Optometry Profession in Singapore
Who are optometrists?
Optometrists are the primary healthcare specialists of the eye and visual system. They are skilled to optimize vision and trained in different areas such as:
- Refraction (checking of eye power)
- Prescribing and dispensing of eye glasses
- Contact Lens fitting, prescribing and dispensing (which includes soft contact lenses, RGP hard lenses and specialty lenses) for high astigmatism, presbyopia, post-LASIK, etc.
- Paediatric optometry
- Binocular vision diagnosis and treatment (for conditions like lazy-eyes, eye-turns or squint eyes)
- Ocular pathology and management (for conditions such as Cataract 白內障, Glaucoma 青光眼, Diabetic Retinopathy 糖尿視網膜病變 and Age-related Macular Degeneration 老年黃斑病變.)
- Low vision assessment and management
All optometrists practising in Singapore must be registered with the Optometrists and Optician Board under the Ministry of Health Singapore.
The basic qualification to practice optometry in Singapore is a diploma in Optometry. A number of optometrists have obtained a Bachelor’s degree in the same field, and a small number have also pursued higher degrees such as Master’s or PhD.
There is currently one professional association in Singapore to represent Optometry, the Singapore Optometric Association.
Ophthalmologists are medical doctors who specialise in the diagnosis and medical/surgical treatment of eye diseases and injuries.
In Singapore, ophthalmologists are regulated by the Singapore Medical Council.
Opticians are trained in refraction and dispensing eye glasses. There are 3 categories of opticians in Singapore but in general, they cannot perform refraction on patients who are younger than 8 years old while most are not qualified to dispense any type of contaact lenses, except for Category: Opticians (Contact Lens Practice).
All opticians practising in Singapore must be registered with the Optometrists and Optician Board under the Ministry of Health Singapore.