Can I See an Eye Specialist in Singapore Without a Referral

An eye specialist can be an ophthalmologist or optometrist. Ophthalmologists are medical doctors who have completed training in the diagnosis and treatment of eye diseases.

Optometrists are not medical doctors, but they are trained to prescribe glasses and contact lenses and provide certain vision therapy types. They also perform basic eye exams. Eye specialists like Dr. Chelvin SNG can treat conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts, and diabetic retinopathy.

What are Some Signs that you may Need to See an Eye Specialist

If you are an adult within the age range of 18 to 60 years, it is generally recommended that you see an eye specialist at least once every two years for a comprehensive eye exam. If you are an adult who is 65 years and above, it is ideal that you get yearly eye exams. 

If you are an ‘at risk’ adult, it is advisable that you undergo an eye exam at least once every year. This frequency can change depending on what your doctor believes is best for you. An ‘at risk’ adult, in this case, is a person who may:

  • Have a family history of eye diseases, such as glaucoma or cataracts
  • Be diabetic
  • Be suffering from high blood pressure
  • Have been using corticosteroids for long periods of time
  • Be extremely shortsighted (myopia) or longsighted (hyperopia)
  • Having chronic health that may affect your eyesight, such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis

Other than the general recommendations, some potential changes to the eyes or vision may warrant a prompt visit to the eye specialist in Singapore. These changes or symptoms may include:

  • Sudden onset of floaters (black spots in your vision) or flashes of light: Floaters can be normal, especially when you look at the sky on a bright day. However, if you experience a sudden onset of floaters or flashes of light, it could be a warning sign of retinal detachment, which is a serious condition that needs immediate medical attention.
  • Blurry vision: This could be caused by a number of conditions and may vary in severity. If you are having trouble reading, seeing objects up close, or driving, it is best to have it checked out by an eye specialist.
  • Eye pain: This could be a sign of a number of conditions, such as infection, inflammation, or even cancer. It is always best to seek medical attention if you are experiencing any type of pain in your eyes.
  • Double vision: This is usually caused by a problem with the muscles that control your eyes. It could also be a symptom of a more serious condition, such as a brain tumor. If you are experiencing double vision, it is important to see an eye specialist right away.
  • Difficulty seeing at night: This is usually a sign of cataracts. If you are having trouble driving or seeing in low-light conditions, it is best to see an eye specialist.

When it comes to seeing an eye specialist in Singapore, a very common question that could be bugging you is; ‘can I see an eye specialist without a referral?’ If that’s the question on your mind, the answer is yes – you can see an eye specialist without a referral. 

However, it is always best to have a referral from your general practitioner (GP) or optometrist if you wish to see an ophthalmologist. This is important because an ophthalmologist is a secondary care provider, and seeing one would only be necessary if you’re troubled with eye disease needing surgical care or advanced medical care such as; cataract surgery, glaucoma treatment, etc. 

Your GP or optometrist will provide you with a referral to an ophthalmologist if they feel that it is necessary. If you do not have a referral and still wish to see an ophthalmologist, you can self-refer by finding one in your area and making an appointment. 

How to find an Eye Specialist in your area 

Ideally, if you have a referral from your GP or optometrist, they would provide you with a list of eye specialists in your area. If not, you can easily find one by doing a quick online search.

When searching for an eye specialist in Singapore, it is important to keep in mind that not all eye specialists are the same. There are optometrists, ophthalmologists, and retinal surgeons. 

Optometrists are primary care providers and can offer you general eye care such as; prescription eyeglasses or contacts, testing for eye diseases, and managing vision problems. Ophthalmologists are secondary care providers and can offer more specialized services such as; cataract surgery, glaucoma treatment, and laser eye surgery. 

Retinal surgeons are tertiary care providers and can offer the most specialized services such as; retinal detachment repair or removal of tumors on the retina. When choosing an eye specialist, it is important to find one that is right for you and your needs. Consider what services you are looking for and find a specialist that can offer those services. 

What to Expect at your First Appointment with an Eye Specialist 

When you make an appointment with an eye specialist, they will likely ask you why you are there and what symptoms you are experiencing. It is important to be honest, and open about your symptoms and what you are experiencing. 

The eye specialist will then perform a series of tests to determine what is wrong with your eyesight. This may include tests such as; a vision test, a glaucoma test, or a slit lamp exam. 

Based on the tests results, the eye specialist will be able to determine what, if any, treatment is necessary. Typical treatments for common eye problems such as cataracts, glaucoma, or macular degeneration may include; prescription eyeglasses or contacts, surgery, or medication. 

If you are diagnosed with a more serious condition such as; cancer or a detached retina, the eye specialist will likely refer you to a tertiary care provider. It is important to remember that not every eye condition requires treatment. The eye specialist will often simply monitor your condition and provide you with advice on how to best manage it. 

Regardless of the outcome of your appointment, always be sure to ask your eye specialist in Singapore any questions or concerns you may have. They are there to help you and want to make sure that you understand your diagnosis and treatment.

In closing, you can see an eye specialist without a referral. However, it is always best to have a referral from your GP or optometrist. This way, you can be sure that you are seeing the right specialist for your needs.

At Chelvin SNG Eye Center, we are always here to help. If you have any questions or concerns about your eyesight, please do not hesitate to make an appointment with us. Call: +65 6334 2282.


Chelvin Sng Eye Centre – Glaucoma | Cataract Surgery | Eye Specialist


+65 6334 2282


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