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Price Guide To Eye Treatments In Singapore (From Conjunctivitis To Lasik)

Lasik surgery per eye costs $1,600 and up.


Conjunctivitis infections in Singapore are rising rapidly, up 75% from last year. Polyclinics saw an average of 63 cases daily for the week of July 8 this year.

This could be due to the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions, making this highly infectious eye problem a common sight. Other than washing hands after interacting with people who are infected, other advice includes not sharing washcloths, towels, or other personal items.

Another service that is on the rise – more people seeking eye care treatment for their eyes and even considering lasik as more head out to get busy with activities and seek treatment they may have put off during the pandemic. Meanwhile, seniors seek medical services to fix their cataracts.

A check on Google revealed more than 15 public and private eye specialist centres in Singapore, with the bulk concentrated in Orchard and central areas. The Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) under SingHealth is a public institution focused on eye treatments for the general public.

According to the SNEC, there are over 60 eye conditions and treatments. The more common ones include astigmatism, cataract, conjunctivitis, glaucoma, and aesthetic eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty). Lasik is a treatment that corrects myopia, hyperopia (long-sightedness) and astigmatism.

We will focus on the six main eye treatment services, how long the treatment will take and the pricing.

Read Also: Complete Guide To The Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) 

Conjunctivitis

Usually known as “pink eye” or “sore eyes” this happens to your eye due to a virus infection. It is usually associated also with flu-like symptoms and is highly contagious.

Fortunately, conjunctivitis tends to recover on its own, although it may take up to three weeks before it finally goes away.

Diagnosis: You will have redness in one or both eyes, eye discharge, and persistent itch and discomfort. There will also be eyelid swelling or other symptoms like fever, sore throat, or runny nose.

How to treat: A regular family doctor or eye doctor can be able to diagnose after an eye examination. The infection usually resolves on its own and the treatment will be targeted at reducing the itch and discharge until the eye recovers.

To prevent the spread of this infection, you should wash your hands before and after touching your eyes or face, minimise touching shared surfaces, avoid shaking hands with others, and do not share towels, bedsheets, and linen.

Treatment pricing: You will be prescribed medication or antibacterial eye drops to ease eye discomfort. The price of the service will cost around $25 to $50 depending on which clinic you visit. You might have to stay home for a few days to prevent spreading the infection to others.

Astigmatism

If your optician says you have corneas with an imperfect curvature, there is a high chance you will have a distortion in vision, more often coined as astigmatism.

Diagnosis: A normal cornea is sphere-shaped, while those with astigmatism have corneas that are oval-shaped. This becomes a problem when light enters the eye and there is difficulty focusing. Astigmatism is very common and often comes with myopia (short-sightedness) and hyperopia (long-sightedness). It could also be caused by chronic vigorous eye rubbing. The doctor or optician will test your eyes in a dark room to see if you can see all colours and patterns clearly.

How to treat: Fortunately, this common eye problem does not require you to visit a hospital or a clinic. An optician can prescribe corrective lenses in spectacles or contact lenses that will help to focus light entering the eye onto the retina.

Another more costly way to correct astigmatism is refractive surgery options such as lasik, and implantable contact lenses.

Treatment pricing: Those with high astigmatism may have to pay up to $100 more for their spectacles. For contact lenses, you will need to have toric contacts which have two powers (one that corrects myopia and the other corrects astigmatism) compared with regular lenses. These lenses cost much more than regular lenses, almost double the price, which will add up if you are a regular lens user.

As for refractive lasik surgery, the SNEC’s rates can be found under Lasik section.

Lasik

Modern lasik is bladeless and does not take as long as past procedures. It is supposed to be a painless procedure with rapid visual recovery, expected to yield excellent visual outcomes for those with short-sightedness and/or astigmatism.

Diagnosis: You will need to make a clinic appointment and consultation with the doctor before you go for a suitability assessment and then to be approved for surgery.

How to treat: The surgery is bladeless and a laser is used to create a corneal flap. The surgeon folds the flap back and then removes some corneal tissue using an excimer laser. When the cornea is reshaped, light will focus directly onto the retina, providing clearer vision.

It takes about 15 minutes for each eye surgery. Anesthetic drops are applied so that you won’t experience pain. There may be, however, some eye discomfort and tearing in the first eight hours after surgery.

The common side effects are dry eyes, light sensitivity, glare and halos in the first few weeks, which are expected to subside over time.

Treatment pricing: The rates are from SNEC and should be deemed to be the most affordable and safe. But you will need to make an appointment, which could take a while since these are not urgent operative procedures. Singaporeans, Permanent Residents, and Work Permit Pass holders will get the fees in the quoted rates, but others will have to fork out a surcharge.

Description

 

Fees with 8% GST (per eye)

 

Pre-operative Consultation S$136.08 (Consultant)
S$153.36 (Senior Consultant)
LASIK Suitability Assessment S$86.40
LASIK Surgery (Bladeless) S$1,598.40 (SNEC Assigned Doctor)
S$1,760.40 (Consultant)
S$1,868.40 (Senior Consultant)
Note:

  • Fee for LASIK surgery is inclusive of first-day post-operative consultation and enhancement surgery (if recommended by the primary surgeon within two years).
  • Fees quoted are correct as of 1 April 2023 and may be subject to change without prior notice.
  • Fees quoted are applicable to Singaporeans, Permanent Residents and Work Permit Pass holders.
  • A surcharge is applicable to Dependent Pass holders, Social Visit Pass holders, Student Pass holders, Long Term Visit Pass holders and tourists.

Cataract

This is a condition more often found with the elderly. The natural lens in your eye becomes progressively cloudy.

Diagnosis: The most common symptoms are cloudy or blurry vision, poor night vision, faded colours, glares and haloes and your eyeglasses prescription keeps changing.

How to treat: Some early preventive measures will be to not smoke and to avoid UV radiation exposure. Those with poorly controlled diabetes or experienced trauma to the eye can also get cataracts at a younger age.

A cataract is detected through a comprehensive eye examination by an ophthalmologist. For cataract surgery, the cloudy cataract lens is removed and replaced with an artificial lens implant.

Treatment pricing: In Singapore, the only way to restore good vision for those with cataracts is through surgical procedures. A pre-cataract evaluation fee costs around $400. A check on five hospitals reveals a price range of $3,000 to $8,000 for cataract surgery. Private hospitals charge up to $10,000 per eye. There is also a Medisave withdrawal limit for cataract extraction and lens implant surgery.

Glaucoma

This is a disease that leads to optic nerve damage, resulting in an irreversible loss of vision. Also known as the “silent thief of sight” the initial loss of vision is mainly peripheral and not noticeable. The patient may not experience any symptoms until late in the stages when most vision is lost and cannot be recovered.

Diagnosis: Glaucoma is diagnosed by measuring intraocular pressure of the eye and assessing the optic nerve at the back of the eye for any damage. A visual field test is usually performed and other tests can be added to further assess the optic nerve and the state of the drainage system for fluid in the eye.

Age, hereditary risk and race are risk factors. Those with a family history of glaucoma require regular eye examinations. Early diagnosis prevents blindness. The condition happens when the fluid pressure in the eyeball is too high for the optic nerve to tolerate.

Such conditions are usually more prevalent in those over 80 years old, those with diabetes or high blood pressure, Asians, those with eye injuries and have a family history of Glaucoma.

How to treat: The condition cannot be cured, but can be controlled. Treatment includes eye drops, oral medications, laser surgery, drainage implants, and filtering surgery.

Treatment pricing: A Glaucoma consultation costs around $300, while a screening package is around $690. Patients have to spend up to $2,000 a year on different eyedrops to control the condition. Laser treatments are priced at around $1,500 and more with longer-term treatment effects.

Aesthetic Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)

There are medical reasons to get eyelid surgery done. This can be when your upper eyelids droop over time due to aging. These conditions may impair vision and cause eye strain or fatigue.

Diagnosis: The doctor can assess the droopy eyelids and eyebags and determine how severe the condition is, the treatment and possible alternative treatments.

How to treat: Non-surgical treatment include botox or fillers to rejuvenate the eye area. Blepharoplasty will correct the baggy or sagging tissue around the eyes through the removal of excess skin, fat and muscle from the eyelids.

The complications to this treatment will be possible infection, visible scars, tightness in lids and dryness which tend to go away after a few weeks post-surgery. There will be pain medication given and you are not advised to do contact sports for up to a month.

Treatment pricing: A check on five private clinics reveals the price to cost around $2,500 to $6,000 depending if you do the surgery on both upper and lower eyelids or just the upper eyelids. The pricing is similar for SNEC, and not claimable from Medisave. Post-surgery medication will cost around $100 or more and there will be other post-operation costs like doctors’ consultations, and wound care.

Featured Image Credit: SNEC

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