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Dr Charmaine Chai

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  • Senior Consultant, Department of Ophthalmology, National University Hospital
  • Senior Consultant, Healthy Ageing Programme (Age Better), Alexandra Hospital
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Ophthalmology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore


MBBS (S'pore), MMed (Ophth), FAMS



Clinical Disciplines/Programmes:

Cataract, Cornea, General Ophthalmology, Healthy Ageing Programme (Age Better), Refractive Surgery

Special Interests:

Cataract, Myopia, Cornea Conditions, Fuchs Endothelial Dystrophy, Keratoconus

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Dr Charmaine Chai is a Senior Consultant in the Department of Opthalmology at the National University Hospital (NUH). She also serves in the Eye Surgery Centre at Alexandra Hospital.

She graduated from the National University of Singapore (NUS), winning the Gold Medal and Book Prize in Ophthalmology. She obtained her Masters of Medicine in Ophthalmology in 2014 and subsequently completed her residency training in NUH. She went on to complete her fellowship training in Cornea and External Diseases and is accredited to perform corneal transplants locally.  Her special interests are in Corneal and External Diseases as well as Cataract and Laser Refractive Surgery. As an experienced cataract surgeon, she performs a range of cataract surgeries, including femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery. She is also well versed in the use of various types of intraocular lens available. She has contributed several publications and book chapters in the field, and presented at international conferences. Passionate about improving patient care, she contributes to both clinical research and medical innovation, holding a patent for the development of a novel device for the  management of compliance to eye drop medications.

Dr Chai is actively involved in both undergraduate and postgraduate teaching, mentoring medical students and specialists-in-training. She serves as a member of the Core Faculty of the NUH Residency Programme, and is a clinical tutor for both NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine and Nanyang Technological University Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine. Besides her clinical and educational commitments, she also serves as the Patient Safety Officer of NUH Ophthalmology Department and is very involved in the operational planning of the department.

Journals & Publications

  1. CH Chai, CC Sng, HA Lin, PT Chew, et al. Transient optic nerve swelling after acute primary angle closure. Clinical & experimental ophthalmology. 2013;41(6):611-4. doi: 10.1111/ceo.12039. Epub 2012 Dec 14. PMID: 23145799.
  2. CH Chai, G Sundar, et al. Inadvertent corneal laser application in femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery. JCRS Online Case Reports. 2016;4(3):45-8.
  3. D Ho, C Chai, H Lin, HM Htoon, AM Tan, R Manotosh, D Tan, et al. Optical and Tectonic Corneal Transplant Outcomes in a Tertiary Hospital in Singapore, within the Singapore Corneal Transplant Registry. Ann Acad Med Singapore. 2018 Mar;47(3):92-100. PMID: 29679087.
  4. WWD Yong, HC Chai, L Shen, R Manotosh, AWT Tan, et al. Comparing Outcomes of Phacoemulsification With Femtosecond Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery in Patients With Fuchs Endothelial Dystrophy. Am J Ophthalmol. 2018 Dec;196:173-180. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2018.08.006. Epub 2018 Aug 8. PMID: 30098347.
  5. W Tong, D Chen, C Chai, AM Tan, R Manotosh, et al. Disease patterns of microbial keratitis in Singapore: A retrospective case series. Cont Lens Anterior Eye. 2019 Aug;42(4):455-461. doi: 10.1016/j.clae.2019.02.006. Epub 2019 Feb 23. PMID: 30808596.
  6. DJ Hernstadt, C Chai, A Tan, R Manotosh, et al. Three-year outcomes of Descemet's stripping endothelial keratoplasty in eyes with pre-existing glaucoma drainage devices. . Can J Ophthalmol. 2019 Oct;54(5):577-584. doi: 10.1016/j.jcjo.2018.12.012. Epub 2019 Feb 25. PMID: 31564348.
  7. WM Wong, C Chee, M Bhargava, C Chai, H Lin, P Zhao, et al. Systemic Factors Associated with Treatment Response in Diabetic Macular Edema. J Ophthalmol. 2020;2020:1875860. PMID: 32280516.
  8. L Yien, W Yanlong, C Chai, Y Ching-Chiuan, Y Ho, ET Chuan, et al. The Effect of Patient Education and Telemedicine Reminders on Adherence to Eyedrops for Glaucoma. Ophthalmology Glaucoma. 2020. PMID: 32980041.
  9. HW Chan, B Yang, W Wong, P Blakeley, I Seah, QSW Tan, H Wang, M Bhargava, HA Lin, CH Chai, EA Mangunkusumo, N Thet, YS Yuen, R Sethi, S Wang, W Hunziker, G Lingam and X Su, et al. A Pilot Study on MicroRNA Profile in Tear Fluid to Predict Response to Anti-VEGF Treatments for Diabetic Macular Edema. J Clin Med. 2020 Sep 10;9(9):2920. doi: 10.3390/jcm9092920. PMID: 32927780.
  10. WWD Yong, L Shen, R Manotosh, WTAM Tan, HCC Chai, et al. Impact of fibrin glue versus suture closure on double-headed pterygia in Asian eyes - a 7-year study in a tertiary institution. Ann Med. 2021 Dec;53(1):448-455. doi: 10.1080/07853890.2021.1901304. PMID: 33733974.

Professional Memberships

  • Fellow, Academy of Medicine, Singapore
  • Member, Asia Corneal Society
  • Singapore Medical Association
  • Asia-Pacific Ophthalmic Trauma Society (APOTS)

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