SOURCE: Alcon

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November 16, 2016 09:00 ET

Canadians can "lose their readers" with new multifocal contact lenses

Survey reveals that bothersome reading glasses make Canadians look and feel older

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - November 16, 2016) - Between smart devices, restaurant menus, food labels and even golf cards, the constant search for missing reading glasses and the need for progressive lens spectacles may now be over for many aging Canadians who struggle with the fine print.

Multifocal contact lenses are available across the country to address Canadians' presbyopia, an eye condition that often occurs following the age of 40, and involves the gradual loss of the eye's ability to actively focus on close objects. Worldwide, nearly 1.7 billion people have presbyopia, and this number is expected to soar to 2.1 billion by 2020.1

That loss of focus can have functional, image and emotional impacts. In fact, a new survey shows that almost half of adults say reading glasses not only make someone look older, they also make them feel older.2

That's why Alcon Canada has launched loseyourreaders.ca to help Canadians learn more about multifocal contact lenses, including daily disposable and monthly wear options. The company's multifocal contact lenses allow for a range of visual requirements and are a proven option to correct the vision of people with presbyopia.

"We hear from patients that they really start to think about aging when they have a hard time reading the small print on a restaurant menu or their smartphone," says Dr. Michael Kaplan, Doctor of Optometry. "ALCON® multifocal contact lenses offer superior technology and comfort to provide crisp, clear vision at all distances, near through far, helping to make people's day-to-day life easier by doing away with that constant search for readers as they check their messages, set their GPS or order dinner in a nice restaurant."

The survey, conducted by Leger, The Research Intelligence Group, in collaboration with Alcon, the global leader in eye care and a division of Novartis, was designed to evaluate the effect that readers have on perceived age.

The survey also showed that while diminishing vision is something that will happen to nearly all Canadians, 30% would rather wear contact lenses than reading glasses, 16% would rather squint than wear reading glasses and about 1 in 5 (19%) agree that they would or currently avoid wearing reading glasses because they would make them look older.2

"The survey results are a fascinating insight into Canadians' perceptions about aging and their judgements about meeting someone who wears glasses. These results mirror what I see in my practice," says Kaplan. "Interestingly enough, most respondents value looking and feeling younger, but they aren't doing everything they can to look so."

According to the survey, almost half of Canadians (47%) in their mid-life admit that it is important to them to look younger and the majority (93%) of adults age 38-54 undertake a variety of steps to make them feel younger ranging from laughter, sleep, drinking water, good skin regimes to spa treatments.2

To learn more about how ALCON® multifocal contact lenses can help Canadians SEE and BE in the moment, presbyopia sufferers are encouraged to talk to their eye care professional to receive a comprehensive eye exam and visit www.LoseYourReaders.ca.

About ALCON® Multifocal Contact Lenses
ALCON® multifocal contact lenses provide vision correction for presbyopes, with the Unique Precision Profile™ design allowing to blend seamlessly across the lens for smooth transition between a wide range of distances and clear vision at all distances, near through far. ALCON® multifocal contact lenses are available in daily disposable and monthly wear options to correct the vision of people with myopia, hyperopia and presbyopia. For more information about ALCON® multifocal contact lenses, visit: www.LoseYourReaders.ca.

Survey Methodology
Leger, The Research Intelligence Group, surveyed 1002 Canadians, aged 38-54, between October 26 and November 4, 2015 using Leger's online panel, LegerWeb. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20. Leger's online panel has approximately 460,000 members nationally -- with between 10,000 and 20,000 new members added each month, and a retention rate of 90%. Panel members were randomly selected to receive an email invitation to the survey. Additionally, 14 thirty minute in-person interviews were conducted by Leger over the course of two days. All participants ranted between the ages of 35-54 years old and were divided by gender. Elements of the interview were more quantitative in nature.

About Alcon
Alcon, the global leader in eye care, provides innovative products that enhance quality of life by helping people worldwide see better. Alcon Surgical and Vision Care business franchises offer the widest spectrum of eye care products in the world. Alcon is the second largest division of the Novartis Group, with sales of USD 10.8 billion in 2014. Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, USA, Alcon has more than 25,000 employees worldwide, operations in 75 countries and products available in 180 markets. For more information, visit www.alcon.ca.

About Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc.
Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc., a leader in the healthcare field, is committed to the discovery, development and marketing of innovative products to improve the well-being of all Canadians. In 2015, the company invested $53 million in research and development in Canada. Located in Dorval, Quebec, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. employs more than 700 people in Canada and is an affiliate of Novartis AG, which provides innovative healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies. For further information, please consult www.novartis.ca.

About Novartis
Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis offers a diversified portfolio: innovative medicines, eye care and cost-saving generic pharmaceuticals. Novartis is the only global company with leading positions in these areas. In 2015, the Group achieved net sales of USD 49.4 billion, while R&D throughout the Group amounted to approximately USD 8.9 billion (USD 8.7 billion excluding impairment and amortization charges). Novartis Group companies employ approximately 119,000 full-time-equivalent associates. Novartis products are available in more than 180 countries around the world. For more information, please visit www.novartis.ca. Novartis is on Twitter. Sign up to follow @Novartis at http://twitter.com/novartis.

1 MayoClinic.org, "Presbyopia," http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/presbyopia/DS00589

2 Age Impact Perception, Qualitative Research Report, 2015. This survey was conducted online by Leger, The Research Intelligence Group, on behalf of ALCON® Vison Care from October 26 until November 4, 2015, among 1,002 Canadians age 38 through 54, using Leger's online panel LegerWeb. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20.

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