Cataract Surgery Has Risks, Despite $3 Million Ad Campaign

September 20, 2013 | All Posts, Cataract Healing, Cataract Surgery, Cataract Treatment

Cataract surgery is the most performed surgery in the U.S., with 3 million operations each year.

But I guess that’s not enough for the powers that be.

Here comes a new $3-million ad campaign ? from Alcon, the world’s largest eyecare company, now a division of Novartis ? to convince the remaining unconvinced that cataract surgery is a walk in the park and thanks to advanced technology, when the bandages are removed you’ll have your youthful vision back!

Well, not everyone.

No mention of the risks in the ad campaign, whose centerpiece is a collaboration between Alcon and the AARP Media Sales Unit.

The New York Times headline said: ?Ads Seek to Clear Up Qualms About Cataract Surgery.?

As if looking for an alternative to cataract surgery, or having any question at all about the risks involved, is a psychological weakness on the part of the questioner.

I’ve talked about the risks of cataract surgery before in this post, so, of course, my eye was drawn to this statistic in the article:

+ 95% of cataract surgery patients in the U.S. experienced improved vision.

That leaves 5 percent with qualms ? or worse ? and with potential outcomes such as these:

Some patients lose vision. Some develop severe dry eye syndrome. Some develop debilitating visual symptoms such as halos, glare, or double vision that could seriously affect vision at night and possibly curtail nighttime driving. Some need second surgeries.

Click here for more risks.

Seeking to educate an uniformed public about available options for cataract surgery, two fact sheets are referenced:

?The Truth about Cataracts? and ?The Truth about Cataracts and Cataract Surgery,? the latter addressing and correcting seven ?myths? heaped upon a “misinformed” public.

Four out of five found surgery ?easier than they’d expected.?

What about that 5th person? More qualms?

This new media blitz was prompted by the fact that by next year 100 percent of the aging boomer generation (Americans born between 1946 and 1964) will be 50 years old. The golden years of marketing.

And the golden years of cataract formation as well. According to National Eye Institute statistics, about 20 million Americans have cataracts; by 2020, the number will spike to 30 million.

One fact we see over and over again is this:

By age 80 more than 50 percent of Americans will either have a cataract or had surgery for one. That leaves half the people who will never need cataracts surgery and who knows what percentage who will never have a cataract.

The people who make up these statistics are people who have never been shown anything about taking care of their eyes, have never learned the simple ways to reduce the risk of cataracts, have never practiced eye exercises, and don’t know what to do to delay cataract progression.

From my point of view, it’s a wonder that only half the population gets cataracts!

Another “fact” from the campaign:

– 88 percent would ?definitely recommend? cataract surgery to friends and family.

I want to know what the other 12% are thinking!

According to the campaign, only 2 in 5 people (40 percent) were planning to have surgery within the next two years: mainly because their vision was ?fine for now? or because they were ?fearful, scared or afraid? [of surgery].

So, even those who have no “qualms” about surgery are delaying it for as long as they can!

And I agree with that. Because the sooner you act and take positive steps for your eyes, acting when your cataract is as small as it is at the beginning, then the greater the chances for keeping your vision and delaying or avoiding the need for cataract surgery ? ever.

Take the power for your eye health back into your own hands. It’s knowledge and understanding that are going to put you in the best position to make the right decision for caring for your eyes.

Your eyes are precious. You don’t have to sit around waiting for cataracts to manifest.

You are responsible for finding out about that ?5 percent? and the complications surgery presented them. It is not only a numbers game. It is about educating yourself.

Because the ultimate ? and final ? responsibility about when, and if, to have cataract surgery is in your hands.

Take a look at these blogs: ?When to Operate, When to Wait,? ?Vitamin Deficiencies as a Cause of Cataracts,? and ?Nutrition & Cataracts: This Eye Quiz Can Save Your Sight.?

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Comments (3)


  1. danie says:

    why the negative critisisim if 80% have positive results and 20% small ones i dont get your piont and also no selution from you

  2. […] is the most common surgery performed in the United States, with 3 million surgeries a year. Those risks, while diminished, remain. Further, technological leaps have made cataract surgery a customized […]

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