New Global Research Finds Brits are Concerned Their Vision Has Worsened During the Pandemic But Early Intervention Remains an Obstacle for Their Overall Eye Health

— Johnson & Johnson Vision’s annual Global Eye Health Survey reveals that people aren’t taking proactive measures to keep their…

Johnson & Johnson Vision’s annual Global Eye Health Survey reveals that people aren’t taking proactive measures to keep their eyes healthy, yet 88% of British adults fear losing their sight above any other sense¹

Only 40% of British respondents have had an eye exam in the past year, the single most important step to protect your eyes¹

— 68% of British adults don’t plan to get their eyes examined this year¹, despite an appointment typically taking only 20-30 minutes²

More than one third (38%) of British adults believe their vision has deteriorated since the start of the pandemic¹

LONDON, Nov. 9, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Johnson & Johnson Vision, a global leader in eye health and part of the Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies*, has published new insights from a comprehensive, global survey about eye health, including impacts from the pandemic, misconceptions about cataracts surgery, the high potential for missed early intervention for children with myopia, a progressive disease that poses the biggest eye health threat of the 21st Century3,4,5,6, and the intersection between eye health and beauty.  The annual Global Eye Health Survey was conducted as part of Johnson & Johnson Vision’s Prioritize Your Eyes campaign, a worldwide effort to raise awareness about the importance of getting an eye exam every two years.

According to this year’s survey, more than one-third of British adults (38%) believe their vision has deteriorated since the start of the pandemic but many aren’t taking measures to keep their eyes healthy. Despite 88% of the Britain’s adult population fearing losing their sight above any other sense, 68% of respondents said they don’t plan to schedule an eye exam in the year ahead1—the single most important step to protect your eyes, typically taking just 20-30 minutes.2 

Moreover, due at least in part to the pandemic, only 40% of respondents report that they had an eye exam in the past year1, despite 82% recognising it as important to their overall health1 and the majority (88%) of Britain’s adult population fear losing their sight above any other sense1.

«At Johnson & Johnson Vision, we are committed to changing the trajectory of eye health—which starts with getting people to take an eye test at least every two years,» said Jakob Sveen7, Managing Director Northern Europe & General Manager UK and Ireland, Johnson & Johnson Vision. «This research shows that only one-in-four Brits have discussed the connection between eye health and other illnesses with a medical professional1. With the Prioritize Your Eyes campaign and our annual eye health survey, our goal is to educate people about the importance of regularly going to the opticians —for the sake of their vision and overall health.» 

Don’t Wait on Cataracts

The disconnect between intention and action can be further seen in how respondents discussed cataracts – a clouding of the lens in inside your eye. More than half (58%) of Brits surveyed who’d had cataract surgery said if they’d have known how much better their vision would be after the surgery, they would have done it sooner1. Furthermore, 59% didn’t realize how bad their vision was until after the 10-minute surgery1 had been performed.

The Challenge of Myopia

Furthermore, while three-in-four (74%) British parents indicate they believe it is more important for their child to receive an eye exam than it is for themselves1, less than a quarter (23%) plan to schedule an eye exam in the coming year for their children1. This is despite 57% of parents indicating that they’re concerned about their children being diagnosed as nearsighted (myopia) 1.

While myopia is sometimes called ‘nearsightedness’, it is much more. Myopia is a chronic disease that poses the biggest eye health threat of the 21st Century.8 Half of the world’s population is projected to be myopic by 2050.9 Often diagnosed between 8 and 12, young children who become myopic can be at increased risk of sight-threatening eye diseases later in life.10,11 The best way to help combat myopia, is to ensure that children are having their eyes examined professionally at least every two years.

Beauty and Eye Health – Ageing with Style

Interestingly, one-in-five respondents (23%) indicated they’re more concerned about how their eyes make them look, than the actual health of their eyes1. For those with aging eyes, a quarter (25%) worry wearing varifocal glasses will make them look old1 or will impact their self-confidence (29%)1, yet only 43% know that multifocal contact lenses are available as an alternative to glasses1. People don’t have to sacrifice aesthetics to improve vision.

Eye exams remain the single most effective way for people to protect their eyes and uncover the best eye care solution that works for them. Be that cataract surgery, multifocal contact lenses or identifying myopia in children at the earliest possible stage. Everyone should make the commitment to #PrioritizeYourEyes and book an eye exam today.

About Prioritize Your Eyes 

Prioritize Your Eyes was launched in early 2020 and is just one part of Johnson & Johnson Vision’s ongoing commitment and collaboration with various partners and professional organizations to elevate eye health to a global priority and address the barriers of awareness and access. Sight for Kids, a nonprofit program co-founded by Johnson & Johnson Vision and Lions Clubs International Foundation nearly 20 years ago, has provided more than 30 million children with access to eye health education and treatment services, and has also committed funds to Himalayan Cataract Project which has helped to screen and treat more than 12.5 million people in 20+ countries and give 1.01 million+ people their sight back via sight-restoring eye surgery. 

About J&J Global Eye Health Survey

The J&J Vision Global Eye Health Survey was conducted online July – August 2021 by The Harris Poll, experts in public polling research and analytics, of more than 16,000 adults 18 years of age or older across United States, United Kingdom, China, France, Germany, Korea, Russia, and Brazil. 2,001 British adults were surveyed as part of this research. Revealing key insights across the lifestyle of eye health, this survey is conducted annually as part of the Prioritize Your Eyes campaign, a worldwide effort to raise awareness about the importance of eye health and encourage everyone to get a biannual eye exam.

About Johnson & Johnson Vision* 

At Johnson & Johnson Vision, part of Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies, we have a bold ambition: to change the trajectory of eye health around the world. Through our operating companies, we deliver innovation that enables eye care professionals to create better outcomes for patients throughout their lives, with products and technologies that address unmet needs including refractive error, cataracts and dry eye. In communities with greatest need, we work in collaboration to expand access to quality eye care, and we are committed to helping people see better, connect better and live better. Visit us at www.jjvision.com. Follow @JNJVision on Twitter and Johnson & Johnson Vision on LinkedIn. 

About Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies** 

At Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies, we are helping people live their best lives. Building on more than a century of expertise, we tackle pressing healthcare challenges, and take bold steps that lead to new standards of care while improving people’s healthcare experiences. In surgery, orthopaedics, vision and interventional solutions, we are helping to save lives and paving the way to a healthier future for everyone, everywhere. 

*Johnson & Johnson Vision represents the products and services of Johnson & Johnson Surgical Vision, Inc., Johnson & Johnson Medical Ltd, and the affiliates of both. 

** The Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies comprise the surgery, orthopaedics, vision, and interventional solutions businesses within Johnson & Johnson’s Medical Devices segment. 

© Johnson & Johnson Medical Ltd 2021. All rights reserved.

[*]The Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies comprise the surgery, orthopedics, vision, and interventional solutions businesses within Johnson & Johnson’s Medical Devices segment.

1 JJV data on file 2021: Global Eye Health Survey fielded by The Harris Poll in July 2021. n=16,034. Markets included US, Brazil, UK, France, Germany, Russia, China, and South Korea.

2 The College of Optometrists. Look After Your Eyes: The eye examination Available at https://lookafteryoureyes.org/eye-examinations/the-eye-examination/

3 Flitcroft DI et al. IMI–Defining and classifying myopia: a proposed set of standards for clinical and epidemiologic studies. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2019;60:M20-30.

4 Donovan L, Sankaridurg P, Ho A et al. Myopia progression rates in urban children wearing single-vision spectacles. OVS 2012;89(1):27-32.

5 Pärssinen O, Kauppinen M. Risk factors for high myopia: a 22-year follow-up study from childhood to adulthood. Acta Ophthalmologica. 2019;97(5):510-518.

6 Holy C, Kulkarni K, Brennan NA. Predicting Costs and Disability from the Myopia Epidemic – A Worldwide Economic and Social Model. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci.2019;60(9):5466-5466.

7 Jakob Sveen, Managing Director Northern Europe & General Manager UK and Ireland, Johnson & Johnson Vision.

8 JJV data on file 2021: Myopia Compendium.

9 Holden BA, Fricke TR, Wilson DA, Jong M, Naidoo K, et al. Global Prevalence of Myopia and High Myopia and Temporal Trends from 2000 to 2050. Ophthalmol. 2016;123(5):1036-1042. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2016.01.006. 

10 National Eye Institute. Nearsightedness – Who is at Risk? Available at https://nei.nih.gov/healthyeyes/myopia. Last accessed September 2019

11 Hu Y, Ding X, Guo X, Chen Y, Zhang J, He M. Association of Age at Myopia Onset with Risk of High Myopia in Adulthood in a 12-Year Follow-up of a Chinese Cohort. Jama Ophthalmol. 2020;138(11):1129-1134. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2020.3451.

Media Contact

Sally Hetherington

Johnson & Johnson Vision

shether1@its.jnj.com

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