Although there are significant progress in preventing and curing visual impairment in many countries since last twenty years, according to World Health Organization (WHO) around 285 million (In the year 2013) people are still visually impaired across the world. It is a matter of great concern. The reasons may be varied. However, we cannot deny the fact that there is still a lot to be done to save the people from going blind.
Any disturbance in the normal sense of vision can be termed as vision disorders. Myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, presbyopia, conjunctivitis, cataract, corneal abrasion, entropion and glaucoma are some of the vision disorders, affecting majority of the population across the world. Improper nutrition, various infections, traumatic eye injury, insertion of foreign objects and growing age are major causes for majority of the vision disorders.
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According WHO, 80 percent of visually impaired people can be cured by using simple eye examinations like abnormality in a frequency of blinking, size of pupil and color of the eye. The disorders can be confirmed by suitable clinical and retinal tests such as corneal topography, keratometry, pachymetry, fluorescein angiography, Indocyanine Green study (ICG) dye test and other related tests. However, ignorance and negligence are leading severe eye complications or permanent vision loss.
The report published by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), revealed that approximately 14 million Americans above age of twelve are affected by various vision disorders in 2004. All these reports are alarming towards the need of immediate treatment for vision disorders across the world. This precisely a reason that the market for visual disorders may continue to grow in future.
There are many companies which are involved in extensive research and development activities associated with these disorders such as United States based National Eye Institute working on clinical trials for nutritional supplements for age related cataract. Alcon Research is working on small incision cataract surgery. AqueSys, Inc. evaluating safety of AqueSys XEN 45 glaucoma implant in refractory glaucoma. Apart from this, University of Pennsylvania in collaboration with local NGOs is working on ancillary therapy of different eye infections.
In case of region wise achievements in fighting against the visual disorders, Brazil has been providing eye care service through the national social security system since last decade. While, Morocco has launched a public effort to control glaucoma, China has invested over 100 million dollars in cataract surgeries since 2009. Oman has completely integrated eye care service provision in the primary health care framework over the last decade and India since 1995 has made available funds for eye care service provision for the poorest at district level.
To reduce the burden of chronic eye diseases WHO is also coordinating a global research efforts to map services and policies for controlling diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, age related macular degeneration and refractive errors. To support comprehensive eye care systems, WHO continues to provide epidemiologic and public health technical support to its member states.
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Coming towards market point of view, the market for vision disorders can be segmented according to different perspectives such as regional geography and types of disorder. It can be segmented in four regions namely North American, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Rest of the World. Out of all these segments North America region have highest contribution in terms of value because of large number of population within the reach of treatment, high awareness and better reimbursement policies.
Followed by this Europe, Asia-Pacific and Rest of the World respectively are major segments of the market. The market can also be segmented among disorders such as cataract, glaucoma, eye infections and refractive errors. Along with this, the market for visual disorders can be categorized into drugs and devices available for the treatment.
Currently various established pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies are catering the needs of visual disorders by providing drugs and lenses. Pfizer, Alcon, Novartis, Johnson & Johnson, Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. and GlaxoSmithKline are leading contributors in drug therapy, while Novartis and Bausch & Lomb are major players in lenses.
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