Contact lens comprises of two types of products, such as soft lens and gas permeable lens. Soft lenses are made of plastics and allow oxygen to pass through the eye cornea. They use materials that are translucent and flexible such as silicone hydrogel, that are high on oxygen permeability and are high on water retention capacity which makes them extremely comfortable for prolonged wear. At present, soft lenses have high oxygen permeability factor. Due to this, it can be worn overnight with extreme ease and comfort. These are used for correcting both near and farsightedness, as well as spherical aberration of the eye. In addition, gas permeable (GP) lenses are made up of durable plastics that are rigid and firm and transmit oxygen. It can resist any kind of deposits, as it does not contain water traces. It does not dehydrate easily, which makes them long lasting, durable and easy to handle. In addition, increase in younger population suffering from ophthalmological disorders, there is a continual demand for contact lenses among the population that is currently helping the growth of the contact lens market globally.
The global market for contact lenses features a consolidated competitive landscape, with the top four companies, including Johnson & Johnson, The Cooper Companies, Alcona Inc. and Bausch and Lomb, accounting for a share of nearly 68% in the global market in 2015, states Transparency Market Research (TMR) in a new report. Johnson & Johnson, the largest vendor in the market, held nearly 31% share in the global market in the same year.
Volume-wise, the Contact Lens market is expected to rise to 2,135.0 mn units by 2024. TMR also estimates that the global contact lens market, which had a valuation of US$9.74 bn in 2015 in terms of revenue, is expected to expand at a 7.6% CAGR from 2016 through 2024, and rise to US$18.70 bn by 2024. Of the key technologies used for manufacturing contact lenses, the cast molding technology is presently the most preferred, accounting for a share of over 80% of the market’s overall revenues in 2015.
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Rising Prevalence of Ophthalmic Disorders and Rising Popularity as Fashion Accessory Boost Global Sales of Contact Lenses
The vast rise in the world’s population that suffers from a variety of ophthalmic disorders has emerged as the primary growth driver of the global contact lens market lately. The rise in younger population with issues such as refractory errors and weakened eyesight have especially increased the global consumption of contact lenses, which are being increasingly preferred for their comfort, convenience, and aesthetics.
The easy availability of colored, disposable, and affordable varieties of contact lenses have also led to the vast rise in their usage as fashion accessories globally. Attempts made by contact lens manufacturers to educate masses about the proper and safe use of contact lenses and the availability of vast product varieties across distant corners of the globe have also helped stimulate the growth of the global contact lens market in the past few years.
Concerns Regarding Damage from Careless Usage Continue to Limit Large-scale Adoption
Owing to the fact that contact lenses are worn directly on the cornea of the eye, they are required to be handled with exceptional care to prevent eye infections, ulcerations and other eye diseases. It is thus a widely known fact that careless handling or storage of contact lenses, or sleeping with the lenses on can have severe implications after the lenses are worn and remains a key challenge hindering the large-scale usage of contact lenses among skeptical consumers.
Along with this, the fact that practitioners are not well equipped to prescribe contact lenses in certain developing economies across regions such as Asia Pacific and Middle East also threatens to limit the overall growth prospects of the global contact lens market to a certain extent.
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Emerging Economies to Present Excellent Growth Opportunities
Nevertheless, the vast untapped opportunities in developing regions can allow vendors in the market to gain substantial traction in the next few years. Expansion across these regions will require innovative marketing strategies and ways of educating the masses about the proper usage of contact lenses will have to be adopted. Over the period between 2016 and 2024, the market for contact lenses in Asia Pacific is expected to expand at a considerable CAGR. The APAC market is expected to reach US$4.76 bn by 2024.
Prominent vendors in the market, including Novartis International AG, Menicon Group, STAAR Surgical, Carl Zeiss AG, SynergEyes Inc., Abbott Medical Optics, Inc., Essilor International S.A., Valeant Pharmaceuticals, and Bausch and Lomb have strengthened their hold in regional markets with these approaches. Strategies such as innovation and new product development, high investments in research and development, and exploitation of novel marketing and sales channels have also helped key companies hold sway in the market in the past years. Incorporation of new technologies for upgradation of products and strategic acquisitions entered-in with the aim of expanding product portfolios and market position across regional markets will help companies in beating competition in the next few years.
This review of the global contact lens market is based on a recent market research report published by Transparency Market Research, titled “Contact Lens Market -Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2016 – 2024.”