The global Contact Lens market is estimated to be USD 9,216. 59 million in 2021. It is expected to reach USD 11,724. 53 million by 2027, registering a CAGR of 4. 24 % from 2022 to 2027. The impact of COVID-19 on the market growth was negative in 2020 due to fewer eye care consultations.
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Moreover, the market may prevail with a normal growth rate in the near future. For instance, as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Ophthalmology in August 2020, it is estimated that there was a nearly 80% initial decrease in ophthalmology visits, and as of mid-June, there was still a cumulative decrease in ophthalmology visits of 40% in the United States. According to an article published by Optometry Times Journal in January 2021, the emergence of COVID-19 in 2020 led to increase in the contact lens drop out from new as well as established users and major factor behind this was to avoid touching face and eyes owing to the concern of infection from SARS-CoV-2 virus and this led to the decrease in the demand for contact lenses during COVID-19 times
The growth of the contact lens market is attributed to the rising prevalence of optical disorders, the rising tendency to improve aesthetics, and increasing disposable incomes. According to World Health Organization, in 2019, it was estimated that around 2.2 billion people have vision impairment or blindness. Similarly according to the article published in The Lancet Global Health 2020, in 2020, an estimated 43-3 million people were blind, of whom 23-9 million were estimated to be female. Furthermore, 295 million people are estimated to have moderate to severe vision impairment, with 258 million having mild vision impairment. Furthermore, according to the same source, 610 million people will be blind by 2050, 474 million will have moderate to severe vision impairment, 360 million will have mild vision impairment, and 866 million will have uncorrected presbyopia.
Also, an emerging important cause of visual impairment in the developed regions of the world is uncorrected refractive errors. The rising geriatric population is further aggravating the prevalence of ophthalmic disorders; the leading causes of vision impairment are uncorrected refractive errors and cataracts, and most people with vision impairment are over the age of 50 years.
According to the June 2021 report of the BrightFocus Foundation, glaucoma affects more than three million Americans, with the most common kind, open-angle glaucoma, affecting 2.7 million people aged 40 and older. Further, according to the same source, glaucoma affects over 80 million individuals worldwide in 2020, with the number anticipated to rise to over 111 million by 2040 which shows an increasing burden of glaucoma globally and thus, the contact lenses market is expected to grow as glaucoma is one of the major cause of vision loss around the world.
The field of optometry and optics has observed a significant increase in research and development activities related to the studied market. Some of the recent advancements pertaining to the studied market such as the development of dynamic soft contact lenses with advanced technology have propelled the growth for contact lenses globally. For instance, in August 2020, Bausch + Lomb launched Bausch + Lomb Infuse silicone hydrogel (SiHy) daily disposable contact lens. The Infuse lenses feature a next-generation material infused with ProBalance Technology to help reduce symptoms of contact lens dryness and help in maintaining ocular surface homeostasis.
The increasing product launches and developments have increased the adoption of contact lenses. For instance, in March 2019, Alcon Vision LLC launched AcrySof IQ PanOptix Trifocal IOL in the United States, that can be used for intermediate, distance, and near vision. Additionally, the growing trend in the developments in contact lenses with drug-delivering capabilities are further expected to drive the market demand over the forecast period. However, factors such as availability of alternative techniques and complications associated with lenses are likely to hamper the market growth.
Key Market Trends
Corrective Contact Lenses are Expected to Exhibit a Significant Growth Rate over the Forecast Period
Corrective lenses are lenses made specifically to match the wearer’s vision defects. The purpose of the corrective lens is to improve or correct the vision of people with farsightedness (hyperopia), nearsightedness (myopia), presbyopia, and astigmatism.
As stated by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, in year 2020, around 157 million people across the globe had suffered from significant vision impairment due to uncorrected refractive errors affecting distance vision and approximately 3 million people with blindness. Additionally, same source has indicated that globally, over 500 million people were living without adequate correction for functional presbyopia in year 2020. As per the International Myopia Institute, as of 2020, around 30% of the world population was suffering from Myopia and it is estimated that by year 2050, approximately 50% of the global population will be myopic. The same source has indicated that the most prevalent regions for myopia include East and South-East Asia where countries such as South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, China and Japan where a prevalence of myopia ranges between 80 to 90%. The Indian Journal of Ophthalmology had published a report in May 2019 which states that India and China account for 50% of global vision impairment and blindness due to uncorrected refractive errors.
With available vision correction solutions and rising awareness about vision impairment conditions, the demand for these devices is increasing. Even in the developed regions of the world, the trend seems to be still rising owing to growing vision correction due to factors such as the growing geriatric population. For instance, according to a survey conducted by Vision 2020 Australia, National Disability Services (NDS), and the Australian Blindness Forum (ABF) in 2020, there are over 575,000 persons in Australia who are blind or vision impaired, with more than 70% over the age of 65 and over 66,000 people who are blind, the percentage of the population with visual impairment has been rising over the past few years in Australia. This is expected to help the growth of the market.
North America is Expected to Dominate the Market Over the Forecast Period
For contact lenses specifically during COVID-19, with limited social interaction and travel restrictions, the reduction in typical usage occasions has resulted in a decrease in contact lens wear. The United States and Canada have developed well-structured healthcare systems. These systems also encourage research and development. The supportive government policies are encouraging global market players to enter the United States and Canada. As a result, these countries have the presence of many global market players.
Moreover, a rise in the number of visual inaccuracies is expected to drive the regional market growth. For instance, as per the statistics published by the National Eye Institute, 2019, around 1.3 million Americans are blind and 2.9 million have low vision, and an estimated 2.2 million Americans will be blind and around 5 million Americans will have low vision by 2030. Hence, an increase in eye disorders will lead to a growing demand for contact lenses. Moreover, according to the article titled ‘ Census shows high prevalence of pediatric myopia in United States’ published in May 2022 using an odds ratio of 2.61 between urban and rural environments and data from 2020 United States census , the researchers estimated a total of 19,512,708 children with myopia and a nation wide prevalence of 36.1%. Such prevalence of myopia is expected to drive the growth of the market
Rising product innovation also bodes well for the regional market growth. For instance, in 2019, Bausch + Lomb announced the US launch of Bausch + Lomb ULTRA Multifocal for Astigmatism contact lenses. In 2020, Alcon Canada strengthened its robust contact lens portfolio in Canada by launching its innovative PRECISION1 daily disposable, silicone hydrogel (SiHy) contact lenses. Thus, with several developments by companies and demand by customers, the North American region is a highly attractive and stable region for the growth of companies and consumers in the contact lenses market.
The contact lenses market is highly competitive and consists of several major players. The presence of major market players, such as Essilor International SA, Bausch Health Companies Inc., Zeiss Group, and The Cooper Companies are, in turn, increasing the overall competitive rivalry of the market. With moderate sustainable competitive advantage through innovative products and low competition between online and offline companies, moderate competitive rivalry is observed in this market. The market participants enter long-term partnerships with suppliers and distributors to gain a competitive advantage and expand their product portfolios and geographical presence.
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