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Cataract patients need better education

Significant lack of understanding of treatment options, including surgical procedures, to correct vision loss from cataracts.

Colin Kerr

Posted: Friday, December 4, 2020


Dr. Rajesh K. Rajpal

A Johnson & Johnson Vision survey has revealed a significant lack of understanding of treatment options to correct vision loss from cataracts.
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.
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 performed ,” 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.”
According to the Johnson & Johnson research, three out of four 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.