Newly released survey findings shed light on the daily challenges associated with cataracts and the emotional benefits of improved vision after surgery.
Nearly all survey respondents said they would recommend cataract surgery based on their personal experiences.
Newly released survey findings from Alcon, the global leader in eye care and a division of Novartis, reveal that people experience significant emotional and lifestyle benefits after having cataract surgery.
According to the MyCataracts survey of approximately 1,300 US adults, nearly three in four respondents who expressed an opinion agreed that after undergoing surgery, they were happier and more satisfied, and had a greater appreciation for life. Respondents also provided insight into how cataracts negatively impacted their daily lives before surgery; the majority said simple, day-to-day tasks were more difficult and they felt annoyed, frustrated or old.1
Alcon conducted the MyCataracts survey online in April 2017 to better understand patients’ emotional journeys and the lifestyle benefits of treatment. The survey questioned adults aged 60 and over who have undergone cataract surgery, and expands upon Alcon’s ongoing MyCataracts initiative to help people make informed treatment decisions with their doctors.
“In a separate survey last year, we discovered that most people do not fully understand cataracts, even though more than 24 million people in the US are affected by them,” says Jim Di Filippo, Vice President and General Manager of US Surgical at Alcon. “This year, we looked deeper into that knowledge gap to find that many people also don’t realize the real impact and drawbacks cataracts can have on their everyday lives.”
More than 24 million people, age 40 and older, in the United States have cataracts.
Among this year’s key findings:
Survey respondents reported a range of emotions associated with cataracts – before and after surgery
Almost 60% of respondents said cataracts made them feel annoyed, frustrated or old. Of those participants who expressed an opinion, a majority agreed that after surgery they were happier (74%) and more satisfied (76%), had a greater appreciation for their lives (68%), and felt more independent because their eyesight was clear (87%).
Nearly all respondents would recommend cataract surgery
After reflecting on their own experiences, 93% of respondents said they would advise someone they know who is debating or scared about cataract surgery to get the procedure.
The majority of respondents said cataracts made performing simple tasks and day-to-day activities more difficult
Nearly two in three respondents (64%) said cataracts impacted their lives before surgery by, for example, making it difficult to work, see colors, drive, and watch TV and movies.
Many respondents did not recognize the emotional toll of cataracts until after surgery
More than 50% of the respondents who expressed an opinion agreed that they didn’t realize how much they were missing in their lives until after surgery.
A patient named Walt* who underwent cataract surgery provided this feedback: "I can see things that I couldn't see before. I can appreciate things I couldn't appreciate before. Now that I can see well, I can appreciate the beauty of the world. It's a life-changing thing."
Alcon collaborated with research firm YouGov in 2017 to field the MyCataracts survey to 1,320 adults, aged 60 and over, who have undergone cataract surgery. The survey was created to gain real-world insights into how cataracts and treatment impact the lives of patients. Fieldwork was undertaken between April 13 and April 20, 2017, using email invitations and an online survey. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov PLC.
*Walt received modest compensation from Alcon for talking about his experience.