“The eyes are the true windows to the soul,” said Dr Claudine Pang, founder and ophthalmologist at Asia Retina Eye Surgery Centre, when we interviewed her for her cover story in March. What she meant is that eye examinations can often detect underlying medical conditions.
Emphasis is typically placed on how one’s eyes look. Puffiness and dark circles are common issues, but these are often cosmetic concerns. In fact, ocular health is typically neglected and even more so as we continue to work from home.
A common effect of the long hours of screen time is digital eye strain, or Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). According to Dr Pang, 60 to 90 per cent of computer users have some form of CVS. A large proportion suffer from dry eyes as a result of extended screen exposure. Dry eyes do not just result in irritation, but can also lead to inflammation and, in severe cases, lead to scarring on the front surface of the eye.
Dr Pang recommends several treatments to improve overall eye health and appearance. There is Tixel Therapy, which a non-laser, non-invasive treatment that uses thermo-mechanical ablation (TMA) technology to transfer heat energy to the eyelids. This improves meibomian gland function and tear film quality, leaving a long-lasting effect in reducing dry eyes. It can also brighten dark eye circles, reduce fine wrinkles around the eyes and provide a subtle lid-lifting effect. It takes only up to five minutes to administer, with multiple sessions helping to achieve overall eye rejuvenation.
Blephex is a painless in-office treatment that cleans the eyelids and removes any deep-seated debris on the skin. Like an exfoliating facial for your eyelids, it is an essential step for those with built up make-up residue around the eyes or who do not clean their lids regularly in order to preserve their eyelash extensions. Dirt and residue are culprits for recurrent eyelid infections such as styes and chalazia (firm lumps under eyelid skin).
LLLT utilises photobiomodulation targeted at the meibomian glands to improve dry eyes, promote tissue repair and reduce inflammation. A low-level red light is applied to the eyelids for 15 to 20 minutes and can treat eyelid infections. It can also be used in tandem with Tixel Therapy to treat dry eyes. Tear duct plugs, which are tiny, dissolvable collagen devices that are placed in the eye’s tear ducts, can also help to relieve dry eyes. The treatment, which takes less than five minutes to administer, is useful for contact lens wearers, those who have undergone LASIK and people with dry eyes who do not like to use eye drops regularly.
To maintain good eye health at home, Dr Pang advises that one seeks an eye doctor’s recommendation for suitable product. She highlights a new moisturising eyedrop that protects eyes from harmful UV rays and blue light. Oral supplements can also work wonders, she adds. Those that contain fish oils such as Omega 3 and Omega 6 oils, as well as borage and flaxseed oils, are useful to replenish the tear film and prevent dry eyes. Supplements containing lutein and xeazanthin can also reduce eye fatigue and prevent macular degeneration.
Asia Retina Eye Surgery Centre, #15-10 The Paragon, 6732 0007
(Main and featured image: Nong Vang/Unsplash; all other images courtesy of Asia Retina Eye Surgery Centre)