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CooperVision Sees Need to Educate Americans on Options for Managing Presbyopia

Survey finds overwhelming majority of U.S. adults are unaware of presbyopia, an eye condition affecting nearly 90 million Americans

Fairport, N.Y., April 21, 2008 /PRNewswire/ – Nearly 90 million Americans—or roughly one in three-have a vision condition called presbyopia, but a new survey sponsored by CooperVision that was conducted by Harris Interactive® found that 83 percent of U.S. adults aged 18 years and older are not aware of the vision condition. Defined as a decrease in the ability of the lens in the eye to change its shape to focus on close objects, presbyopia is a natural condition that eventually affects all of us. Early signs of presbyopia typically appear around age 40. 1

"The lack of awareness around presbyopia is surprising—especially since more Americans than ever are developing the condition in light of the maturing baby boomer population," said Doug Brayer, marketing manager at CooperVision. "So few Americans are aware of this vision condition that is bound to affect them, even if they've never worn glasses or contact lenses their whole lives."

The survey also found that only 27 percent of U.S. adults aged 18 years and older expect to need bifocals or reading glasses—the most common correction for people facing presbyopia—when the reality is that there is no way for people to avoid the condition.

"Many of my patients have been forced to use bifocals or reading glasses once the visual symptoms of presbyopia set in, yet, many don't know why they're even having problems, or understand their choices to address it," said Justin J. Verrone, O.D., an eye care practitioner based in Rochester, N.Y. "Today's advances in contact lens technology now present a viable option for patients who need to correct presbyopia."

The contact lens options available for this growing population provide a convenient, comfortable, and healthy alternative or complement to bifocals or reading glasses. CooperVision offers the most comprehensive multifocal contact lens portfolio in the industry to treat presbyopic patients, even those with astigmatism.

Multifocal contact lenses from CooperVision contain multiple zones of vision correction by providing the wearer with simultaneous distance, intermediate, and near vision. All CooperVision multifocal lenses feature Balanced Progressive™ Technology, which is the most advanced multifocal technology available, and ensures great vision at every distance. The company also offers multifocal contact lenses that are part of its PC Hydrogel™ family, offering excellent health and optimum lens wearing comfort.

"Over the last few years, CooperVision has seen substantial growth in the multifocal contact lens segment. With the most complete lineup of multifocal contact lenses in the industry, CooperVision is positioned to fit virtually anyone with presbyopia that wants to wear a multifocal contact lens," added Brayer.

As the research suggests, awareness of presbyopia is very low. We've set out to raise awareness around presbyopia by providing eye care practitioners with educational materials and other tools that will help them inform their patients of the condition. We want people to know that they do have contact lens options that can help them grow older more gracefully," said Brayer.

CooperVision markets a wide range of multifocal contact lenses. Biomedics® EP is designed specifically for the emerging presbyope (someone just starting to show early signs of presbyopia). CooperVision's Proclear® Multifocal brand offers a broad range of contact lens parameters to help people remain in multifocal contact lenses as their condition progresses. For people with astigmatism, Proclear Multifocal Toric is available.

Presbyopia can be diagnosed through a general eye exam. If people experience any of the common symptoms of presbyopia—such as noticeable change in near vision, eyestrain, or headaches—they should see an eye care specialist to discuss their options.

For more information on CooperVision Multifocal contact lenses, or to find an eye doctor in your area, visit www.multifocalcontacts.coopervision.com.

What is Presbyopia?

Greek for the "aging eye," presbyopia is a natural occurrence that starts around age 10 and affects nearly everyone by age 40. It is an age-related process where the eye's lens becomes less flexible. According to the Contact Lens Council, more than 4 million people are diagnosed with presbyopia each year, making presbyopes the fastest-growing demographic segment requiring vision correction.

Methodology

Harris Interactive® fielded the study on behalf of CooperVision from February 8-12, 2008 via its QuickQuerySM online omnibus service, interviewing a nationwide sample of 2,075 U.S. adults aged 18 years and older. Data were weighted using propensity score weighting to be representative of the total U.S. adult population on the basis of region, age within gender, education, household income, race/ethnicity, and propensity to be online. No estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated; a full methodology is available.

CooperVision

CooperVision, a unit of The Cooper Companies, Inc. [NYSE: COO], is one of the world's leading manufacturers of soft contact lenses. Dedicated to enhancing the contact lens experience for practitioners and patients, CooperVision specializes in lenses for astigmatism, presbyopia, and ocular dryness. CooperVision manufactures a full array of monthly, two-week, and daily disposable contact lenses featuring advanced materials and optics. For more information, visit www.coopervision.com.

1For more information visit www.coopervision.com