Learn about your lens options before you see your surgeon

“The stars at night? I hadn’t seen them for a decade. They are breathtaking,” recounts Tracey Dorey, retired Vancouver school teacher. “I’ve always loved nature, colours and textures, but I didn’t realize how much I was missing until I had cataract surgery.”

Tracey was among 2.5 million Canadians living with cataracts each year.

A recent survey commissioned by Leger, revealed that over half of Canadians do not know much about cataracts and cataract surgery; and 59 per cent are unaware that there are options to treat cataracts and other vision conditions at once.[1]

The survey also found that fear is a barrier to having the procedure done despite the fact that cataract surgery is one of the most commonly performed procedures in Canada and the only way to restore vision loss due to cataracts. This is particularly concerning as cataracts are one of the leading causes of blindness and low vision in age-related eye diseases.²

“We often hear from patients that they are worried or nervous about cataract surgery,” says Dr. Kathy Cao, a Toronto based ophthalmologist. “While every surgery should be carefully considered, cataract surgery is generally safe and done on an outpatient basis, which means patients go home the same day after surgery, and often start to notice vision improvements within a couple of days and may return to regular life activities shortly after.”

More than 350,000 cataract procedures are performed each year in Canada, where the natural lens that has become clouded is removed and replaced with an intraocular lens.  This minimally invasive procedure is completed in less than 30 minutes and recovery is usually very quick. Most patients notice an improvement in their vision within 24 hours, and return to regular activities soon after surgery.

Before having cataract surgery, it is important that patients have informed discussions with their surgeon about their vision goals and ocular health.

For years, cataract replacement lens options were limited and monofocal lenses were the only option. Now patients have the option of trifocal lenses that provide excellent vision at multiple distances allowing patients to see everything near, far and everything in-between.

“If patients choose trifocal lenses, it may help remove dependency on glasses, which is very appealing to those who live active and busy lifestyles,” says Dr.Cao. “For many of my patients, the freedom to see clearly without glasses has greatly improved their quality of life.”

During her cataract surgery, Tracey received the Alcon PanOptix® trifocal lenses.  “I had been living in a world of muted colour and indistinct shape. I can now go outside and see detail on the side of a mountain, or the birds in the sky. Since my surgery, my whole outlook about who I am and what I can do has changed. I feel like a whole new person – it’s been such a big turning point in mylife.”

To learn more about cataracts, cataract surgery and intraocular lens options speak with your eye care professional and visit

[1] Cataract Awareness Survey, 2018. This survey was conducted online by Leger, The Research Intelligence Group, on behalf of Alcon Vison Care from November 8 until November 18, 2018, among 1,503 Canadians age 55 through 79, using Leger’s online panel LegerWeb. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20

² Common Eye Disorders. Centres for disease control and prevention, 2015. Accessed from