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What Are Your Patients’ Misconceptions About Cataract Surgery?

June 28, 2023

Senior woman wearing safety protective mask at home and talking to nurse holding digital tablet. Back view of young doctor visiting old woman for routine health checkup during covid-19 pandemic. Young general practitioner and elderly patient wearing face masks in a private medical consult during coronavirus and flu outbreak.

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

The survey, conducted between March and April 2023 in Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Spain, South Korea and the U.S., set out to evaluate vision and cataract insights among the world’s rapidly aging population.

Survey participants included pre- and post-cataract surgery patients aged 50+ who had received their diagnosis within the last five years and people aged 50+ who have not been diagnosed with cataract(s).1,*

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

Across the 10 markets surveyed, vision ties with mobility as the second most important quality of aging (83 percent) with only memory scoring higher at 84 percent.1 These results underscore 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.

Today, cataract surgery patients also have the opportunity to correct their vision—reducing or eliminating glasses wear—with a presbyopia-correcting intraocular lens (PC-IOL). The benefits of these options were evident in the survey results. Cataract patients report they have an improvement in quality-of-life post-surgery, including 81 percent 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. Alternatively, a monofocal lens is a standard lens option that improves distance vision.

The survey also found that 84 percent of the global population aged 50+ currently wear and rely on glasses. However, 69 percent 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 percent (pre-surgery) to 45 percent.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,” said Jeannette Bankes, Alcon’s Global Surgical Franchise President and GM. “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.”

Developing a cataract is a normal part of growing older. In fact, cataract extraction and lens replacement is the most frequently performed surgery, with nearly 30 million cataract surgeries completed every year.2,3 Despite cataracts’ prevalence and the importance of vision among the global population, misconceptions about the procedure remain:1

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

For more information on cataracts and cataract surgery, patients and caregivers can visit


  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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