He feared cataract surgery but sees the light now
Elderly shoemaker feared cataract surgery but after it's done, he can't wait to get other eye fixed
When an elderly shoemaker went for cataract surgery, he asked to have one eye operated on first because he was afraid something would go wrong and he would go blind.
But it was so successful Mr Soong Kwek Choong, 78, now cannot wait to fix his other eye.
A cataract is the clouding of the lens in an eye, which decreases vision quality. It is common among the elderly.
Mr Soong, who got his left eye fixed at the Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) last month, said: "It was stressful for me to go out because I was scared of falling."
He also became irritable as his blurred vision affected his intricate shoemaking process.
He could have had both eyes operated on at the same time but opted not to.
"I was scared of going blind. I would rather die because life would be meaningless," said Mr Soong, who cares for two of his sons with health problems.
"It was scary to have instruments in your eyes, but the procedure is painless. The surgery takes only 15 minutes, and I got my sight back in a day."
Cataract removal is the most common surgery performed at the SNEC, with more than 14,000 operations a year, its spokesman said.
I was scared of going blind. I would rather die because life would be meaningless.Mr Soong Kwek Choong
A cataract awareness survey by Johnson & Johnson Vision this year found that more than three in 10 people with cataracts live in discomfort, often waiting more than three months before seeking treatment.Dr Ronald Yeoh, senior consultant ophthalmic surgeon at Camden Medical Centre, said the delay is often due to the lack of understanding of cataracts and treatment options.
Since his surgery, Mr Soong's vision has improved significantly, and he no longer faces difficulties making shoes.
He said: "I am excited to have the next surgery to regain my vision completely.
"I even asked for the earliest appointment."