Woman having glaucoma treatmentThe Singaporean health sector is actively developing methods for early detection and treatment of glaucoma. This debilitating eye disease constitutes 40% of blindness in Singapore. With new findings and exciting advances in the technology for its detection, more people may now receive early treatment.

Early Diagnosis

Glaucoma is incurable, but patients can receive treatment for symptoms like pressure behind the eye, pain, and eventual loss of sight. Early detection is therefore important.

Researchers at SERI (Singapore Eye Research Institute) and SNEC (Singapore National Eye Centre) observed that patients experiencing high eye pressure and myopia are four times more likely to have primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG). Associate Professor and clinical scientist Cheng Ching Yu suggests that regular eye examinations of patients with myopia will help them detect POAG early.

At the Agency for Science, Technology and Research, developers produced a new imaging processing software called Aglaia: Automatic Glaucoma Diagnosis and Its Genetic Association Study through Medical Image Informatics. This promises to be a faster and more accurate method of evaluating a patient’s risk of glaucoma.

Researchers at the University of South Wales, Australia also found a new method for glaucoma detection. Whereas the current testing method has patients looking at a single light dot, UNSW’s method uses multiple dots of light in specific sizes and intensity. At a determined point in the test, patients who can no longer see the dots of light may be showing signs of loss of peripheral vision – a probable precursor of glaucoma.

New Laser Treatment

In May 2017, the National University Hospital announced that a new, Singapore-made laser treatment has a higher success rate than the conventional TCP, which is a high-intensity laser. This new treatment, MPTCP, shoots micro-pulses into a patient’s eye and lasts for only 100 seconds. Patients experienced minimal side effects, too.

Singapore is famous around the world for its robust and affordable health services industry. With these advancements in glaucoma detection, we could be several steps closer to finding a lasting treatment.

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