The global contact lenses market reported revenues exceeding USD 7 billion in 2013. The industry is anticipated to expand at a CAGR more than 3.4% (in volume terms) from 2016 to 2024 (forecast period). Demand in terms of volume is projected to reach nearly 1290.5 million units by 2024. High incidence of vision related disorders, such as myopia, hypermetropia, and astigmatism is a key factor that propels this industry. Surging popularity of the product can be attributed to a widening user base, a growing geriatric population, and changing lifestyles. Greater inclination of people towards enhancing their personal appearances also plays a vital role in driving market demand.
Like most industries, the Contact Lenses Market too depends greatly on product innovation. Different contact lenses cater to different vision-related anomalies. Contact lenses are thin, round, and curved pieces of transparent plastics that are placed on the cornea for improved vision. Besides vision correction, these are used nowadays for cosmetic purposes too. As a result, demand for colored & costume lenses is on the rise. Despite favorable demand for contact lenses, various alternatives to vision rectification, such as LASIK and PRK can hamper global demand.
The worldwide Contact Lenses Market is segmented as per products, designs, usage, and regions. On the basis of products, the industry is divided into soft, hybrid, and rigid gas permeable (RGP) contact lenses. With shares exceeding 88%, soft contact lenses generated the highest revenues in 2013. This segment is further divided into daily disposable, weekly, monthly, annual, and extended wear. When it comes to hygiene, daily disposables are by far the best. They rank high on convenience and help prevent the onset of health risks and related complications.
However, ongoing trends suggest that the demand for monthly disposable lenses can increase substantially during the forecast period. Soft contact lenses are made of normal & silicone hydrogel. As against regular hydrogel, the silicone one permits the passage of oxygen into the cornea. Thus, they ensure greater comfort to users, especially during sleep. Oxygen scarcity in the cornea leads to redness in the eyes, blurred vision, and corneal swelling. Silicone hydrogel contact lenses help correct vision disorders, like presbyopia and astigmatism.
RGP lenses were the second largest segment in 2013. They are easier to manage, highly durable, and ensure clear vision; but unlike soft lenses, these are not very comfortable. A hybrid contact lens has a soft outer ring for enhanced comfort and a gas permeable center that delivers clear vision. These lenses are mainly worn by people who have unevenly shaped corneas. They are ‘hybrid’ because they offer the sharp vision of RGP lenses and the comfort of soft lenses. Hybrid lenses are a safer option because they collect minimal debris unlike most others.
As per designs, the different types of contact lenses are multifocal, toric, spherical, and others. Spherical lenses will continue dominating the global industry till 2024. In terms of volumes, this segment held shares exceeding 60%. These lenses are recommended for the rectification of disorders, such as hypermetropia and myopia. However, because of age-related vision disorders and high incidence of presbyopia, multifocal contact lenses are expected to register the highest growth rate during the forecast period. Toric lenses are special types of soft contact lenses that are used to correct astigmatism. They are made of either a greatly breathable silicone hydrogel or a typical hydrogel material.
Based on usage, the contact lenses market is categorized into lifestyle-oriented, therapeutic, prosthetic, corrective, and cosmetic lenses. With shares over 40%, corrective contact lenses dominated the global market in 2013. This segment may continue leading the market throughout the forecast period. The therapeutic ones are mainly used for pain relief and for treating aphakia. Demand for these could increase favorably in the forthcoming years. Prosthetic contact lenses help conceal flaws and defects caused by eye disease and trauma. The cosmetic contact lenses segment is poised to grow at approximately 6.5% CAGR in the forecast period. This market stood over USD 900 million in 2015 and is expected to surpass USD 13 billion by 2024. High comfort & adjustability can propel demand in the near future.
Asia Pacific, North America, Europe, and Rest of the World are the key regions in the global contact lenses market. North America contributed to around 35% of the overall demand in 2013. Factors driving this region are high product penetration and demand for daily disposables. Other factors that drive this region are technological advancements, favorable governmental initiatives, greater awareness, and the availability of eye care professionals.
Asia Pacific is expected to grow rapidly in terms of both volume and revenue. This owes to the introduction of vision correction devices in countries, such as China and Japan. A growing geriatric population and economic development can propel this regional market. Also, popularity of online retail services and greater use of the internet may positively influence the region. However, high purchase volumes could hinder the same in the years to come. Strong scope for product penetration could create several market growth opportunities for industry participants.
Prominent companies operating in the global contact lenses industry are Johnson & Johnson, CooperVision, Ciba Vision, and Bausch & Lomb. Key market expansion strategies adopted by industry players are business ventures and effective marketing. In October 2016, CooperVision launched the Biofinity Energys, a monthly disposable contact lens that besides delivering comfort alleviates the adverse effects of digital eye fatigue. With around seventy percent adults suffering from digital eye fatigue, this lens helps reduce eye tiredness, redness, and even dryness. It also keeps one’s eyes healthy and clear. It enables patients to effortlessly shift their focus between offline activities and digital devices.
Contamac Ltd. is a global leader in specialist polymers. It has received approval from the FDA for its Tangible Hydra-PEG coating for applications in the ophthalmic industry. The technology of contact lens-coating confines the optimum gas permeable material to an extremely thin layer of PEG (polyethylene glycol). This makes the surface of the contact lens capable of being wetted. This technology will soon be launched in the U.S. and then in the European markets.
Research Support Specialist, USA