Survey: Cataract surgery can help turn back the clock for patients’ vision


Results of the Alcon Eye on Cataract Survey highlight misconceptions about cataract surgery, revealing the need to educate the 50+ population on the procedure and treatment options.

A clock illustration on a man's eye (Image Credit: AdobeStock/andranik123)

(Image Credit: AdobeStock/andranik123)

In its Alcon Eye On Cataract Survey in support of Cataract Awareness Month, Alcon announced the results of the Alcon Eye On Cataract Survey in support of Cataract Awareness Month.

According to an Alcon news release, the survey, conducted between March and April 2023 in Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Spain, South Korea and the United States, set out to evaluate vision and cataract insights among the world’s rapidly aging population.

The company noted that participants in the survey included pre- and post-cataract surgery patients aged 50+ who had received their diagnosis within the last 5 years and people aged 50+ who have not been diagnosed with cataract(s).1

Moreover, the survey’s results reveal cataract surgery not only improves vision, but also can help turn back the clock for patients’ vision, with almost half (45%) of post-surgery patients reporting they have the vision of someone younger.1

Alcon noted that in every region included in its survey that vision connection with mobility as the second most important quality of aging (83%) with only memory scoring higher at 84%.1

According to the survey, the results demonstrate the importance of protecting and enhancing vision, particularly understanding the benefits and options of cataract surgery, to the pursuit of pro-aging, an increasingly popular term used to describe a positive, engaged approach to growing older. 

Cataract surgery patients today are in the position to be able to correct their vision and eliminate or reduce the need for eyeglasses with a presbyopia-correcting intraocular lens (PC-IOL). The Alcon news release noted the benefits patients can realize are demonstrated in the survey results, with cataract patients reporting an improvement in quality-of-life post-surgery, including 81% of patients who received any PC-IOL.1

“There are many different types of PC-IOLs, including advanced technology options that offer patients the possibility of 20/20 vision at distance (driving), intermediate (using a computer) and near (using a mobile device), following surgery,” Alcon noted in its news release. “A monofocal lens is a standard lens option that improves distance vision.”

According to the news release, the Alcon survey also found that 84% of the global population aged 50+ currently wear and rely on glasses. The survey conversely found that 69% of all people surveyed, including those who have not been diagnosed with cataracts, would feel liberated without their glasses.1 Following cataract surgery, the percent of patients who reported reliance on glasses fell from 81% (pre-surgery) to 45%.1

“At Alcon, our commitment to helping people see brilliantly over the past 75+ years has delivered innovations that not only improve vision, but also enable healthy aging,” Jeannette Bankes, Alcon’s Global Surgical Franchise president and general manager, said in the news release. “While we have demonstrated the benefits of PC-IOLs through clinical data, the Alcon Eye On Cataract Survey underscores that, globally, these IOLs can improve people’s vision, enhance the quality of their lives and help them feel better about aging.”

Alcon concluded in its news release that as individuals age, developing a cataract is a normal part of the process, and cataract extraction and lens replacement is the most frequently performed surgery, with nearly 30 million cataract surgeries completed every year.2,3 Despite the prevalence of cataracts and the importance of vision among the global population, misconceptions about the procedure remain:1

  • Only 51% of the global population aged 50+ understand they can choose from several different types of IOLs to fit their unique needs.1
  • Only 58% of the global population aged 50+ recognize cataract surgery involves implanting a permanent lens into the eye.1
  • More than 1 in 4 people did not know that cataract surgery has a short recovery time.1

According to the Alcon news release, Cataract Awareness Month provides a chance for pages age 50 and older, along with their families, physicians, and the eye care industry, to discuss cataract diagnoses, lens options, the surgery itself, and post-surgical lifestyle advantages to help close the existing knowledge gap. People tend to lose abilities as they age, but cataract surgery now offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to regain vision and improve quality of life.

  1. 2023 Alcon Cataract Survey.
  2. Cataract surgery: How it works and what to expect for recovery. Cleveland Clinic. April 5, 2023. Accessed May 12, 2023. cataract-surgery.
  3. Market Scope Quarterly Report, 2023.
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