Get eye screenings regularly
Four NTU students’ final-year project aims to bring awareness on eye diseases and regular screening.
With Singapore’s ageing population, coupled with the country’s high myopia rates, four final-year students from the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, Nanyang Technological University (NTU), have launched “Our Eyes for Life” – the first-ever student-run campaign about age-related eye diseases and eye screenings targeting Singaporeans aged 40 to 60. Working with stakeholders in the local eye care community, they will be organising a free eye screening for 250 Tampines residents in February.
Our Eyes for Life aims to raise awareness of the four major age-related eye diseases in Singapore – cataract, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy (DR) and age-related macular degeneration (AMD), while encouraging those aged 40 to 60 to do regular eye screenings to safeguard their eye health. The campaign is running as a pilot campaign in Tampines GRC, which houses the fourth-most number of people in the 40 to 59 age-group, according to the Singapore Department of Statistics.
According to a survey of 216 Tampines residents, 57.9 percent had not done an eye screening since they turned 40. Although the Singapore Optometrists and Opticians Board (OOB) recommends that people aged 40 to 60 do an eye screening at least once every two years, only 55.2 percent of those who did eye screenings followed the recommendation.
“With Singapore’s ageing population, the prevalence of age-related eye diseases is expected to rise exponentially,” said Professor Ecosse Lamoureux, head of Health Services Research, Singapore Eye Research Institute. “With many eye diseases not showing obvious symptoms during the early stages, eye screenings are vital for the early detection of such diseases. We would recommend people aged 40 and above to go for eye screenings especially if there is a history of eye diseases in the family.”
As part of the campaign, a free eye screening for 250 residents will be held at Tampines Mall on February 24 in collaboration with the Singapore Optometric Association, sponsored by Essilor International Research and Development (R&D) and powered by the National Youth Council’s Young ChangeMakers Grant. A series of expert talks will also be organised to educate the public about eye diseases.
The Our Eyes for Life campaign is running from now till end-March 2018. The four NTU students running the campaign include: 25-year-old Lim Wei Hao, and 23-year-olds Chan Shu Hui, Nicole Ang and Lydia Teo. They were inspired to focus on eye health after realising that all of their parents have suffered from some form of eye disease.
The public can stay updated on Our Eyes for Life at www.facebook.com/OurEyesForLifeSG. Alternatively, subscribe to the WhatsApp service by sending a WhatsApp message saying “JOIN” to 8493 5443.
(** PHOTO CREDIT: Singapore National Eye Centre)