New Survey Finds Critical Need for Education on Cataracts and Modern Treatment Options
New Johnson & Johnson Vision global survey assessed awareness of cataracts and perceptions of available treatment options; Global awareness of cataracts is high, but only 1/3 of Americans say they would be very likely to receive treatment.
Santa Ana, Calif., Dec 1, 2020 – Today, Johnson & Johnson Vision* announced findings from a new survey** that assessed awareness of cataracts among adults around the world. Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness globally,1 with more than 90% of people developing cataracts by age 65.2 Yet, the survey reveals a significant lack of understanding of treatment options, including surgical procedures, to correct vision loss from cataracts.
Around the world, the majority (70%) of people said they are familiar with cataracts and even more know that surgery is the most common treatment option (85%). However, among those diagnosed or who have symptoms of cataracts, only 30% of Americans surveyed said they would be very likely to undergo cataract surgery. The most cited reason for not wanting to undergo cataract surgery was fear. Of those surveyed, 29% stated they are afraid of undergoing a cataract procedure and have concerns about the effectiveness of surgery (28%). In addition, many expressed a lack of knowledge about cataract procedures altogether (22%).
"For many people suffering with cataracts, the word ‘surgery’ can be intimidating. However, cataract surgery is safe and effective. In fact, it’s one of the most common outpatient procedures performed3," said Dr. Rajesh K. Rajpal, Chief Medical Officer and Global Head of Clinical and Medical Affairs, Johnson & Johnson Vision***. “This survey uncovered a critical need for increased education, dialogue and reassurance between patients, loved ones and eye care providers.”
Benefits of Treatment
Donald Smith, age 70, is retired and volunteers at a history museum. He recently underwent cataract surgery and encourages everyone to act on their cataracts, meet with their doctor and discuss a plan that is right for them. Donald shared his experience and said, “My procedure went extremely well, and I have been opened to a whole new world of color and clarity. It was just like experiencing the Wizard of Oz movie, black and white to a vibrant world.”
Importance of Education
According to Johnson & Johnson research,4 3 out of 4 patients diagnosed with cataracts only discovered information about the condition and their treatment options post-diagnosis.
“People need to know that cataracts are common and very effectively treated. The procedure is both safe and effective, with an extremely high success rate of improving patient vision. Additionally, cataract surgery techniques and technologies continue to evolve and advance, benefitting more patients than ever before. As eye care professionals, it is up to us to educate our patients on treatment options for cataracts, and that includes easing their fears by providing educational resources in channels where they’re seeking out medical information - on social media and our practice websites,” said Eric Donnenfeld, MD, Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology, New York University****.
Johnson & Johnson Vision encourages everyone to Prioritize Your Eyes by educating yourself to make more informed decisions around your, or your loved ones, care and to understand options leading up to and following surgery. Through the Prioritize Your Eyes campaign, Johnson & Johnson Vision is providing resources to educate people about the benefits and safety of treating cataracts so patient can make more informed decisions. Additionally, more information and tools for patients and caregivers can be found at BeyondCataracts.com, including treatment information, an eye care professional locator and an interactive tool to help choose a lens that’s best for each individual.
More than 90% of people develop cataracts—the clouding and yellowing of the lens in the eye—by the age of 655. While part of the normal aging of the eye, left untreated, cataracts cause vision to deteriorate over time. In fact, cataracts are the leading cause of preventable blindness worldwide, impacting more than 100 million eyes6. Cataract surgery is one of the most common outpatient procedures performed today and has a success rate of approximately 98%7. Today, cataract treatments can also offer patients vision correction, reducing or eliminating the need for glasses, in addition to removing the cataract.8,9
While complications are rare, there are risks to routine cataract surgery. This is irrelevant to the lens you choose. The problems could be minor, temporary, or affect your vision permanently. These may include worsening of your vision, bleeding, or infection. Pre-existing diseases or conditions (e.g., diabetes, heart disease, and previous eye trauma) may place you at higher risk of experiencing complications and/or more difficult recovery after routine cataract surgery. With some lenses, you may experience some loss in the sharpness of your vision, even with glasses. A small number of patients may want to have their IOL removed. This can be due to lens-related optical/visual symptoms. You should discuss all risks and benefits with your eye doctor before surgery.
About Johnson & Johnson Vision*
At Johnson & Johnson Vision, part of Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies**, we have a bold ambition: to change the trajectory of eye health worldwide. Through our operating companies, we deliver innovation that enables eye care professionals to create better outcomes for patients throughout their lives, with products and technologies that address unmet needs including refractive error, cataracts, and dry eye. In communities with the greatest need, we work in collaboration to expand access to quality eye care, and we are committed to helping people see better, connect better, live better. Visit us at jjvision.com, follow @JNJVision on Twitter, Johnson & Johnson Vision on LinkedIn, and @JNJVision on Facebook.
About Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies*****
At Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies, we are helping people live their best lives. Building on more than a century of expertise, we tackle pressing healthcare challenges, and take bold steps that lead to new standards of care while improving people’s healthcare experiences. In surgery, orthopaedics, vision, and interventional solutions, we are helping to save lives and paving the way to a healthier future for everyone, everywhere.
*Johnson & Johnson Vision represents the products and services of Johnson & Johnson Surgical Vision, Inc., Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc., and the affiliates of both.
**The survey was conducted online in August 2020 by TRUE Global Intelligence—the in-house research practice of FleishmanHillard—among more than 6,000 adults 18 years of age or older across the United States, Japan, China, Germany, Russia, and the United Kingdom.
***Dr. Rajesh K. Rajpal is an employee of Johnson & Johnson Surgical Vision, Inc., serving as Head of Clinical and Medical Affairs across both the Surgical Vision and Vision Care organizations.
****Dr. Eric Donnenfeld is a paid consultant of Johnson & Johnson Surgical Vision, Inc. and serves as Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology at New York University
*****The Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies comprise the surgery, orthopaedics, vision, and interventional solutions businesses within Johnson & Johnson’s Medical Devices segment.
Erin Wolf Valich
Johnson & Johnson Surgical Vision
© Johnson & Johnson Vision, 2020. All rights reserved.
1 World Health Organization - Priority Eye Diseases. REF 2016 OTH 0004.
2 University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center website. http://www.kellogg.umich.edu/patientcare/conditions/cataract.html. Accessed October 28, 2017. REF 2016 OTH 0327.
3 Vision Health Initiative, Common Eye Disorders. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/visionhealth/basics/ced/index.html
4 Johnson & Johnson Vision internal presentation - Patient Media Habits Report. December 2019.
5 Kellogg Eye Center. Cataract. https://www.umkelloggeye.org/conditions-treatments/cataract
6 World Health Organization. Blindness and Impairment. https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/blindness-and-visual-impairment
7 Vision Health Initiative, Common Eye Disorders. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/visionhealth/basics/ced/index.html
8 All About Vision. Will I Need Glasses After Cataract Surgery? https://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/faq-cataract-glasses-after-surgery.htm
9 Khandelwal SS, et. al. Effectiveness of multifocal and monofocal intraocular lenses for cataract surgery and lens replacement: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2019 May;257(5):863-875. doi: 10.1007/s00417-018-04218-6.