The contact lens market, evaluated at approximately $9.785 billion in 2020, should reach $12.995 billion by 2026 for a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of nearly 5 % over the 2021-2026 period, according to Mordor Intelligence. In comparison, the glasses lens market shows sales of $48.896 billion in 2021 and is estimated at $62.549 billion by 2027. The need for corrective equipment is greatly increasing because of visual deficiencies and the ageing of the population. A study published in 2021 by the European Society of Ophthalmology (ESO) and the International Myopia Institute (IMI) reveals that the number of myopic people, established at 2.7 billion across the world in 2020, should surpass 4.9 billion by 2050. The World Health Organization (WHO) forecasts that by 2050, people aged 60 years and up should reach a total of 2.1 billion, and those aged 80 years and up, 426 million.
These factors are beneficial for the entire optical and eyewear industry, including the contact lens sector. This specific field is a seller’s market, and manufacturers are investing in R&D to propose corrective, therapeutic, prosthetic (adapted to certain pathologies and anomalies) and cosmetic contact lenses. They are segmented into various types and concepts to treat common ocular disorders: myopia, hypermetropia, presbyopia, astigmatism, glaucoma, and so on. The world leaders – such as Aviro International, Bausch Health Companies Inc. (Bausch + Lomb), The Cooper Companies (CooperVision), EssilorLuxottica, Hoya Corporation, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Menicon Co., Novacel, Novartis AG (CibaVision/Alcon), Ophtalmic Compagnie, and the Zeiss Group – actively have researchers and engineers working to improve the benefits of individualized contact lenses with major innovations, particularly in the last few years with the appearance of customized monthly lenses in 2008, the development of progressive lenses in 2011, and the emergence of photochromic lenses a few years later. Time magazine acknowledged contact lenses among its “Best Inventions” list for the first time in 2018. The innovation they selected is Acuvue® Oasys avec Transitions™ Light Intelligent Technology™, developed by Johnson & Johnson and Transitions Optical, a subsidiary of the Essilor Group. The product heralds a brand-new category of contact lenses that corrects visual acuity while reducing light intensity.
The increasing number of product launches is opening the horizons to contact lenses that provide care in addition to correcting vision. In 2019, CooperVision launched MiSight® 1 Day, the first supple contact lenses recommended by the healthcare authorities, including those in Europe, to limit the development of myopia. That same year, Bausch + Lomb (Bausch Health Companies Inc.) presented multifocal and toric contact lenses designed to correct presbyopia and astigmatism in addition to myopia and hypermetropia. These monthly lenses, Ultra Multifocal for Astigmatism, feature 3 Zone Progressive Design™ technology, which guarantees clear vision at any distance, as well as the Opticalign™ design, which ensures a very high level of stability and comfort. In 2020, Alcon (Novartis AG) presented Precision1™, the only daily lens in silicone hydrogel to feature SmartSurface™ technology. This development provides the lens with a permanent layer of ultra-fine and high-performance hydration exceeding 80% water on the surface for long-lasting humidification.
Analysts forecast a worldwide expansion of the contact lens market thanks to launches of products featuring cutting-edge technologies, as well as a concentration of leaders adopting offensive strategies with partnerships, collaborations, take-overs and agreements to conquer a larger market share worldwide. The growth of the market also resides in the reinforcement of certain consumer drivers. People who wear corrective equipment are becoming increasingly sensitive to the notions of comfort and aesthetics, the full recovery of visual capacity, and the use of various types of equipment: a single person might alternatively use glasses and contact lenses, since the latter are better adapted to exercise and outdoor activities, for example. More than 40% of individuals throughout the world regularly engage in an athletic activity, bringing this target of potential lens wearers into the sights of manufacturers. To learn more, don’t miss the latest new products at SILMO PARIS. A number of exhibitors are already registered, including Bausch & Lomb, Avizor International, Menicon, Novacel, and others to come!