Presbyopia and Types of Spectacle Lenses as Treatment Options

Presbyopia (commonly known as 老花) – it is a condition where the eyes gradually lose their ability to focus on nearby objects and is associated with the natural part of the aging process that affects everyone. This is not to be mistaken as hyperopia or long-sightedness. Presbyopia generally becomes noticeable in the early 40s and progressively worsens until around the age of 60.

There is no way to stop the aging process, but presbyopia can be corrected and you can live normally like the nearly 2 billion people globally who are presbyopic.

So do not panic if you noticed difficulty in focusing at near, and you begin to hold reading materials further and further away in order to read them. You might just be experiencing symptoms of presbyopia.

Causes of Presbyopia

Presbyopia occurs when the aging process affects the flexibility and elasticity of muscles surrounding the crystalline lenses in our eyes. As the eye muscles harden and lose flexibility, it will result in its inability to reshape and readjust to focus on close images.

Although the occurrence of presbyopia may seem sudden, however, sight reduction usually progresses slowly over several years. Hence, the American Academy of Ophthalmology advises a baseline eye examination for adults even if they have no relative symptoms or risk factors for eye diseases.

Symptoms of Presbyopia

Here are the most common symptoms of presbyopia:

  • Blurry vision on reading materials
  • Moving reading materials further away to make the letters clearer
  • Difficulties focusing on near objects
  • Having eyestrain or headaches when reading or doing close-up work
  • Requiring brighter lighting when doing close work
  • Squinting to read small prints
  • Visual fatigue after doing close work

Treatment of Presbyopia

Depending on the severity of your condition and lifestyle, you may choose between corrective eyeglasses or prescriptive contact lenses.

The following are various variations of prescription lenses:

Prescription Lenses

  • Use prescription glasses for reading only, commonly known as readers or reading glasses.
  • Bifocals: These lenses have two different prescription and focus with a visible horizontal line between them. The top portion is a distance prescription for correcting distant vision, and the bottom half a reading prescription for up-close reading.
  • Progressive Lenses: These eyeglasses are popularly prescribed for most presbyopic persons over 40 and those who do not want a visible line on their glasses.  It smoothly transits between distance and close-up portions and provides a clear vision of objects across distances with just one pair of glasses. The top portion of the lens helps you see distant objects, and the middle provides a focus for intermediate objects such as your desktop, and the bottom to see close-up objects, such as your mobile phone.


As a part of the natural aging process, everyone will have to deal with presbyopia at some point, especially after age 40.

If you are noticing symptoms of presbyopia, please book a consultation with our optometrists and discover the best treatment option available for yourself.

Uncorrected or undiagnosed presbyopia will lead to further deterioration. This reduces your productivity levels at work and may affect your daily life and increase your susceptibility to other eye conditions such as myopia or nearsightedness.

With proper management – you'll be able to read messages without headaches and eye strains.