Ophthalmology Singapore: Why would I be referred to an Ophthalmologist?

Ophthalmologists are doctors first, but their specialties focus on the structures of the eye and how to treat them when something goes wrong. For instance, an ophthalmologist might perform surgery to repair a torn retina or prescribe medicine for glaucoma. See more details on this page: https://www.drchelvinsng.com/.

Usually, you may be given instructions by your primary doctor or optometrist to visit an ophthalmology clinic. Like any patient, a common question you may have at the back of your mind is; why would I be referred to an ophthalmologist? Now, there are several reasons you may be referred to an ophthalmologist. These include:

  • If your primary care physician suspects you have dry eyes or another tear deficiency

Usually, ophthalmologists diagnose and treat a number of eye conditions that primary-care physicians may not be aware of or comfortable treating. For example, if you have red-eye with some discharge from it, your primary physician might send you to an ophthalmology clinic in Singapore for a more thorough checkup. To determine the root of the issue, an ophthalmologist will perform tests such as checking pressure inside your eyes with an instrument called a tonometer and examining the surface cells of both the front and back parts of your eyes.

  • If you need refractive surgery such as LASIK

Ophthalmologists specialize in laser surgeries like LASIK and can perform these complex operations. They can also prescribe corrective lenses after surgery, if necessary.

  • If you are having an eye problem that is not getting better or your primary physician cannot diagnose

Many diseases have similar symptoms, so it may be difficult for a regular doctor to pinpoint the problem without help from an ophthalmologist. For example, floaters in your vision can be caused by anything from a torn retina to a retinal detachment, each of which requires its own treatment. 

  • If you are experiencing pain or redness

If your eye is painful or the whites of your eyes (sclera) are red, an ophthalmologist can determine how to proceed. For instance, they might put a topical numbing agent on your eye before diagnosing and testing it with a tonometer. Afterward, they will be able to prescribe medicine and recommend if and when you should see a regular doctor for additional care.

If you have diabetes

People with diabetes often experience vision problems related to blood sugar fluctuations because high sugar levels can damage the tiny blood vessels in the retina at the back of the eye, where images are processed as light. An ophthalmologist has significant training in managing diabetic retinopathy and other issues that affect diabetic patients.

  • If you have an abnormal corneal finding such as a lesion or scarring

Like primary care physicians, ophthalmologists can perform routine eye exams and see if there are any abnormalities with the shape and texture of your cornea that should be addressed. Then they can refer you to a regular physician for further treatment if necessary. 

What does an Ophthalmology Clinic do if they diagnose a Problem?

Ophthalmologists perform a variety of tests and procedures depending on what they find during their examination. A patient may need an eye exam, which includes tasks such as testing eyesight and examining the cornea (the clear front window of the eye), the iris (the colored part of the eye surrounding the pupil), and other parts of the eye. 

An ophthalmologist might prescribe corrective lenses or medicine for certain conditions if any issues are found. For example, if you have glaucoma, your ophthalmologist will likely perform a tonometry test to determine how much pressure is in your eyes and then prescribe specific medicines that help lower it.

If surgery is necessary, an ophthalmologist may also be involved in pre-surgical tests like measuring the corneal thickness with ultrasound or applying dye to temporarily stain tissues so they can be more easily visualized during surgery. They will also take part in operative procedures such as cataract and glaucoma surgeries, which require an increased level of training and technical expertise.

What about during a Regular Eye Exam?

It is a good habit to be visiting a reputed ophthalmology clinic in Singapore for regular eye exams. If that’s your reason for scheduling an appointment, an ophthalmologist will explain what they are looking for and why and ask for your input throughout the process. For example, they might want to take a few photos of your retina (the light-sensitive lining at the back of your eye) or dye samples from around your cornea. 

They might even take videos that record both eyes focusing on one object to get better insight into how each sees, such as testing depth perception. During the exam, an ophthalmologist will examine all parts of your eye by using different instruments and devices, including: 

  • Ophthalmoscope: To check the pressure inside the eyes and other internal structures of the eye 
  • Slit-lamp: This instrument uses high-intensity light and special lenses to magnify the front part of the eye and document any problems, such as changes in the structure or coloration of your cornea. Your ophthalmologist may use this machine to examine different layers of your retina, which is located on the back of your eye and sends signals through millions of nerve fibers to your brain. 
  • Corneal topographer: A computerized instrument that takes cross-sections of the surface of your cornea (the clear covering at the front part of your eye), creating a 3D map for analysis by an ophthalmologist. This helps them diagnose issues to vision such as astigmatism.

How do you choose the Best Ophthalmology Clinic?

Before you decide on an ophthalmology clinic in Singapore, please research the best practices and technologies they employ. Ask them about their equipment and whether it is regularly updated or not. If they have newer technology in-house, this also means that the staff has been properly trained in its use which usually includes periodic continuing education courses so your eye doctor can always keep up to date with changes in vision care. 

Also, check if a clinic has a website where you can learn more about any services offered, office locations, and hours of operation, as well as directions on how to get there from home or work. It would help if you also asked for references from friends, family members, or co-workers who might have had similar conditions treated, such as cataracts (clouding of the crystalline lens) or glaucoma (an eye disease that can cause vision loss). These References should include a basic overview of the content along with some background information on why you would want to use this resource.

The Bottom Line

In choosing a good ophthalmologist, look for one who has the appropriate education and experience in diagnosing and treating eye diseases. You should also ensure that they have access to advanced technology and up-to-date training.

We use a patient-centered approach in all our exams and treatments. We also customize every treatment to match the needs of every patient. If you’re unsure on the best ophthalmology clinic to visit, give us a call now to schedule your consultation. Call Dr. Chelvin at
+65 6334 2282.


Chelvin Sng Eye Centre – Glaucoma | Cataract Surgery | Eye Specialist


+65 6334 2282