Metabolic changes in the eye lead over time to the loss of transparency, called cataract, causing impairment or loss of vision. The standard treatment consists of im-planting an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). Most IOLs fitted today are fixed monofocal lenses matched to see clearly at a certain distance (refractive target). Other types are also available, such as multifocal IOLs, which allow the patient to see clearly at different distances.
In addition, there has been an increase in presbyopia (impaired near-sightedness) due to the aging of the eye. More and more of these are treated with laser eye surgery (e.g. LASIK: laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis). For this, the surgeon will need to decide on the refractive target, i.e. the optimal viewing distance for the patient.
In 2015, 20 million cataract surgeries were performed worldwide; for 2020, 32 million are projected worldwide (WHO). The premium IOL sector is the fastest growing sector. In Western Europe & North America approx. 1.5 million laser eye surgery procedures are performed per year. Both premium IOLs and laser eye surgery are predominantly self-pay markets.