Did you know Glaucoma is often termed as the ‘Silent Thief of Sight’?

This is because it is largely symptom-free and a large proportion of people with this condition are unaware of it at the time of diagnosis.

Glaucoma is an eye condition characterised by a progressive loss of vision due to progressive loss of axons in the optic nerve. The initial vision loss is mainly peripheral and not readily noticeable, and the patient may not experience any symptoms until late in the disease when most of the vision has already been irreversibly lost.

Based on the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Data Bank on Blindness, glaucoma accounts for 5.1 million of the estimated 38 million blind in the world and is also the leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide. In Singapore, approximately three per cent of people over the age of 40 have glaucoma. This percentage increases with age and reaches almost 10 per cent for those over the age of 70.

Glaucoma is classified according to the configuration of the angle (the part of the eye mainly responsible for drainage of aqueous humor) into primary open angle and angle closure glaucoma, and by intraocular pressure into normal and high-tension glaucoma.

While there is no cure for Glaucoma, treatment can prevent the condition from worsening to the point of blindness. Eye drops are usually prescribed to reduce the pressure and control the disease, but in advanced cases, laser therapy or surgery may be needed.

For March’s ‘Ask the Specialist’ forum, Dr Fiona Lim, Consultant with the Glaucoma Department at Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC), a member of SingHealth group, answers your questions about the causes, symptoms and treatments for this sight blinding condition.


This 'Ask the Specialist' forum has closed. Thank you for your interest and participation.



About Dr Fiona Lim

Dr Fiona Lim is currently a glaucoma consultant at the Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) and Changi General Hospital (CGH) Eye Department.

She graduated from National University of Singapore, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine in 2010 with distinction in surgery. She subsequently trained under the ACGME-I (American Council of Graduate Medical Education – International) accredited SingHealth Ophthalmology Residency Program in SNEC and was awarded the Ministry of Health Training Award for her specialist training in 2013. She obtained her Master of Medicine (Ophthalmology) by National University of Singapore in 2016 and attained specialist accreditation in 2018. She qualified as Fellow of the Academy of Medicine, Singapore (FAMS) and a Fellow of the Royal College of Ophthalmology (London) that same year. She completed her glaucoma fellowship in SNEC in 2020.

Dr Lim is also actively involved in postgraduate and undergraduate education of ophthalmology trainees and medical students, as well as paramedical staff, including optometrists and nurses.

In addition to education, research is another area that Dr Lim is active in. She has published several scientific papers in respected peer-reviewed medical journals, including Ophthalmology and British Journal of ophthalmology.

Her current research interest is in glaucoma and she actively participates in presentations at international and local conferences. She is committed to serving the community – besides being involved in the setting of up primary eye care in the community, she has volunteered for several community eye screenings and provision of educational talks at public forums on cataract and glaucoma. She was a recipient of the GEM awards for excellence in Clinical care in 2013.

Because #healthiswealth #healthforgood

Ref: K21