Retina is an extremely delicate and light sensible lining that forms the third and inner coat of eyes. Containing a network of millions of special nerve cells that send electric signals to the optic nerve after coming in contact with light, the retina acts as a buffer that collect images, which are then passed on to the brain. Several retinal disorders can interrupt this transfer of images and lead to difficulties in visual perception. Retinal diseases are a leading cause of blindness in adults across the globe. Fortunately, there are many effective methods of treatment of retinal diseases if they are diagnosed at earlier stages.
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A variety of retinal surgeries are commonly practiced in the field of ophthalmology, including laser photocoagulation, intravitreal injection, photodynamic therapy, cryotherapy, scleral buckle, pneumatic retinopexy, and vitrectomy. For most common retinal diseases, including, retinal vein occlusion, diabetic macular edema, proliferative diabetic retinopathy, retinal tears or holes, retinal arterial macroaneurysm, retinal detachment, high risk lattice degeneration, and age-related macular degeneration (AMD), different types of corrective surgeries are conducted.
The field of retinal surgeries has witnessed several achievements as a result of innovative approach of researchers and interdisciplinary collaborations over the last couple of years. The devices used during retinal surgeries are at the heart of many of these research activities, as the precision and effectiveness with which these devices operate have a huge impact upon the overall surgery and its results.
A Billion Dollar Marketplace
According to a report published by Transparency Market Research, the global market for retinal surgery devices had a valuation of US$1.22 billion in 2013. The rising demand for different types of retinal surgeries is expected to increase the demand for sophisticated retinal surgery devices in the near future, allowing the market to develop at a 7.3% CAGR between 2014 and 2020 and rise to a valuation of US$2.01 billion by 2020.
Rising Diabetic and Geriatric Population to Positively Impact Market
It is estimated that in the U.S. alone, there are more than 7 million people above the age of 40 suffering from diabetic retinopathy. Also, more than 2 million people in the U.S. above 50 years of age are suffering from age-related macular degeneration (AMD). On a global level too, the number of people suffering from a variety of retinal diseases is on a constant rise, a key reason behind which is the rising population of diabetic and aging people on a global level.
Increased Precision of New Devices Leads to Better Treatment Results
The market for retinal surgery devices is constantly flooded with improved innovations that do not only add to the precision of the overall surgery, but also lead to better surgical results. In April this year, the first diabetic retinal screening received approval from the FDA. Intelligent Retinal Imaging Systems (IRIS), the first Class II device acts as a telemedicine platform and will be used to screen patients for macular edema, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma. IRIS capability of storing and managing a wide range of patient data will allow ophthalmic surgeons view original and color amplified photos of a variety of retinal conditions.
There is also the LenSx machine from Alcon that can switch from laser to LASIK at the push of a button. This machine is touted as a significant breakthrough in the field. It will simplify refractive as well as a cataract surgeries and will also eliminate the need for two separate machines.
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