Glasses. A common sight on most Singaporeans eyes. Not a surprise, given that 65 percent of Primary 6 children and 28% of children in Primary 1 have myopia, according to the Health Promotion Board. Perhaps that is why optical shops are aplenty here on our sunny island.
So which one should you go to if you are looking for glasses for both your little one and your elderly parent, as both have very different needs in terms of eyesight requirements as well as frames. It seems that W Optics has come up with a great solution where you can meet all the eye care needs of everyone in the family under one roof and I was thrilled to be invited down to the flagship store of W Optics in Suntec City to undergo the W EYExperience. This flagship is also one of the Myopia Control Centres in Singapore.
Stepping into the store was like visiting Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for Ashlyn, Grandpa and myself. We were immediately greeted by friendly staffs upon entering the 5,000 square feet store. Rows of all-time favourite, wallet friendly, luxury to uber-luxe branded eyeglasses lined neatly in the display shelves and back wall waiting to be tried on.
But beyond the impressive store displays, what I, and I’m certain all parents would appreciate is the colourful Kid’s Corner, which my five-year-old girl quickly made a beeline for. Aside from interactive displays and children’s storybooks that made Ashlyn feel comfortable in her environment immediately, there were candy-coloured frames strategically placed at children’s eye level enabling her to try on freely. In fact, we were so distracted by the variety of eye frames that we almost forgot that our objective of today was to embark on the W EYExperience!
Two optometrists guided Ashlyn and Grandpa into different rooms for their individual consultation. The diagnostic rooms were spacious and well-equipped with the most advanced clinical grade equipment. After understanding and accessing their existing visual correction eyewear, lifestyle and general health, Ashlyn and Grandpa went through a series of detailed eye tests.
Ashlyn was diagnosed with amblyopia (lazy eye) beginning of this year at KK Hospital Children’s Eye Centre. She has relatively high astigmatism in one eye for her age. As a result, the brain relies on the “strong eye” and “tunes out” the blurred vision from the other eye, causing amblyopia in that weak eye from disuse.
The paediatric ophthalmologist prescribed eyeglasses and short-term eye patching. According to the ophthalmologist, reduced vision can be avoided when amblyopia is detected, intervened and promptly treated in early life. If left untreated, lazy eye can cause severe visual disability in the affected eye, including legal blindness.
So here we are at W Optics Suntec City, where Ashlyn is currently off eye patching but needs regular eye assessment to monitor her condition and to ensure her prescription eyeglasses is updated with her current eye condition. The W EYExperience visual assessment is not an alternative to skip hospital follow-up visits though. Instead it works hand-in-hand to monitor and ensure her eyes are healthy, and her prescription eyeglasses are of the right degree using advanced clinical eye equipment.
The optometrist at W Optics advised a minimum of two hours of outdoor playtime for children to prevent her condition from deteriorating. Outdoor playtime is essential not only for children with amblyopia but also important for children with myopia. Apart from genetics, the increase in screen time, deskbound study, and written homework are contributing factors that cause myopia. Playing outdoor under the sun enables the eyes to release a chemical called dopamine that can reduce or prevent onset myopia, and keep the eye in a healthy state, according to the ophthalmologist.
Grandpa is in his 70s also has relatively high myopia on both eyes (-7.00 dioptres). The experienced optometrist used the Slit Lamp Biomicroscopy to check on his cornea and noticed that Grandpa has fibrovascular pink growth that is growing progressively over both his cornea.
This is known as Pterygium and is relatively common in people who lived in countries in and around the equatorial belt, including Singapore and are frequently outdoors and exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light. Long-term exposure to UV rays can lead to these growths. Grandpa is an avid golfer who spends a lot of time outdoors, the optometrist advised him to use eyewear lenses with a good UV coating to protect the eyes from extensive exposure to UV light.
The optometrist also used the Fundus Photography equipment to check on his mid-peripheral retina health and noticed there is a presence of a thin sheet membrane over part of the retina known as the epiretinal membrane. This causes a disturbance in vision. Deterioration of the vitreous can also cause other problems such as floaters that Grandpa is already experiencing. The optometrist has advised further check with an ophthalmologist to prevent retinal tears or retinal detachment.
Overall, the experience at W Optics has been professional and very comfortable. The optometrists are knowledgeable and friendly, willing to answer questions that you may have – this really shows that W Optics places an emphasis on customers’ eye health first and foremost. With the W EYExperience, we have a better understanding of the eyesight challenges that Ashlyn and Grandpa face and can better manage it to prevent further deterioration. And after you enjoyed the experience, you can count on the huge variety of glasses available here to ensure that everyone in the family can find a pair that suits their fancy. It’s great to have a one-stop hub to cater to all the differing eyesight needs of the family, like what you can find at W Optics.
The W EYExperience ($80) is a comprehensive 30-minute eye examination that takes the patient through a battery of test that uses various clinical grade equipment. W Optics has 11 stores islandwide and is the only optical chain in Singapore to provide such comprehensive eye examination.
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Instagram: @woptics | Hashtag: #WOptics, #WEYExperienceSG