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Optometrist, Ophthalmologist, Opticians and Eye Care in Indonesia

Finding a qualified optometrist, ophthalmologist or optician in Indonesia

As with many referrals of service, we suggest you speak with friends who have recently gotten prescriptions filled for glasses in Indonesia. If you wear prescription eyeglasses, it's recommended that you get your eyes checked every six months. Regular check-ups can help spot potential vision problems before they develop further.

Talk with your primary care physician in Jakarta or your medical insurance company for a referral to a qualified optometrist, ophthalmologist or optician in Indonesia.

Look for an optician that is used to dealing with the exacting requirements of international customers. They'll be more understanding and accommodating to your needs.

Filling your prescription for eyeglasses in Indonesia

If you have a current prescription for glasses, make sure that it is current and available when you move in case your glasses need to be replaced during your stay. Be sure and check with your medical insurance before departing or with your Indonesia-based medical insurance company to see if they will cover the replacement of glasses during your stay in Indonesia.

Your eyeglass provider in Indonesia may have your records from a previous set of glasses, so check with them if you don't have a prescription. If you forgot to bring your prescription, a well-connected eyeglass provider in Jakarta may ask where you had your last pair of glasses made and contact the previous provider to request the prescription, saving you from having your eyes tested again.

If you have health insurance benefits that you haven't used up in the course of the year, getting a new pair of glasses for yourself or family members before the end of the year may be wise. A fashionable new pair of glasses can make a great Christmas present!

When eyeglasses are a fashion statement

Eyeglasses are now considered a fashion item, and there are many types of frames to choose from. Some people just change frames to be trendy or have different pairs of glasses to coordinate with various outfits.

Be cautious of inexpensive glasses purchased from street markets, department stores or off the beach in Bali. Some may not be rated for blocking UV rays, and exposure to harsh sunlight is related to the incidence of cataracts later in life.

Take care of your eyes, as they are very important!

Laser surgery is available to people that have very severe vision issues. Make sure to verify the credentials of the doctor prior to surgery. This is one procedure you will probably want done in your home country.

Don’t Underestimate Your Eye Health

A healthy lifestyle and several preventative measures can help protect your eyes against mild and severe eye problems.

Today’s lifestyle and unhealthy environment cause our eyes to be more susceptible to problems. There are many things that can be done to keep your eyes healthy such as: living a healthy lifestyle, watching your food intake, wearing prescription safety glasses, routine examinations, choosing the appropriate contact lenses/glasses, and so forth. Unfortunately, many people are unaware of the importance of prevention and first aid in dealing with eye problems.

The following are several frequent mild eye problems, as well as preventative measures and first aid procedures for each.

Computer Vision Syndrome

Sitting in front of a computer or television for too long can increase your risk of eye problems. Dr. Florence Meilani Manurung, SpM of the Jakarta Eye Center says that a person who works in front of a computer for long hours or reads continuously without resting is prone to experiencing various problems such as tired eyes, watery eyes, blurred vision, dry eyes or headaches. “This group of conditions is called the Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS),” she explains.

This is a syndrome which arises due to excessive work of the eye muscles, which then causes eye weariness, leading to a decline in the eyes’ ability to focus on a new object when vision shifts quickly toward another distant or closer object.

The syndrome experienced may worsen and cause inflammation accompanied by a burning sensation or dry eyes if there is any computer radiation impact. This problem can also happen to computer users with refractive eye disorder, whether it is nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism. Especially if the glasses they wear are not right or even worse, if they take their glasses off while spending long hours in front of a computer or television.

Dr. Florence explains that no one is safe from the threat of this eye syndrome. “From children to adults – who are in a habit of spending hours in front of the computer or television – they all have the same risks,” she says.

Preventative measures

“Anyone can easily keep their eyes healthy,” says Dr. Florence. When you are in front of a computer, make sure that there is a safe amount of surrounding light in the room. Avoid dazzling light refraction by placing the computer monitor next to the window instead of in front of it. Also, do not sit facing the computer monitor while having your back to the window.

Dazzling light on walls and other objects, shiny surfaces or reflection on a computer screen can also cause inflammation of the eyes. Another way to reduce dazzling light is by installing anti-glare filters on monitors. Also consider having light-colored walls repainted in a darker color.

For those working in front of a computer, it would be desirable to rest your eyes every hour for at least 10-20 minutes. Once in a while, shift your eyes to a more distant spot or a green object such as a garden. “This is important so that you are not continuously focused on the monitor,” says Dr. Florence.

When watching television or reading book, set up sufficient lighting and sit in a position with good posture support.

Eye irritation caused by dust or exhaust fumes

Dirty outdoor air and dust can often trigger irritation in the eyes. One example would be riding a motorcyle on highways without wearing a face mask or safety goggles. In cities with high levels of air pollution like Jakarta, this becomes a major concern when being outside for long periods of time in the city smog.

Under normal conditions, your eyes have natural mechanisms such as blinking and creating tears to prevent irritation. However, these mechanisms can be overwhelmed by excessive pollution, bright light or places with a lot of particulate or gaseous material in the air.

Preventative measures

To protect the eyes against air pollution, dust and ultraviolet radiation from direct sunlight exposure, sunglasses are highly recommended when pursuing outdoor activities.

However, if you have impaired vision, consult an ophthalmologist, optometrist or optician for a good fit. Lenses that absorb ultraviolet light come in a wide range of colors with various absorption levels and are available in a variety of designs and accompanying frames.

Red Eye

Another frequently-occuring eye problem caused by environmental factors is red eye, an inflammation of the outer membrane of the eye often called conjunctivitis. The primary characteristic of this disorder is red colored eyes, with reduced visual acuity. Causes of conjunctivitis include allergies, eye trauma through collision or getting poked in the eye, and viral/bacterial infections.

Red eyes caused by allergies are usually marked by intense itching, watering eyes, and swelling of the lining of the eye. Allergens which can trigger red eye include seasonal pollen, animal waste, dust, pollen and mold.

For viral red eye, common symptoms include watering eyes, swelling of the eyelids and pain or loss of vision when looking at bright light. However, virus-induced red eye usually disappears on its own within seven to ten days after symptoms appear.

When red eye is caused by bacteria, symptoms can include eye pain, swelling, redness, and a moderate to large amount of green or yellow-colored discharge. The discharge in this bacteria-induced red eye commonly accumulates after sleeping. In children, their eyes are usually stuck shut and covered with dried discharge in the morning.

Conjunctivitis spreads easily through contact with bacteria, virus or mold on infected surfaces that are frequently handled.

Preventative measures

In order to prevent red eye contamination, do not haphazardly touch well-handled objects in public places, especially when you can see someone with red eye within the immediate vicinity. Maintaining personal hygiene through frequent hand-washing and avoiding hand-eye contact while conducting activities outdoors are other recommended efforts of prevention.

To get rid of the discharge on bacteria-infected red eyes in the morning, wipe your eyes with a warm towel slowly and repeatedly or use eye drops that contain antibiotics, which can be purchased in pharmacies or prescribed by a doctor.

Another simple step that is also important in order to keep your eyes healthy is to have a periodical eye examination once every 6 months for children or once to twice a year for adults, because prevention is always easier than curing eye conditions or diseases.

Nutrition and Good Eye Health

To maintain good eye health, one should adopt a healthy lifestyle and balanced diet and consume antioxidant-rich food sources. Other compounds also known to be useful for increasing eye health are lutein (commonly found in green vegetables and yellowish fruits), zeaxanthin (found in turnip greens, cabbages, sword beans, broccoli, pumpkin, and corn) and astaxanthin (found in algae and seafood).

Research conducted by Chitchumroonchokchai and colleagues at the Ohio State University in 2004 demonstrated that lutein and zeaxanthin can protect human lens cells against ultraviolet exposure, which is the primary cause of cataracts.
Other than that, the research also attempted to compare the antioxidant activities of lutein and zeaxanthin to vitamin E. The results show that lutein and zeaxanthin are 10 times more effective than vitamin E in protecting lens cells against damage caused by ultraviolet light.

Tips on How to Maintain Eye Health

  • Prevent eye diseases with routine examinations.
  • Live a healthy lifestyle by consuming balanced nutritious foods. Increase intake of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables containing vitamin A, C, and E.
  • When conducting outdoor activities, protect your eyes with sunglasses. When working with computers, apply a filter to minimize absorbed radiation. Rest the eyes after spending 30-60 minutes in front of a computer.
  • Avoid rubbing your eyes roughly and excessively.
  • Use sufficient lighting when working or reading indoors.
  • To reduce eye fatigue, do simple eye exercises and shift your eyes between objects that are located far away and very close. You can exercise the eye muscles by alternately moving the eyeballs in a circular motion to the right and left.
  • Reduce exposure of your eyes to cigarette smoke and environment pollutants.
  • Avoid long periods of continuous television-watching or computer use.
  • Use eye drops when your eyes become red, dry, and tired.

If you have any further questions about your medical care in Indonesia, see the Ask the Experts.

We trust this information will assist you in making correct choices regarding your health and welfare. However, it is not intended to be a substitute for personalized advice from your medical adviser.

This article was contributed by Paris Miki Indonesia and translated by Mr. Achmad Kholil.