When it comes to health screening, eye health can sometimes fall by the wayside. But Straits Eye Centre founders, Dr Jayant Iyer and Dr Jason Lee, senior consultants and senior comprehensive eye surgeons, aim to bring early detection and prevention to the forefront.
To this end, they have equipped their spacious, light-filled clinic with an extensive array of diagnostic tools that enable them to offer comprehensive screening. Regular screening and early detection, pointed out by Dr Jayant, who has an added subspecialist expertise in Glaucoma, is important to reduce vision loss from conditions such as angle closure glaucoma, cataracts and macular degeneration.
Glaucoma, in particular, is a significant concern in Singapore as it affects about 3% of people aged above 50 years old and about one in ten over 70 years of age, he said. Because glaucoma is usually asymptomatic in its early stages, regular screening is of great importance as it helps pick up the disease early before there is extensive and irreversible vision loss.
While there is no cure for glaucoma, medications and eye drops can keep the disease under control and prevent future deterioration. In some cases, a laser procedure may be needed to reduce the pressure in the eye.
“At Straits Eye Centre, we are able to treat patients in a timely manner should the need for surgery arise,” Dr Lee shared. It is one of the benefits of being in Camden Medical Centre, where an ecosystem of medical specialties and facilities – such as an ambulatory surgery centre – can facilitate speedier care.
Apart from being able to address general ophthalmology conditions, The Straits Eye Centre has an added focus in the oculoplastics, a highly specialised field that can address medical or cosmetic issues around the eyes and eyelids. This includes conditions such as eye bags, in-turning eyelashes (entropion) and droopy eyelids (ptosis).
Dr Lee explained that in many cases, correcting these can improve vision, eye health, self-esteem and quality of life. “Some of my patients undergo a new outlook on life and are re-energised; they come in for their follow-ups with new haircuts and outfits – looking rejuvenated,” he shared.
It speaks to the impact that quality eye care can have on people – not just in maintaining their vision, but contributing to personal wellness and a better outlook on life.
"Some of my patients undergo a new outlook on life and are re-energised; they come in for their follow-ups with new haircuts and outfits – looking rejuvenated."Dr Lee, senior oculoplastic surgeon
Dr Jayant and Dr Lee extend their mission of providing comprehensive care in other ways. Apart from offering the full screening-treatment-management package under one roof, they also have their sights set on addressing another spectrum of care: community health.
Beyond specialist eye care, both doctors are dedicated to extending their primary care reach. This stems in part from their beginnings in public healthcare.
Dr Jayant and Dr Lee – formerly from Singapore National Eye Centre and Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, respectively – are believers in closing the divide between the public and private as well as primary, specialty and tertiary care, something that aligns with the larger national agenda to create more seamless care flows so that no patient falls through the cracks.
“We feel strongly that community health is very important and even though we’ve moved to private practice, we are still committed to supporting primary healthcare in the community,” said Dr Lee.
Underscoring this, they have started a community clinic in Bedok to drive prevention and early detection of diseases, making specialist eye care more accessible to the masses. To ensure continuity of care, diagnosed patients requiring laser or surgical treatment can choose to follow up at their Camden Medical suite or at a public healthcare institution for subsidised care.
“Our aim is to enable people to get the right diagnosis and treatment early whatever the setting, be it in the community with General Practitioners or in a specialist setting at Camden Medical,” said Dr Jayant. By straddling both the private specialist care and community arenas, they aim to provide wider scope of coverage and address the rising incidence of age-related eye diseases.
"Our aim is to enable people to get the right diagnosis and treatment early whatever the setting, be it in the community with General Practitioners or in a specialist setting at Camden Medical.”Dr Jayant
Central to their vision of care is where they have decided to situate themselves. Their clinic in Camden Medical sees about a 50-50 split in local and expatriate patients – including a number of patients who have followed them from their previous organisations.
“Being situated centrally along the Orchard Road belt right next to an MRT stop also supports our goal of being more accessible to patients in our one-stop centre,” said Dr Lee.
Dr Jayant added: “We hope to broaden our care to more patients and bring eye care closer to them.”
The information provided in this article is meant purely for general information purposes only and may not be used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have any questions or concerns about your health, please seek the advice of your doctor or qualified healthcare provider. The views, information or opinions expressed in this article are solely that of the writer and the interviewees and do not necessarily reflect those of, and are not endorsed by, Camden Medical Centre.