Ask an Ophthalmologist: Dr Zena Lim from Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital Singapore

Ask a Doctor ForumCategory: OphthalmologyAsk an Ophthalmologist: Dr Zena Lim from Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital Singapore
Dr Zena Lim asked 12 months ago
I am Dr Zena Lim, Ophthalmologist based in Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital Singapore. Ask Me Anything!

I am a USA fellowship trained Consultant Ophthalmologist and Adult & Pediatric Eye Surgeon. I am the Medical Director of the Focal Eye Centre and The Children’s Eye & ENT Centre.

Besides being proficient in all aspects of general ophthalmology, including laser procedures, customized cataract surgery, glaucoma and diabetic/degenerative eye management, I have special interests in squint (“strabismus”) surgery for adults and children and in paediatric opthalmology.

I am accredited to consult and perform surgeries at the Parkway Group of Hospitals (Mount Elizabeth Novena, Mount Elizabeth Orchard, Gleneagles Hospital), Mount Alvernia Hospital, Farrer Park Hospital and Thomson Medical Centre.

I embarked on my medical training with the National University of Singapore in 1995, followed by residency training in Ophthalmology at the Singapore National Eye Centre. This subsequently led to Fellowship accreditation in Ophthalmology by the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, UK. I graduated top of my cohort in 2004, with the “Gold Medal in Ophthalmology” award in the Master of Medicine (Ophthalmology) examinations.

In 2004-2005, I trained under the tutelage of Prof Alex Levin, at the renowned Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada. Upon completion of fellowship training in Paediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus with the Singapore National Eye Centre, I was awarded the Health Manpower Development Plan scholarship by the Ministry of Health to further hone my clinical skills at the Duke University Eye Centre, USA. There, I worked alongside Professors Edward Buckley and Sharon Freedman, international leaders in Ophthalmology.

I have presented and lectured at numerous international, regional and local conferences, and I am first author of many peer-reviewed indexed medical journals. In 2010, I was awarded “Best of the Anterior Segment Specialty Meetings” at the American Academy of Ophthalmology Meeting in 2010 for my research in childhood cataract.

I was previously a consultant with the Cataract and Comprehensive Service and the Paediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus Service at the Singapore National Eye Centre.

Learn more about me here: https://patients.smarterhealth.sg/specialist-doctor/zena-lim/

I am excited to be here to share/discuss Eye Health with everyone. I will be actively answering questions. Whether you’ve got questions about general eye conditions, cataracts, diabeteic eye management, squint surgery, or childhood eye conditions, ask me anything!

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16 Answers
Amanda answered 12 months ago

I have been wearing contact lenses since my teens. To be honest, I don’t take care of my eyes carefully and tend to nap in my lenses, not replace them often enough. My eyes are often irritated but the redness/pus goes away eventually with eyedrops. For the past 2 days, the irritation seems to be getting worse. When I am in contact with light, my eyes get red, and there is a burning, painful sensation. I have tried eyedrops but the irritation is still there. Is this time different from the previous irritations? Do I need to see an eye doctor?

Dr Zena Lim
replied 11 months ago

It sounds like you have contact lens overwear syndrome. With contact lens overwear, the user often feels that the eyes get irritated easily upon wearing the contact lenses. Tearing and photophobia are also common symptoms.
However, it is also important to rule out contact lens related corneal ulcer, which is a more serious condition. Corneal ulcers can progress rapidly if left untreated. Therefore, it would be good if you can see an eye doctor as soon as is possible. For contact lens overwear, you may have to lay off lenses for a while to allow your eyes time to heal, while using eye drops prescribed by the eye specialist.

Kenny S answered 12 months ago

My mother’s sight is blurry and she complains that objects she sees are shadowy and grey. She has been far sighted for more than 10 years. It was only during these three months that she’s been complaining about her blurry eyesight although she is wearing glasses. Does it mean her hypermetropia is getting more serious? Would changing the lenses help?

Dr Zena Lim
replied 11 months ago

It sounds like your mother needs a comprehensive eye examination. Many eye conditions can affect the vision of people as they age eg: cataract, glaucoma, age related macular degeneration.
Occasionally, changing the spectacle prescription can help, as presbyopia (“lao hua”) worsens with age. Hypermetropia (“far sightedness”) does not usually worsen with age, if there is a change in prescription, it could be a sign of cataracts.
However, even if the spectacle prescription is adjusted, it does not rule out your mother having glaucoma or retinal problems like macular degeneration.
My advice is to fix up an appointment for her to see an eye specialist.

Maureen Goh answered 11 months ago

I often get eye styes, perhaps once every 3-4 months. I wear eye makeup but I often remove it properly and my contact lenses are changed regularly too. What could be the reason behind the frequent eye styes?

Dr Zena Lim
replied 11 months ago

Frequent eyelid stye formation is usually due to blepharitis or meibomianitis. The former condition is infection of the eye lashes and can be precipitated by poor lid hygiene, and the latter is inflammation of the oil gland openings that are situated behind the row of eyelashes. Blepharitis and meibomianitis frequently co-exist, and are common causes for recurrent styes. You may require eye antibiotics and guidance on how to perform lid scrubs to reduce the frequency of the styes. I suggest consulting an eye specialist for treatment.

Debbie answered 11 months ago

I have heard that cataracts cannot recur. However, my mother complains about having blurry vision after surgery. What is the explanation for this?

Dr Zena Lim
replied 11 months ago

There are many reasons why the vision can be blurry after cataract surgery. The causes are varied and a specialist eye exam can determine that.
Swelling of the macula (central portion of the retina) early post cataract surgery, retinal tears or retinal detachment, need for corrective glasses and “after-cataract” are all possible causes.
An “after-cataract” is essentially an opacification of the supporting capsule in which the artificial lens implant is placed during the cataract surgery, and a common cause of blurring months or years after cataract surgery is done.
If so, a simple laser “clean-up” procedure of the opacification can improve her vision back to her old baseline.

Eugene answered 11 months ago

My girlfriend has an allergy that affects her eyes. In a dusty room, for example, her eyes would turn red. She has to use eye drops when it happens. I want to know, what condition is this? Is it dangerous and curable? Would there be any further complication if she leaves it untreated?

Dr Zena Lim
replied 11 months ago

It sounds like she has allergic conjunctivitis. It can be well-controlled with eye drops and if left untreated, it can progress on to more severe forms of allergic conjunctivitis resulting in blurring of vision. An eye specialist review is ideal, to identify her allergy triggers, and to optimize her condition with eye drops.

Celine answered 11 months ago

I am 22 years old. My eyes are always watering whenever I’m in a bright room. When I look at a light source, my eyes hurt and I feel dizzy. Should I see an eye specialist?

Dr Zena Lim
replied 11 months ago

Yes, photophobia and tearing can be a sign of an eye problem. An eye specialist review is warranted.

Alfred answered 11 months ago

I’ve always had dry eyes and bring eye drops out with me regularly. However, for the past few days, my eyes feel extra dry and I have a headache all the time. Is my headache and my eye condition related? Are there any ways to fix dry eyes for good or do i need to keep using eye drops?

Dr Zena Lim
replied 11 months ago

It is possible for severe dry eyes to cause headaches. There are several ways that we can improve dry eyes without having to resort to constant usage of eye drop lubricants. Punctual plugging can be a useful alternative. The eye specialist can discuss and do this for you after assessing the severity of your dry eyes

Mdm Chin answered 11 months ago

My 4 year old daughter looks like she has a lazy eye. We noticed this because she tends to lay her head down on one side when she reads. How do I know when is the right time to bring her to see an eye specialist? Or should I wait and see if her condition gets better?

Dr Zena Lim
replied 11 months ago

Lazy eye should be diagnosed and treated early in childhood. Any delay after 8-9 years old may lead to irreversible vision loss. I suggest getting an eye review rather than waiting to see if the condition improves.

Nancy Goh answered 11 months ago

My son is 19 years old. He is nearsighted. We recently noticed the presence of white dots in his right pupil. He claims it doesn’t hurt but his eye is itchier than usual and he rubs it often. Do I need to take him to an eye specialist?

Dr Zena Lim
replied 11 months ago

Yes please. This may be a sign of moderately severe allergic conjunctivitis

Kyle Lim answered 11 months ago

My child is 14 years old and she wants to try out contact lenses instead of wearing glasses to school. I am worried about it because of her age. What is the age you would recommend for someone to start wearing contact lenses? Is it safe for her?

Dr Zena Lim
replied 11 months ago

Hi, it depends on the maturity of the child, and whether he / she is given proper instruction for contact lens care, as well as the child’s wearing habits. These can vary and therefore there is no hard and fast rule for what age onwards children can safely wear contact lenses.

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