Whenever someone with eagle vision asked me how 500-degrees and Myopia “look like”, I would say, “okay cross/cock your eyes a bit until you can’t read anything, that’s how it looks.”
Even though I adapted to contact lens over the years, spectacles gave me frequent headaches and I hated it whenever I forgot to bring my solution or case (always one or the other) during overseas trips/sleepovers.
However, due to common misconceptions about LASIK such as price (explained in my first post), I used to see it as a want more than a need.
That is, until, I discovered the existence of a bladeless pain-free method called iLASIK that NASA astronauts use. It costs about $3k+ for both eyes.
Now I understand why every post-LASIK person told me “it’s the best decision ever” due to the sheer convenience and comfort of having perfect eyesight.
ARRIVAL AT DR NATASHA LIM EYE CENTRE, MOUNT ELIZABETH NOVENA HOSPITAL
I consulted eye surgeon, Dr Natasha Lim, with my parents who were keen to fix their eyes too (heredity at its best haha). However, they underwent cataract surgery which I’ll blog about another time.
Dr Natasha Lim‘s Eye Centre is one of only two clinics offering iDesign iLASIK in Singapore, and her results are published worldwide on the iDesign iLasik Registry to provide guidance to iLASIK surgeons worldwide.
Note: she is located at Mount Elizabeth Novena #04-31/32 (5 minutes walk from Novena MRT), NOT the branch in Orchard (behind Paragon). Novena’s branch has a lush hotel-esque lobby with a Starbucks near the lift.
When we arrived, her nurses and optometrist guided us through three optical checks.
For machine 1 (Auto Refractor), I had to look through a peephole and wait till a picture of the farmhouse could be clearly seen so they could capture an estimate spectacle prescription.
For machine 2 (Air Puff Test), I had to open my eyes big and stare at a dot for a quick puff of air to shoot into my eyes, which felt slightly uncomfortable. This was to test my eye pressure.
For machine 3 (Pentacam), I had to look at a blue light while the laser scanned my cornea to measure the thickness and curvature to determine my suitability for iLASIK.
For machine 4 (iDesign), my eyes were mapped out with NASA’s wavefront-guided technology.
This map was done to help my night vision by superimposing the ‘data’ onto my cornea (360 degrees) to reduce glare and haloes at night.
Next, we did the standard refraction lens check – the one where you stare at ZBGDOPV and guess the letters.
While waiting for the test results, I decided to help myself to the Nespresso machine.
MEETING MY EYE SURGEON, DR NATASHA LIM
When I greeted Dr Natasha, she told me, “Chevonne, I’m happy to say you’re a perfect candidate for iLASIK, very healthy eyes. Beautiful cornea thickness that is thicker than oriental standards.” People with thin corneas cannot undergo iLASIK (refer to my first post).
After confirming my suitability for iLASIK, I waited till it was my parents’ turn.
Likewise, she checked their eyes through the machine in her room and flashed what she saw on the television screen beside her.
She explained to my parents that they both had presbyopia and cataracts, hence LASIK was not a cost-effective solution for the long term, as their cataracts would eventually have to be removed.
My mother is highly myopic, with 900 degrees in each eye and suffered from Presbyopia (aka Lao Hua in Mandarin). She has been a soft contact lens wearer for 38 years, which worsened her dry eyes due to age.
Dr Natasha Lim asked them about their nature of occupation and customised the cataract surgery and lens implants based on their daily visual needs. For example, if they required long hours on the computer/driving/reading, etc.
She recommended a customised cataract surgery to remove their cataracts and implant custom fit multi-focal lens implants (with UV protection) for the master eye to see far, and for the non-master eye to read materials up close. This would remove cataracts, improve vision and provide total spectacle freedom all in one go!
The consultation took about an hour and her team was extremely professional.
Next post: surgery.
Cover illustration by Grace Easton