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Innovation

Driven by our purpose of helping people see brilliantly, we transform eye care possibilities into therapeutic realities through the discovery and development of innovative eye care products and treatments.

 

Sight Matters

We are dedicated to helping people see brilliantly by offering the widest array of eye care and eye health offerings with products that can treat the entire eye at each stage of life.

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Have Presbyopia1

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What Causes Presbyopia

Presbyopia is the gradual loss of the eye’s ability to actively focus on close objects. It occurs with the natural course of aging – generally starting around the age of 40 – and requires some form of vision correction to deal with its effect.

 

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People are Blind from Cataracts2

 

What Causes Cataracts

Most cataracts develop from advanced aging.3 As the body ages, the lens of the eye, which consists of water and protein, can become cloudy due to protein clumping together, scattering the light landing on the retina and causing visual impairment. When the cataract blocks light, vision is disrupted.4

 

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Have Uncorrected Refractive Errors2

 

The Burden of Uncorrected Refractive Errors

More than 12.8 million children globally, ages 5 to 15, are visually impaired due to uncorrected refractive errors as a result of nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism – conditions which, with a simple eye exam, can be treated with contact lenses or surgical procedure.5

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Living with Dry Eye6

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What Causes Dry Eyes

Dry eyes are caused by a lack of sufficient moisture in the eyes because of an inadequate quality or quantity of tears.7 If the eyes are not lubricated enough, either by low quantity or poor quality of tears, it causes discomfort and leads to irritation.

Experience Our Range of Products

As the largest eye care devices company in the world, Alcon has a wide array of offerings within vision care and ophthalmic surgery. Explore each category for information about our range of products and other resources.

Contact Lenses & Solutions

Contact lenses are a way to get clear vision while having the freedom and flexibility to move in many environments. Find the right contact lenses and contact lens solution for your vision and lifestyle needs.

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Eye Care Products

Discover products for all aspects of vision care. From dry eyes to eye allergies, find relief or manage your eye health with our eye care products.

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Cataracts

Cataracts occur when protein accumulates in the lens of the eye, resulting in blurred or hazy vision. Cataracts are a common and natural part of aging, but there are many options for addressing cataracts, along with improved vision.

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LASIK

LASIK, or laser eye surgery, is a procedure to treat common vision problems like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. LASIK can help to reduce their dependency on glasses or contact lenses, and in some cases eliminate their dependency entirely.

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Refractive Technology

Refractive Technology is used in corrective eye surgery of refractive errors like hyperopia, myopia, astigmatism and presbyopia. Find advanced tools and devices to meet the requirements of both your therapeutic procedures and your patients.

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Vitreoretinal Surgery

Vitreoretinal surgery restores, preserves and enhances vision for eye conditions affecting the retina, macula and vitreous fluid. Explore the most comprehensive portfolio of innovative ophthalmic surgical products to achieve optimal results.

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A New WAVE of Technology
We’ve proudly launched our home-grown AcrySof® IQ Vivity™, Alcon’s latest innovation in the cataract space in the U.S.
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We’ve proudly launched our home-grown AcrySof® IQ Vivity™, Alcon’s latest innovation in the cataract space in the U.S.

“We wanted to do something meaningful to address visual disturbances, and we were thrilled when we saw this potential through our cutting-edge X-WAVE™ technology,” said Rob Scott, Vice President Implantables, Surgical R&D at Alcon. “With Vivity, we are able to deliver this breakthrough technology to people with cataracts while also offering a vision correction that has the opportunity to provide reduced spectacle dependence.1

Alcon’s Vivity uses proprietary Wavefront-Shaping X-WAVE™ technology, a next-generation optical principle that stretches and shifts light without splitting it.1 Born out of years of R&D effort, the technology allows the Vivity lens to deliver monofocal-quality distance (far) with excellent intermediate (arm’s-length) and functional near vision (up-close).1

The development of this technology demanded intricate adjustments to the lens, and countless design and redesign efforts, along with an adaptation of manufacturing specifications. Together with the PanOptix® IOL, the Vivity IOL expands Alcon’s growing portfolio of presbyopia-mitigating IOLs to meet the needs of cataract patients who are interested in restoring and improving their vision.

This display of tireless innovation among Alcon scientists exemplifies our dedication to helping people See Brilliantly. 

Vivity is available in Europe, Australia, the U.S., Canada and has been introduced to select ophthalmologists in Brazil, Korea and India.

Review the links for Important Product Information for AcrySof® IQ Vivity ™ IOL and AcrySof® IQ PanOptix® Trifocal IOL.

 

References

  1. AcrySof® IQ Vivity™ Extended Vision IOL DFU. Alcon Laboratories, Inc.; 2021.

25 Years of Refractive Surgery Innovation with WaveLight
Each year, millions of patients undergo refractive surgery – often referred to as laser vision correction. It’s a procedure in which an eye doctor uses a laser beam to reshape the surface of the eye, making it more effective at focusing light and ultimately leading to better vision.
Today, we celebrate a quarter of a century of helping people see brilliantly through many groundbreaking innovations by the Alcon subsidiary WaveLight® GmbH.
Since WaveLight’s founding in 1996, our research has focused on high-end laser systems and diagnostic solutions. In 2000, WaveLight introduced the world’s first 200 Hz excimer laser for refractive surgery. By 2003, WaveLight became the first European manufacturer to receive US FDA approval. These accomplishments, coupled with the ability to design a refractive laser system that combined precision, speed and quality, quickly established WaveLight as a global market and technology leader and a favorite among ophthalmologists. Today, the WaveLight portfolio includes the most modern excimer and femtosecond lasers, which are supplemented by a comprehensive range of surgical-diagnostic devices. All systems are connected by a specially developed computer network.
“Having performed more than 40,000 laser treatments with WaveLight lasers, I continue to be impressed by this technology,” says Dr. Arthur Cummings, one of the first users of the WaveLight devices and technology.
The WaveLight refractive portfolio focuses on the best possible visual outcomes for our patients and makes a decisive contribution to the development of new technologies worldwide. For example, our eye-tracking systems, which follow eye movements during the LASIK procedure to direct the laser pulses precisely to the right place, are a staple component of modern eye lasers.
We look forward to the next twenty-five years of continuous advancement and innovation and taking refractive surgery to the next level to help people see brilliantly!
© 2021 Alcon Inc. 4/21 GLB-WLO-2100001
 

 
30th Anniversary of the First Implantation of the AcrySof® IOL
December 14th 2020 marks the 30th anniversary of the first implantation of the AcrySof® IOL. Dr. Richard Packard, based in the UK, was the first surgeon in the world to implant the lens.
To date, there have been more than 125 million implants of the AcrySof® lens making it the most implanted cataract replacement lens in the world for cataract patients.
Over the years, Alcon has continued to evolve the lens with upgrades and advancements, now offering the most comprehensive, best-in-class family of IOLs for cataract patients in the world.

Getting to Know Dr. Carolina Kunnen, the Ambitious Optometrist Engaging Employees One Vlog at a Time
Carolina Kunnen, Ph.D., BOptom, BHealth, FBCLA, Senior Clinical Development & Medical Affairs Project Lead for Alcon Global Vision Care
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At Alcon, we thrive on the spirit of entrepreneurship. It’s how we became a global leader in eye care and continuously bring next-gen innovations to market. But to help people see brilliantly, at first, sometimes things get foggy. Taking risks and innovating towards the unknown is core to developing world-class, life-changing solutions.

Carolina Kunnen embodies that very ethos.

Carolina studied at the Hogeschool Utrecht University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands, where she grew up. Suffering from myopia herself, she knew optometry was her calling from a young age. “Optometry is so me! It’s like being Dutch and wearing wooden shoes! It’s a great fit,” says Carolina through her trademark laugh. "It allows me to combine my love of technical sciences with my passion for caring for others—that’s my sweet spot.” 

At 24, that same passion propelled Carolina to a new home more than 3,000 miles away: Ghana. With a small donation, she collaborated with the University of Cape Coast to establish the Optical Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that provides comprehensive eye examinations to Ghanaian children, which she leads to this day.

In 2017, Carolina joined Alcon following her Ph.D. from the University of New South Wales and the Brien Holden Vision Institute in Australia and an academic research stint at the University of Houston. She leads the global clinical strategy were she designs clinical trials for early product development. Additionally, Carolina plays an integral role in the launch of Alcon’s cutting-edge vision care solutions.

But, one of Carolina’s proudest accomplishments to date has been partnering with Principal Design Engineer, David Borja Ph.D., to launch the Clinical Strategy and Innovation (CSI) Vlog. The video series recreates a sense of pre-pandemic office life and demos the latest-and-greatest vision care tech at Alcon’s offices. These viral, “day-in-the-life”-style videos—shot on an iPhone and edited by Carolina and David —range in topics from showcasing the innovative clinical diagnostic technology at Alcon to demystifying lens fabrication, bloopers and all.

The reaction from colleagues has been nothing short of fanatic, says Carolina. Seven videos have been published since February, and the latest installment, “Caro’s Camper Van series,” sees her in conversation with colleagues about hot topics at Alcon and is shot from inside her Renault Master DCI120 camper van.

In her vlogs, innovation abounds. But, as Carolina puts it, innovation isn’t just tech. It starts anywhere.

“You don't always need fancy equipment to innovate. You could start with a piece of paper (or an iPhone!) and your imagination. That’s the cool thing about Alcon. We get the opportunity to run with our ideas. That's where the true innovation starts!”

 

External Innovation Opportunities

Alcon Research Institute

Partnerships

The task of increasing quality eye care for the world’s underserved patients comes with many challenges. Many of the organizations and programs we fund are overcoming these challenges with novel approaches to problems. For example, through our support and partnership with SightLife, the Eye Donation Counselor program established in hospitals in India is enabling cornea transplant surgeries that might not have been possible otherwise.

References

  1. Global Prevalence of Presbyopia and Vision Impairment, 2018 Oct;125(10):1492-1499. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha
  2. World Health Organization (WHO), www.who.int/blindness
  3. American Academy of Ophthalmolgoy. What are Cataracts. https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/what-are-cataracts [Accessed March 2019].
  4. Web MD. A Visual Guide to Cataracts. https://www.webmd.com/eye-health/cataracts/ss/slideshow-cataracts [Accessed March 2019].
  5. National Center for Biotechnology Information, Global magnitude of visual impairment caused by uncorrected refractive errors in 2004. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2647357/[Accessed March 2019]
  6. Epi Database. Kantar Health. June 2015. Custom Dry Eye Self-Reported Prevalence ages 40+, 16 markets
  7. National Eye Institute. Facts About Dry Eye. https://nei.nih.gov/health/dryeye/dryeye [Accessed March 2019].
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