaucoma screening, if the doctor finds some suspicious changes, they might ask you to come back for more tests or refer you to an ophthalmologist. Glaucoma screening is safe, but it does come with a few risks, such as false positives (when the test results show that you have glaucoma when you actually don’t) and false negatives (when the test results show that you don’t have glaucoma when you actually do).

As for the side effects, the numbing drops can sometimes cause temporary stinging or burning. The visual field tests can also be uncomfortable for some people, as they involve staring at a bright light for long periods of time. Now, as part of glaucoma screening in Singapore, one of the important questions we get quite frequently is; ‘how do I prepare for glaucoma screening?’ 

The answer is simple; all you need to do is try to make your glaucoma doctor visit as comfortable as possible. Here are five basics we recommend when preparing for your glaucoma doctor visit:

  • Your Symptoms: We recommend that you have a list of the symptoms you’ve been experiencing. This will help your glaucoma doctor determine the right course of action. In journaling the symptoms you’ve been having, you might also want to include how long you’ve been experiencing them and if they’re getting progressively worse.
  • Your Eye History: It’s important for your doctor to have a good understanding of your eye health history, so make sure to bring along any information you have about past surgeries, eye injuries, and chronic health conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure. If you’re not sure what to bring, ask your doctor for a copy of your medical records.
  • Your Medications: Bring along a list of the medications you’re currently taking, including dosages and when you take them. This will help your doctor better understand any potential interactions between your medications and glaucoma treatment.
  • Your Questions: It’s always a good idea to come to your doctor’s visit with a list of questions. This will help ensure you get the most out of your appointment.
  • Your Support System: Bring along anyone who might be able to provide support during your glaucoma doctor visit, like a spouse, friend, or family member.

Now that we’ve answered the question, ‘what is a glaucoma screening?’ we hope you feel a little more prepared for your upcoming appointment. If you have any other questions or concerns, be sure to ask your eye specialist.

How Often Should You Have a Glaucoma Screening?

There is no definitive answer to this question, as it depends on your individual risk factors. However, the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that people over the age of 40 get a comprehensive eye exam every two to four years. Those with high-risk factors (such as family history, African descent, diabetes, etc.) can get the screening more frequently.

If you have recently been diagnosed with glaucoma, your ophthalmologist will recommend a 3-12 monthly follow-up. Again, this isn’t a general rule. It will vary depending on your IOP levels being managed and the severity of your condition, among other factors. As you probably already speculate, the more severe your condition is, the more frequent your follow-ups will be.

Who Should Have Glaucoma Screening?

Anyone who is at risk for glaucoma should get regular screenings. This includes people over the age of 40, those with a family history of glaucoma, African Americans, and people with diabetes

However, it’s important to note that glaucoma can occur at any age. Therefore, if you are experiencing any symptoms of the disease, it’s important to see an eye doctor right away.

What Are the Risks of Not Having a Glaucoma Screening?

If you don’t get regular glaucoma screenings and have the disease, it will progress without you even knowing it. This is because glaucoma typically doesn’t have any symptoms in the early stages. 

By the time you start to experience symptoms, the disease will have already caused irreparable damage to your optic nerve. This can lead to vision loss and even blindness.

As for how much you can pay for glaucoma screening in Singapore, the cost of a glaucoma screening will depend on your insurance coverage and the type of exam you need. However, most comprehensive eye exams that include a glaucoma screening will cost between $50 and $200. Discuss with your doctor the specific cost of your exam.

In Closing

Glaucoma is a serious complication of the eye. It can lead to blindness if left untreated. That’s why it’s so important to get regular screenings, especially if you are at risk for developing the disease. If you have any other questions about glaucoma or your upcoming appointment, don’t hesitate to ask your doctor.

At Chelvin SNG Eye Center, we take your eye health seriously. That’s why we offer comprehensive glaucoma screenings that can help detect the disease in its early stages. Contact us today to schedule an appointment. Call: +65 6334 2282.


Chelvin Sng Eye Centre – Glaucoma | Cataract Surgery | Eye Specialist


+65 6334 2282



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