Are you experiencing blurred vision? We give you an overview of what presbyopia – or more commonly known as “lao hua” is.

What is Presbyopia?

Presbyopia – also known as “lao hua”, is a vision disorder which generally occurs from about aged 40 onwards, even to those with no previous vision problems. This aging eye condition happens when the natural lens inside your eye hardens and loses the ability to change shape and focus on near objects.


  • The need to hold reading material further than arm’s length
  • Difficulty reading small print or seeing near objects
  • Eye strain
  • Headaches from doing work up-close

Risk factors

  • Anyone over the age of 35
  • Being far-sighted or having certain diseases
  • Taking certain drugs such as anti-histamines and diuretics


Presbyopia can be corrected with eye glasses, the safest means of vision correction. For bifocals, the top part of the lens corrects distance vision while the lower part of the lens allows you to see objects up close properly.

For those with good, uncorrected vision before presbyopia, over-the-counter reading glasses do not require a prescription and can help you with your reading. Consult a doctor whether reading glasses are suitable for you.

You can also choose to wear contact lenses (“Caring for your contact lenses”) for presbyopia. These include bifocal contact lenses that correct distant vision, multifocal lenses and monovision lenses – one lens for seeing objects at a distance and the other lens for near vision.

Another treatment available is conductive keratoplasty, using radio waves to change the shape of your cornea. This refractive surgical procedure is not commonly performed now as the results may not be long-lasting.

What you can do to protect your eyes

  • Ensure you read in good lighting.
  • Wear sunglasses (“Frame your face right”) to protect your eyes from UV radiation.
  • Wear protective eyewear when playing sports to protect your eyes from injuries.
  • Eat foods high in vitamin A to maintain healthy vision.
  • Have your eyes checked regularly.