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The global contact lenses market size was valued at USD 9.48 billion in 2021. The market is projected to grow from USD 9.94 billion in 2022 to USD 14.80 billion by 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 5.9% during the forecast period. The global COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented and staggering, with experiencing lower-than-anticipated demand across all regions compared to pre-pandemic levels. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a decline of -9.0% in 2020 as compared to 2019.
Contact lenses are thin lenses intended to be placed on the eye's surface for vision correction. The lenses are either hard or soft, depending on the nature, comfort, and reusability of the lenses. The increasing adoption of these devices among developing countries, along with the rising prevalence of refractive errors worldwide, is primarily responsible for the market growth during the forecast period.
According to a BMC Public Health report published in 2021, a recent study estimated 116.3 million people suffer from moderate to severe visual impairment due to uncorrected refractive error. The increasing global burden of refractive errors and rising awareness of refractive vision correction with contact lenses for these eye conditions are expected to drive the contact lenses market growth.
High Risk of Infections Associated with Contact Lenses Led to Decline in Demand During COVID-19 Pandemic
The emergence of COVID-19 significantly impeded the demand for these devices worldwide. Leading players operating in the market reported a decline in their revenues from the sales of lenses due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The decline in revenues was attributed to the preferential shift of the general population from these devices to eyeglasses during the lockdown period. Multiple healthcare groups recommending eyeglasses over these devices to avoid the risk of infection was one of the crucial reasons behind the reduced uptake of these during the pandemic.
The majority of the eye care professionals reported a significant decline in the number of patient visits during the lockdown period. This was due to the cancellation of medical practices, especially elective procedures to avoid the spread of COVID-19.
Leading players in the market reported a significant decline in demand for these devices during the financial year due to the emergency protocols for the closure of customer facilities, along with considerable disruption in business activities. Furthermore, the key players operating in the market faced a number of challenges such as disruptions to raw material and product suppliers.
However, patient volumes started increasing as the regulations imposed by various governments were relaxed after the first wave. In 2021, the patient volume bounced back owing to higher vaccination coverage among the general population, implementation of strong guidelines and COVID-19 protocols in public places, dismissal of restrictions for travel, and others. This led to an increase in demand for these devices in 2021. For instance, in 2021, Alcon generated strong growth of 16.4% in revenue as compared to the previous financial year. Moreover, in 2021, Johnson and Johnson Vision Care, Inc. reported a growth of 14.9% in revenue as compared to the previous financial year.
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Increasing Concerns Related to Eye Safety to Boost Daily Disposables Demand
Increasing awareness about the benefits of disposable lenses over reusable lenses, including prevention from side effects associated with cleaning solutions, such as eye staining and lid, effects stemming. Since there is no significant difference between the annual cost of disposable and reusable lenses, ophthalmologists are advocating the usage of disposable lenses due to safety concerns. Additionally, the major players operating in the market are involved in promoting awareness programs and launching innovative products in the market, which are expected to support the growth of daily disposables. For instance, in January 2021, Alcon Launched PRECISION1 for Astigmatism, a daily disposable silicone hydrogel (SiHy) lens designed for astigmatic patients in the United States.
Prevalence of Refractive Errors and Introduction of Technologically Advanced Products to Augment Market Growth
The prevalence of presbyopia and myopia among children and adult populations is continuously increasing. This, along with limited awareness and hesitation among the general population toward vision correction, especially in emerging countries, is responsible for the rising number of people suffering from vision impairment. According to the data published by the WHO in 2021, the global prevalence of 2.2 billion people is affected by near or farsighted vision impairment, of which approximately 1 billion people were undiagnosed. The majority of the cases were found to be uncorrected refractive errors and cataracts.
However, constant initiatives by regional and national government agencies and key market players toward increasing the awareness of vision correction among the general population have led to an increasing number of vision correction users globally, including lens wearers. Also, the introduction of technologically advanced lenses by market players is one of the key factors driving the adoption of these products in emerging economies such as China, India, and South Korea. The increasing adoption of these advanced devices provides growth opportunities for key market players to expand their market presence in established markets.
Availability of Alternative Treatment for Refractive Errors to Curb Market Growth
A number of clinical studies indicated that lens wearers might experience side effects based on the usage pattern. These side effects can range from vision disability that results in permanent ocular damage or loss of eyesight. Numerous side effects, such as infection, corneal edema, superficial keratitis, red eye, excess mucus production, epithelial microcysts, infiltrates, giant papillary conjunctivitis (GPC), and corneal vascularization, are related to the lens usage. These side effects are primarily responsible for limiting the adoption of such lenses.
Moreover, the availability of substitutes such as eyeglasses and LASIK surgery for treatment of refractive errors is a major restraining factor for the market growth. Additionally, the lack of insurance reimbursement for these devices is hampering the demand for these products in developed countries during the forecast period.
Reusable Segment to Hold a Dominant Share of the Global Market during the Forecast Period
Based on modality, the market is segmented into reusable and disposable. The reusable segment accounted for the largest share of the global market. The growing number of patients with refractive errors, along with the increasing number of wearers, are responsible for the growing demand for these products among patients with refractive errors.
Additionally, the benefits associated with reusable lenses, such as durability and comfort, are augmenting the market growth during the forecast period.
On the other hand, the disposable segment recorded a significant growth rate during the forecast period. It is attributable to the rising inclination of the population toward daily disposable lenses as it reduces wearing complications. This, along with the introduction of new disposable lenses by leading players, fuels the segment in the global market.
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Spherical Segment Accounted for Highest Market Share in 2021
Based on design, the market is segmented into toric, multifocal, and spherical. The spherical segment is projected to account for the largest market share during the forecast period. The highest market share of spherical lenses is attributed to the growing technological advancements in this segment, along with the increasing adoption of lenses among the adult population.
On the other hand, the toric segment accounted for the second-largest share in the market. The significant growth of this segment is attributed to the increasing prevalence of astigmatism and new product launches.
Retail Store Segment to Hold a Dominant Share of the Global Market during 2022-2029
The market is segmented into ophthalmologists, retail stores, and online stores based on distribution channel.
The retail stores segment held the largest share in the global market in 2020. The dominance of the retail stores segment is attributed to the initiative of manufacturers to launch advanced products at affordable prices at retail stores, combined with discounts offered by retail stores and penetration of larger store chains. Additionally, the strong growth of the retail pharmacies segment in the global market is owing to the strong network of retail stores in developed countries.
On the other hand, the online stores segment is anticipated to record a higher CAGR compared to the other subsegments. The higher growth of online channels is attributed to evolving regulatory policies for online sales of these devices in developed countries and the entry of leading e-pharmacy players into the market. Moreover, the pandemic crisis has contributed heavily to the preference for online stores over retail.
North America Contact Lenses Market Size, 2021 (USD Billion)
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North America dominated the contact lenses market share with a contribution of USD 3.27 billion in the global market in 2021. The growing patient population is suffering from refractive errors, higher awareness among the patient population toward vision correction treatment, and increasing focus of market players on strategic partnerships and collaborations. Therefore, these are the major factors responsible for driving the market growth in North America.
Additionally, the number of lens wearers in the U.S. is likely to increase gradually. According to the U.S. Environment Protection Agency report, in 2021, 31 million people were using contact lenses in the U.S. The increasing number of users due to shifting preference toward eyewear is anticipated to support the growth of the North America market.
Moreover, Europe accounted for the second-largest market share in the global market. This is attributed to the availability of a large patient pool suffering from eye disorders, such as myopia and presbyopia, the growing adoption of advanced products in the region, and regulatory approvals for novel lenses.
On the other hand, the Asia Pacific market is expected to register the highest growth rate during the forecast period. The rising prevalence of vision impairment in the region and improving diagnostic techniques for ocular diseases in the inbuilt laboratories of ophthalmologist’s clinics & hospitals are driving the market growth in Asian countries. Moreover, the growing disposable income in emerging countries in the region is also providing favorable conditions for the growth of the market.
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Latin America, alongside the Middle East & Africa regions, held a lower share in the global market. However, the increasing cases of vision impairment, along with the rising adoption of these devices in these regions, are expected to drive growth during the forecast period.
Strong Distribution Network of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc., Bausch + Lomb, the Cooper Companies Inc., and Alcon to Help Dominate Market
The global market is consolidated with key players such as Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc., the Cooper Companies Inc., and Alcon. The dominance of these players in the competitive landscape is attributed to the robust product portfolio of these devices, strategic collaborations, and strong distribution network. The key companies operating in the market are introducing technologically advanced products to gain a competitive advantage over other market players.
Moreover, the other market players, including Carl Zeiss Meditec AG, Hoya Corporation, and Menicon Co., Ltd. are focusing on expansion plans to cater to developing markets across the globe.
An Infographic Representation of Contact Lenses Market
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The research report provides a detailed contact lenses market analysis. It focuses on key aspects such as leading companies, modality, design, and distribution channels. Besides this, it offers insights into the trends in the global market and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the factors mentioned above, the report encompasses several factors that have contributed to the market's growth in recent years.
Value (USD billion)
By Modality, Design, Distribution Channel, and Region
By Distribution Channel
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market stood at USD 9.48 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 14.80 billion by 2029.
In 2021, the market size in North America was USD 3.27 billion.
The market will be growing at a CAGR of 5.9% during the forecast period.
By modality, the reusable segment will lead the market.
Increasing prevalence of refractive errors, rising awareness about contact lenses, and introduction of technologically advanced products by market players are expected to the propel the market growth.
Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc., Alcon, and the Cooper Companies Inc. are the top players in the market.
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