New Technology Can Offer People with Cataracts a Full Range of Vision and Freedom from Eyeglasses

Health Canada approves TECNIS® Symfony Extended Range of Vision intraocular lens

TORONTO, Sept. 16 2015 /CNW/ -- Abbott (NYSE: ABT) announced today it received Health Canada's approval of the TECNIS® Symfony Extended Range of Vision intraocular lens (IOL) for the treatment of people with cataracts who may also have a diminished ability to focus on near objects (presbyopia). It is the first and only extended range of vision IOL to correct presbyopia and help people with cataracts see better at all distances, including far, intermediate and near, and points in between, with decreased need for glasses.1,2

A cataract is a gradual clouding of the natural lens of the eye that prevents light from reaching the retina.3 More than 2.5 million Canadians have cataracts.4  The incidence of cataracts increases with age from about 12 per cent at age 50, to 60 per cent at age 70.5 In general, approximately 50 per cent of Canadians 65 years of age or older have cataracts.6

"The availability of the TECNIS Symfony IOL is welcome news for many of my patients," said Sheldon Herzig, M.D, co-founder and medical director, Herzig Eye Institute, Toronto. "The new lens effectively improves both near and distance vision without glasses following cataract surgery, while maintaining excellent night vision. Eliminating the need for reading glasses has been one of my patients' greatest needs and has a significant impact on their quality of life."

Traditionally after cataract surgery, people may still require eyeglasses.7, 8 However, a clinical study of 31 people who had the TECNIS Symfony IOL implanted showed 70 per cent of them reporting rarely or never requiring wearing glasses. One hundred per cent of people who had the lens implanted reported they did not need to wear glasses for seeing objects at distance, while 94 per cent and 87 per cent of people reported the same results at intermediate and near distances, respectively.9

The TECNIS Symfony lens differs from traditional technologies with its unique design that elongates the eye's focus across a continuous range of distances, without sacrificing a person's visual clarity or contrast. The IOL is designed to be placed in the lens capsule of the eye, replacing the natural crystalline lens that has been removed because of a cataract.10,11,12,13

"We are pleased to offer the new TECNIS Symfony Extended Range of Vision IOL for people with cataracts who want a full range of vision," said Leonard Borrmann, divisional vice president, research and development for Abbott's vision business. "Many people in need of cataract surgery want to lead active lives, drive regularly, and use computers and mobile devices. Abbott is focused on developing new technologies that not only improve sight, but help people maintain the most active healthy lifestyles possible."

About Cataracts

The lens of a healthy eye is normally clear. Cataracts can vary from extremely small areas of cloudiness to large opaque areas that cause a noticeable blurring of vision.14

Common signs associated with advanced cataracts include: blurred or hazy vision that can't be improved by changing glasses prescriptions; a feeling of a film over the eyes that doesn't go away with blinking; a temporary change in distance and/or near vision; and an increased sensitivity to glare, especially at night.15

The most common cause of cataracts is aging. Other causes include heredity, an injury or a disease, excessive exposure to ultraviolet radiation present in sunlight, cigarette smoke or the use of certain medications.16

About Abbott:

At Abbott, we're committed to helping you live your best possible life through the power of health. For more than 125 years, we've brought new products and technologies to the world -- in nutrition, diagnostics, medical devices and branded generic pharmaceuticals -- that create more possibilities for more people at all stages of life. Today, 73,000 of us are working to help people live not just longer, but better, in the more than 150 countries we serve.

Connect with us at,* on Facebook at* and on Twitter @AbbottNews and @AbbottGlobal.



168 Data on File. Symfony Simulated Defocus Curves


166 Data on File. Extended Range of Vision IOL 3-Month Study Results (NZ)


PHAC. Diabetes in Canada: Facts and figures from a public health perspective. Available from:


CNIB. Cataracts – A Leading Cause of Vision Loss. Available from:


Health Quality Ontario. Intraocular Lenses for the Treatment of Age-Related Cataracts 2009. Available from:


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Trends in Vision and Hearing Among Older Americans. Available from:


WebMD. Cataract Surgery. Available from:


NHS Choices. Cataract Surgery. Available at:


166 Data on File. Extended Range of Vision IOL 3-Month Study Results (NZ)

10. *


166 Data on File. Extended Range of Vision IOL 3-Month Study Results (NZ)


168 Data on file. Symfony Simulated Defocus Curves


Artal, P., Manzanera, S., Piers, P., & Weeber, H. (2010). Visual effect of the combined correction of spherical and longitudinal chromatic aberrations. Opt Express, 18 (2), 1637-1648


Doctors of Optometry Canada. Cataracts. Available from:





*Not all products and information on these websites are approved in Canada.


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For further information: Abbott Media: Dan Wawrzyn, (714) 247-8692, Natalie Pavlenko (Weber Shandwick), T (416) 642-7939, M (416) 562-0393,; Abbott Financial: Michael Comilla, (224) 668-1872,

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