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Media Release

Alcon Survey Shows More Screen Time Causing Consumer Concern About Eye Health, Increasing Symptoms of Dry Eye

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  • During Dry Eye Awareness Month, Alcon brings attention to the link between screen time and eye dryness complaints
  • Survey reveals nearly 80% of Americans are spending more time on screens because of COVID-19 pandemic, and of those who do, nearly half have experienced their eyes feeling dry as a result
  • SYSTANE® HYDRATION Preservative-Free (PF) with HydroBoost Technology joins SYSTANE family of dry eye products, now available online and in retail stores nationwide

FORT WORTH, Texas, July 21, 2020 – Alcon, the global leader in eye care dedicated to helping people see brilliantly, today announced the results of a new survey, rolled out in recognition of Dry Eye Awareness Month. The survey, conducted by research firm Ipsos among 1,005 nationally representative U.S. adults, uncovers the impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on consumers’ screen time and how that impacts their perceptions on eye health. Key findings include:

  • Nearly 80% of Americans reported their screen time increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Three out of five (60%) of those who have increased their screen time are concerned about the impact that increased screen time will have on their eyes.
  • Among those with increased screen time, nearly half (45%) reported their eyes feel dry as a result of it.

“I’ve recently seen a growing number of patients who suffer from dry eye and eye strain issues linked to extra screen time and less blinking,” said Dr. Scott Schachter, OD, founder of the private practice Advanced Eyecare in Pismo Beach, California. “Dry Eye Awareness Month is the perfect time to educate patients on the signs and symptoms of dry eye—including fluctuating vision, burning or irritated eyes—and remind them about caring for their eyes. Simple habits like taking breaks every 20 minutes and looking 20 feet away for 20 seconds, and using an over-the-counter eye drop for an added boost of hydration, like the SYSTANE family, can help dry eye sufferers find relief.”

SYSTANE® HYDRATION Preservative-Free (PF) lubricant eye drops, the latest product in the SYSTANE family of drops, is now available nationwide. It delivers a new option for dry eye sufferers who may be using drops with increased frequency as screen time increases for many Americans who are spending more time at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. SYSTANE HYDRATION with HydroBoost technology provides extra moisture and long-lasting dry eye relief for those with sensitive, dry eyes, and especially those who use drops more than four times a day. SYSTANE HYDRATION is for use as a protectant against further irritation or to relieve dryness to the eye.

“Over 30 million people in the U.S. suffer from dry eye,1 and this survey shows us that increased screen time is associated with symptoms of eye dryness,” said Sergio Duplan, President, Alcon North America. “We know many people are looking for over-the-counter products to provide relief for their dry eye symptoms and Alcon is proud to add SYSTANE HYDRATION as the newest option in our SYSTANE family of eye drops.”

SYSTANE HYDRATION PF is preservative-free and features proprietary HydroBoost Technology, an exclusive combination of inactive ingredients that help retain the dual active lubricants on the ocular surface.2,3 It is available in 30 single-use vials in select retail stores and online at systane.myalcon.com.

This new eye drop joins the portfolio of SYSTANE products, including SYSTANE® Complete.

Survey Methodology

These are findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between July 7 - 8, 2020, on behalf of Alcon. For this survey, a sample of 1,005 adults age 18+ from the continental U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii was interviewed online in English. The poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points for all respondents.

Important Information for the Systane® Family of Products

Systane® lubricant eye drops have been clinically proven to reduce the symptoms of dry eye, providing immediate, long-lasting protection and comfort. The Systane® brand is the best-selling dry eye franchise in artificial tear solutions and is the #1 doctor-recommended brand. Systane® Complete is a treatment option for people who suffer from evaporative dry eye, aqueous tear-deficient dry eye or mixed dry eye. While Systane® Ultra is designed for dry eye with aqueous deficient patients, Systane®Balance lubricant eye drops are designed specifically for patients with dry eye associated with Meibomian gland dysfunction.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements can be identified by words such as: “anticipate,” “intend,” “commitment,” “look forward,” “maintain,” “plan,” “goal,” “seek,” “believe,” “project,” “estimate,” “expect,” “strategy,” “future,” “likely,” “may,” “should,” “will” and similar references to future periods.

Forward-looking statements are neither historical facts nor assurances of future performance. Instead, they are based only on our current beliefs, expectations and assumptions regarding the future of our business, future plans and strategies, and other future conditions. Because forward-looking statements relate to the future, they are subject to inherent uncertainties and risks that are difficult to predict. Some of these factors are discussed in our filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, including our Form 20-F. In particular, our expectations could be affected by uncertainties regarding the success of our separation and spin-off from Novartis. Should one or more of these uncertainties or risks materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those anticipated. Therefore, you should not rely on any of these forward-looking statements.

Forward-looking statements in this press release speak only as of the date of its filing, and we assume no obligation to update forward-looking statements as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.


  1. Tear Film and Ocular Surface Society (TFOS). TFOS DEWS II. Available at http://www.tearfilm.org/detreports-tfos_dew_ii_reprot/32_30/eng/. Accessed May 9, 2018.
  2. Mrukwa-Kominek E, Baranska K, Jadczyk K. FIrst clinical reports on the application of the modern dual-polymer formula in aqueous deficiency dry eye syndrome - Polish observations. Presented at the 20th European Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgery Winter Meeting; February 26-28, 2016; Athens, GR.
  3. Jones L, Downie LE, Korb D, et al. TFOS DEWS II management and therapy report. Ocul Surf. 2017;15:575-628.

About Alcon

Alcon helps people see brilliantly. As the global leader in eye care with a heritage spanning more than seven decades, we offer the broadest portfolio of products to enhance sight and improve people’s lives. Our Surgical and Vision Care products touch the lives of more than 260 million people in over 140 countries each year living with conditions like cataracts, glaucoma, retinal diseases and refractive errors. Our more than 20,000 associates are enhancing the quality of life through innovative products, partnerships with eye care professionals and programs that advance access to quality eye care. Learn more at www.alcon.com.

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Alcon Media Relations

Blake Overby
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Christina Cheng
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