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What is Presbyopia?

Presbyopia (or “lao hua yan”) is the inability to focus on near objects as a person ages. This is due to the weakening of the muscles which control the focusing power of the lens and also the hardening of the lens.

In a normal eye, the lens works together with the surrounding muscles to change its shape to enable focusing at near. Typically, a person starts to experience difficulty focusing at near around the age of 40 years old. The ability to focus continues to decrease as the person ages.

What can be done if I suffer from Myopia, Hyperopia, Astigmatism and/or Presbyopia?

The options available are:

  • Wearing of progressives or reading glasses
  • Wearing of multifocal contact lenses or using a pair of reading glasses on top of the contact lenses
  • LASIK and Implantable Contact Lens treatments
  • Intraocular lens (IOL) implantation with cataract surgery

The table below gives an overall summary of the advantages and disadvantages of the different vision correction options for presbyopia:

Mode of Correction Advantages Disadvantages
Progressives glasses
  • Convenient, able to see distant & near with 1 pair of glasses
  • Adaptation problems as vision are restricted to small areas on the lenses
  • More expensive than normal reading glasses
Reading glasses
  • Easy to use
  • Offers a wide area of clear vision
  • Causes inconvenience if wearer forgets to bring them around
  • Does not look good cosmetically
Multifocal contact lenses
  • Convenient, able to see distant & near with 1 pair of contact lenses
  • Adaptation problems as vision at distant and near are compromised
  • May cause dryness and other eye problems with overwear
  • Convenient, able to see distant and near with monovision or SUPRACOR treatments
  • Relatively more expensive than optical aids
IOL implantation with cataract surgery
  • Convenient, different types of IOLs are available to treat myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism and presbyopia
  • Relatively more expensive than optical aids
  • Recommended for eyes which have developed cataract

Have a Question? Want to book an appointment?

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General pricing for first visits:
Consultation: $100-$120
Eye tests required depend on eye condition

GlassesContact Lenses (Soft)Contact Lenses (Hard)None