Clearing Up Your Questions About Cataracts & Cataract Surgery

Cataracts are a common, natural aging eye condition affecting 2.5 million Canadians yearly. But a survey commissioned by Alcon Canada revealed that over half of Canadians aged 55-79 don’t know much about cataracts and cataract surgery. In fact, 59% of Canadians with cataracts are unaware that there are options to treat cataracts and other vision conditions at once. Here, we clear up some of the facts.


A cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eye. The lens is made of mostly water and protein. When protein clumps together, it clouds part of the lens and blurs vision. When cataracts develop, colours become muted and expressions on loved one’s faces become difficult to see.

Living with cataracts is like looking at the world through a foggy window. They’re a leading cause of blindness and low vision in age-related diseases. Cataracts can prevent you from being able to read or drive, and more than double the chances of having an at-fault car accident.

Dr. Kathy Cao, a Toronto-based ophthalmologist with the Kensington Eye Institute, says, “Almost all of us will get cataracts as we get older. Early cataracts can typically be addressed with glasses or contacts. But when a cataract interferes with everyday activities and glasses or contacts don’t help, it’s time to consider surgery.”


Cataract surgery is one of the most common surgeries in Canada. It involves removing the lens from your eye and replacing it with an artificial lens.

Dr. Cao says patients are often worried or nervous about the surgery. “While every surgery has its risks, cataract surgery is generally safe and has a 95% success rate. Patients usually notice vision improvements in a couple days and return to their regular activities soon after.”


It’s important to speak to your eye care professional about your vision goals before your surgery. “The lens you choose will make a difference in how well you see and whether you’ll need glasses,” says Dr. Cao.

Monofocal, toric, or bifocal lenses are just some of the artificial lens replacement options available. The latest advances in vision technology are trifocal lenses. They provide a full range of vision at all distances with your best chance to be without glasses after cataract surgery.

Alcon PanOptix® trifocal lenses are a viable solution for those with presbyopia undergoing cataract surgery. They provide superior visual performance for near, intermediate and far distances. Clear vision at all distances allows you to see the faces of those you love, colours and details, and feel more confident in day-to-day life and while travelling.


If you’re considering cataract surgery, speak to your eye care professional about your vision goals and visit


⃰ Patients should exercise caution when driving at night and during poor visibility conditions