S’porean woman who became partially blind at 23 raises awareness on retinal detachment

She wants people to know about the importance of getting their eyes tested regularly.

Natalie Teo |
May 9, 2023, 2:37 pm

Losing your sight is a terrifying thing, and perhaps more so if your job requires a keen eye for detail.

A Singaporean baker in her late 20s has shared her experience with becoming partially blind after being diagnosed with retinal detachment at 23.

Sharing her story to raise awareness

She was diagnosed in 2019, and wanted to share her story to encourage more people to get their eyes regularly tested.

While retinal detachment can be fixed with surgery, the baker says that discovering her condition too late could be why she suffers from permanent blindness.

The condition runs in her family as well.

She first discovered her condition when she was taking an eye test to get new glasses and realised that the vision in her left eye was “wavy”.

She was immediately directed to the A&E, and scheduled for emergency surgery.

In the four years that have passed since, the patient has had four surgeries and two laser treatments, saying that she has done every possible type of surgery for retinal detachment.

As she didn’t understand why her condition wasn’t improving, it affected her mental health as well, she added.

Did not pay attention to early symptoms

The baker also talked about how she ignored certain early symptoms in the lead-up to her fourth and latest surgery.

After her third surgery, she had made the mistake of assuming that all was good, and that her condition was stable.

Hence, she didn’t think much of it when she started experiencing occasional light flashes, and put off seeing the doctor.

This eventually led to her having to get emergency surgery again, after experiencing a dark shadow across her vision— a clear symptom of retinal detachment.

Unfortunately, she is still not out of the woods yet, and the patient is now waiting on her fifth surgery.

What is retinal detachment?

The retina is a layer at the back of the eye that detects light and helps to form visual images.

Retinal detachment occurs when the retina separates from the outer layers of the eye, which can then prevent the retina from receiving or processing light.

When left untreated, this may lead to partial or complete loss of vision.

Top photo via eyesonstalbans/Unsplash

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