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Global Therapeutic Contact Lenses Market - Outlook and Forecast 2022-2027
The global therapeutic contact lenses market had a valuation of USD 3.19 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 4.25 billion by 2027, exhibiting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.90%. This growth can be attributed to the increasing awareness of the advantages of therapeutic contact lenses over traditional eyeglasses, as well as the growing adoption of contact lenses among working professionals and the youth.
Therapeutic contact lenses are primarily used for corneal diseases, focusing on corneal lesions, corneal refractive surgery, corneal transplantation, and cataract surgery. These lenses stimulate corneal metabolism, improve corneal regeneration, enhance epithelial adhesion, maintain hydration, reduce collagenase accumulation, decrease edema, improve vision and clarity, and serve as a vehicle for ophthalmic drug delivery.
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USD 3.2 billion in 2020
Material, Usage, Application, Distribution Channel, and Geography
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The therapeutic contact lenses market offers two main variants: hard contact lenses and soft contact lenses. Hard contact lenses, particularly those made from rigid gas permeable (RGP) materials, are commonly used. These lenses retain their shape and allow oxygen flow through the eyes, making them beneficial for individuals with astigmatism and keratoconus. On the other hand, soft contact lenses are made of hydrogel and silicone hydrogel materials.
Approximately 125 million individuals worldwide wear contact lenses to correct common vision problems like myopia, hyperopia, presbyopia, and astigmatism. Contact lenses provide vision correction without affecting one’s physical appearance. The global target population requiring vision correction is expected to increase due to factors such as an aging population. For instance, there are currently around 153 million people with uncorrected refractive errors, 1.7 billion with presbyopia, 352 million experiencing dry eyes, and 20 million suffering from cataracts. Additionally, diabetes patients often face vision-related issues, with 93 million affected by diabetic retinopathy and over 67 million experiencing glaucoma.
Advancements in technology and materials have expanded the clinical use of contact lenses for treating ocular surface disorders. Soft therapeutic contact lenses are a popular choice for addressing corneal defects and also provide improved vision. Continued innovation in manufacturing and application is expected to further enhance the role of therapeutic contact lenses, leading to better patient outcomes.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on customer behavior regarding therapeutic contact lenses. While there has been an increase in first-time contact lens users, there has also been a rise in contact lens dropouts. The latter can be attributed to concerns related to the risk of infections, worsened dry eye conditions, and reduced demand for contact lenses due to remote work options.
Silicone hydrogel contact lenses have become the most widely used type as they are easy to use, require no maintenance, and do not cause harm compared to extended wear lenses. These lenses can effectively address issues such as red eyes, blurred vision, corneal swelling, and general eye discomfort. Key players in the therapeutic contact lenses market offer silicone hydrogel lenses, including Acuvue Oasys (Johnson & Johnson Vision Care), Air Optix Aqua (Alcon), Biofinity (CooperVision), and PureVision2 (Bausch & Lomb).
Research indicates that bandage contact lenses have potential as a drug delivery system due to their superior bioavailability compared to eye drops. Their ability to be worn for extended periods allows for increased dosing frequency, resulting in improved compliance and reduced side effects. A desirable drug delivery device should provide easy and comfortable administration while preserving vision and ocular function.
Hi-tech contact lenses are utilized for various purposes, including drug delivery, augmented reality, and monitoring eye health conditions. Companies like Mojo Vision have developed AR-based smart contact lenses that enhance users’ vision by providing timely information without obstructing their natural sight.
As the global population continues to grow, the demand for eye care increases. Aging is a significant demographic factor impacting eye care, as the need for vision correction becomes more complex with age. In 2018, around one-third of the global population was over the age of 45, the average onset of presbyopia.
The rise of urbanization and the expansion of the middle class in fast-developing markets, particularly in Latin America and Asia, have led to changes in the economy and increased demand for eye healthcare. Increased disposable incomes have also contributed to the preference for luxury products like contact lenses. These factors are driving the growth of the global therapeutic contact lenses market.
Key vendors in the contact lenses market invest heavily in research and development to introduce new varieties of contact lenses that meet the needs of users. Launching new products with unique features is one of the strategies employed to attract customers in the therapeutic contact lenses market. For example, Bausch & Lomb introduced the ULTRA multifocal toric contact lens in 2019, which provides vision at all distances and offers a stable fit for consistent results in patients with presbyopia and astigmatism.
Government initiatives worldwide aimed at promoting advanced vision aids will support the growth of the therapeutic contact lenses market. The US Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) actively raise awareness about behaviors and risk factors affecting vision among contact lens wearers through their Vision Health Initiative. Private organizations also play a significant role in advancing ophthalmology. Johnson & Johnson Vision, for instance, launched the global campaign called SpotlightSight in 2018 in honor of World Sight Day.
The market is segmented based on various factors, including material, usage, application, distribution channel, and geography.
Segmentation by Material
Soft Contact Lenses
Rigid Contact Lenses
Segmentation by Usage
Segmentation By Application
Post Ocular Surgery
Segmentation By Distribution Channel
Hospitals & Eye Care Clinics
Segmentation by Geography
North America – US, Canada
Europe – Germany, France, UK, Italy, Spain
APAC – China, Japan, India, South Korea, Australia
Latin America – Brazil, Mexico, Argentina
Middle East & Africa – South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, UAE
The global market for therapeutic contact lenses is divided into soft and rigid contact lenses based on the material used. As of 2021, the soft contact lenses segment holds the majority market share at 85.25%, followed by rigid contact lenses. The soft contact lenses segment is expected to experience the highest compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.03%, with incremental growth of USD 932.2 million. Hydrogels, synthesized through free radical and UV photopolymerization and cast molding, are commonly used to manufacture therapeutic soft contact lenses. The main network of hydrogels in soft contact lenses is typically based on poly(hydroxyethyl methacrylate) (HEMA), especially methafilcon A. Soft hydrogel contact lenses are known for their comfort, flexibility, and ability to move and bend with the eyes, making them more comfortable to wear compared to rigid or hard lenses.
The daily replacement segment currently dominates the global therapeutic contact lenses market with a 55.24% market share in 2021 and is projected to witness the highest CAGR of 5.16%. Daily replacement contact lenses are single-use lenses that are discarded after each use. Their ease of use, reduced risk of infection, and enhanced eye comfort contribute to their popularity. These factors have driven the increased usage of daily disposable contact lenses, which are recommended by specialists and preferred by users. Developed countries have a higher adoption rate of daily contact lenses, while developing countries have a lower usage rate.
In the global therapeutic contact lenses market, the post-ocular surgery segment holds a market share of 35.77%. Therapeutic lenses play a safe and effective role in protecting the ocular surface and stabilizing the tear film after cataract surgery. They offer the advantage of preserving immediate vision in the operated eye and serve as an alternative to eye patch coverage for postoperative management of cataract surgical patients, particularly those with monovision.
However, the corneal surgery/disorder segment is expected to experience the highest incremental growth of USD 345.6 million during the forecast period. Therapeutic contact lenses are crucial for treating corneal disorders and promoting healing. These lenses act as bandages that protect and heal the cornea. The increasing number of corneal surgeries is driving the demand for therapeutic lenses, making corneal surgery/transplantation the most widely performed tissue transplant procedure globally.
The Omni channel distribution dominates the therapeutic contact lenses market, accounting for a 73.31% market share. This distribution strategy encompasses both retail and online stores. Retail store distribution has seen significant growth in developing countries compared to developed countries like Latin America and Asia. Factors such as brand reputation, consumer awareness, customer satisfaction, and loyalty contribute to the preference for purchasing contact lenses from retail stores. Additionally, various retail stores launch multiple commercial campaigns, which attract users and increase footfall.
In 2021, North America held the largest market share (34.68%) in the global therapeutic contact lenses market. The region’s high consumption of contact lenses can be attributed to increased awareness and disposable income among people. Consequently, companies focus on launching their products in this market. The United States and Canada have well-developed healthcare systems and stringent regulatory environments for contact lens manufacturers. Market vendors in North America invest in research and development (R&D) initiatives and advanced technologies to develop efficient contact lens products.
The Asia-Pacific (APAC) region is expected to witness the highest CAGR growth of 5.30% in the global therapeutic contact lenses market during the forecast period. In 2020, APAC had a large customer base for contact lenses, particularly in countries like China and India. The rising target population, especially among teenagers and the elderly, is driving the demand for contact lenses in the region. Increasing brand consciousness and awareness are also contributing to the growing demand for contact lenses in APAC.
The European therapeutic contact lenses market was valued at USD 721.9 million in 2021. Europe emerged as one of the largest regions for contact lenses and solutions in 2020 due to changing buyer preferences and a growing interest in cosmetic lenses. The surge in sports, physical activities, and theatrical performances has also led to increased demand for cosmetic and color lenses. Consequently, several players have launched advanced contact lens products in the European market. Both local and global players dominate the therapeutic contact lenses market in Europe.
The therapeutic contact lenses market on a global scale exhibits a high level of consolidation, with major market players such as Alcon, Bausch & Lomb, Johnson & Johnson, and The Cooper Companies holding a significant share. This market is characterized by continuous technological advancements and evolving standards in vision correction. Vendors engage in competition based on factors such as product variety, pricing, quality, technological leadership, innovation, and the effectiveness of therapeutic contact lenses.
Key companies profiled in this report include Alcon, Bausch & Lomb, Johnson & Johnson, The Cooper Companies, ABB Optical Group, AccuLens, Advanced Vision Technologies, Contamac, Excellent Hi-Care, Medennium, Menicon, Metro Optics, Orion Vision Group, POLYTOUCH, Shine Optical, SURGITECH INNOVATION, SynergEyes, UltraVision CLPL, Walman, Visionary Optics.
Recent Industry Developments
Alcon has achieved a significant market share in the therapeutic contact lens industry through the success of its brands such as Dailies and Air Optix. In 2016, Alcon introduced Air Optix plus HydraGlyde in the US and the EU. This product is an innovative upgrade to monthly silicone hydrogel (SiHy) contact lenses, incorporating the HydraGlyde moisture matrix technology to provide long-lasting wettability to the lens surface. Additionally, Alcon launched DAILIES TOTAL1 Multifocal contact lenses in both the US and the EU.
Johnson & Johnson’s growth in the therapeutic contact lens market is primarily driven by its sales of daily disposable lenses, particularly in the ACUVUE OASYS category. In 2021, Johnson & Johnson Vision obtained approval in Canada for ACUVUE Abiliti 1-Day Soft Therapeutic Lenses, which are specifically designed for managing myopia.
The Cooper Companies is one of the largest manufacturers of contact lenses globally, offering a comprehensive range of monthly, two-week, and daily disposable lenses. In 2019, the company expanded its portfolio by acquiring Blanchard contact lenses.
Key Questions Answered
What is the market size of therapeutic contact lenses?
The therapeutic contact lenses market is projected to reach USD 4.25 billion globally by 2027, up from USD 3.19 billion in 2021.
What is the growth rate of the therapeutic contact lenses market?
The global therapeutic contact lenses market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.90% from 2021 to 2027.
Who are the major players in the global therapeutic contact lenses market?
The major players in the global therapeutic contact lenses market include Alcon, Bausch & Lomb, Johnson & Johnson, and The Cooper Companies.
Which region has the largest market share in the global therapeutic contact lenses market?
North America holds the largest market share in the global therapeutic contact lenses market, accounting for 34.68% of the total. This is due to increased awareness and disposable income leading to higher demand for contact lenses in the region.
What are the key factors influencing the growth of the therapeutic contact lenses market?
The increasing use of silicone hydrogel contact lenses, the emergence of drug-delivery contact lenses, and the introduction of advanced technology-driven contact lenses are the key factors impacting the growth of the global therapeutic contact lenses market.