Americans Don't Understand Most Common Mid-Life Vision Problem

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Mid-Life Eye and Vision Problems

A recently completed Harris Interactive survey found an extraordinary lack of understanding of the mid- life vision condition called "presbyopia." However, it also found that the vast majority of patients who underwent implantation of artificial lenses to correct the condition were overwhelmingly satisfied.

Presbyopia is a common eye condition, typically beginning around age 45, in which the natural lens of the eye becomes firmer and resists changing focus from far to near, making everyday tasks such as reading difficult.

The survey was conducted for the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery Foundation (ASCRS) to gather a better understanding of peoples' attitudes toward/knowledge of presbyopia and the available treatment options to correct this problem. The telephone survey polled 500 adults, aged 45+ from the general population, and 250 patients who had presbyopia- correcting artificial lenses implanted in their eyes.

"Survey results showed that most adults in both sample groups are not at all knowledgeable about presbyopia, nor do they know what causes it. In fact, 79% of the general population is not at all knowledgeable, and 56% of patients who have had corrective surgery for presbyopia do not even know what the condition is," said Samuel Masket, Chair of the ASCRS Presbyopia Task Group and ASCRS Past President.

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By contrast, 72% of the vision correction patients say that the high technology lenses "gave you the freedom to live your life the way that you want." 84% strongly agree that they "would recommend it to others." 59% strongly agree that it "changed your life," the survey found.

"It is important for people to understand how their vision changes with age, and how they can maintain good vision through the years, says Dr. Masket, Past President, ASCRS.

"At ASCRS we see education as a vital tool for helping patients live better, happier lives, and we are constantly looking for new ways to talk to the public about their understanding of their vision. Because many patients, who have undergone surgical treatment options say that their lives have drastically improved with their renewed vision, we hope to spread the word about the importance of regularly seeing an eye doctor to talk through options for caring for your eyes."

Barriers to having vision correction surgery include costs and safety issues, but many say they don't know enough about the procedure.

The benefits of surgery were numerous, including: improved vision, not having to wear glasses, and being more self-confident.

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