PETALING JAYA: Malaysians do not take enough care of their eyes and only go for a check-up when there’s a problem with their eyesight.
Vista Eye Specialist chief consultant ophthalmologist, cataract and refractive surgeon Dr Aloysius Joseph Low said the ideal age to begin an annual visit to an ophthalmologist is when you hit 40.
He said annual eye checks were important to determine the condition of one’s eyes and whether they developed a cataract at an early stage.
The case may not be the same in Switzerland.
“Swiss people have the tendency to check their eyes more regularly.
“They also do a cataract procedure sooner rather than later,” said Ziemer Opthalmology president and chief executive officer Frank Ziemer (pic) when met for an interview here.
He said as soon as one’s daily life is affected by their eyesight they should proceed to get it fixed and not delay.
Patients also should not be afraid of going through cataract surgery as it is a safe procedure with rare occurrences of side effects.
Ziemer, whose company produces Femtosecond Laser machines, said many patients do not realise ophthalmologists have moved away from traditional methods and have adopted the no-blade cataract surgery in recent years.
“It is a machine with huge intelligence, my team learns from it every day with the data collected from our doctors all over in our aim to make surgeries safer and better in the future,” said Ziemer, adding that modern Femtosecond surgery is a worldwide trend today.
The Femtosecond Laser Cataract Surgery (Flacs) machine takes a scan of the eye within seconds with the optical coherence tomography (OCT) showing the inner side of the eye.
Incisions are later made with a laser beam guided by the OCT.
With the no-blade surgery, the pre-fragmented cataract which has been cut into pie sizes is removed with little or no phacoemulsification.
A replacement lens is then inserted to give patients clear eyesight again.
Patients can choose from multi-focal or mono-focal lenses after consulting their ophthalmologist.
Dr Low agreed that many patients were still afraid of going for cataract surgery and often asked for delays despite their blurry vision.
Misconception of what cataracts are was another factor deterring patients from seeking advice from specialists as they tend to believe in hearsay.
Dr Low will be speaking at the StarLIVE session on Robotics Technology for a Safer Cataract Surgery on March 3.
It will be held at Menara Star here from 10am to noon.
Dr Low will also touch on the causes as well as early signs of cataract as well as the no-blade Femtosecond Laser Cataract Surgery.
His colleague Dr Alan Koh, who is a senior consultant ophthalmologist, cataract and refractive surgeon, will be sharing about the different types of lenses a patient can choose from to suit their needs and budget.
StarLIVE is a free event organised by The Star.
Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. To register, visit www.starlive.eventbrite.com