In the global eyewear and eye care industries, the segment of contact lenses has witnessed a sweeping transformation from being once considered lifestyle products to common eye accessories sought as a convenient and fashionable replacement to glasses. The vast rise in product varieties and easy affordability of contact lenses have led to a vast rise in users of contact lenses or a regular basis these days.
Transparency Market Research estimates that the global contact lens market will expand at a healthy 7.6% CAGR over the period between 2016 and 2024. Expanding at this pace, the market, which had a valuation of US$9.74 bn in 2015 in terms of revenue, is projected to rise to US$18.70 bn by 2024. In terms of volume, the market is expected to rise to 2,135.0 mn units by 2024.
Cast Molding Emerges as Most Sought After Contact Lens Manufacturing Technology
Of the key technologies employed for manufacturing contact lenses, including spin casting, cast molding, and lathe cutting, cast molding is presently the most preferred technology. In 2015, the cast molding technology contributed a share of 80% in global market’s revenues. Owing to the automated and computer controlled production of contact lenses with the help of cast molding technology, the manufacturer is assured of accuracy and highest level of quality of the final product. Additionally, injection molding allows for bulk production of the extremely popular disposable lenses, making cast molding the preferred manufacturing modality for cost reductions.
Through cast molding will continue to remain the dominant technology segment across the global lens market over the period between 2016 and 2024 as well, it is expected to lose prominence to the lathe cutting technology, which will see a rise in its share in the global market’s revenues from 14.3% in 2015 to 78.5% by 2024. Used for the production of gas permeable (GP) or rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses, which have seen increased level of popularity in the past few years, the demand for lathe cutting in contact lens manufacturing has increased substantially.
GP contact lenses are known to offer excellent eye care owing to the fact that these varieties are less likely to harbor bacteria compared to soft contact lenses. The segment of gas permeable lenses is expected to witness a rise in its share in the global contact lens market pie, from 25.5% in 2015 to 28.4% by 2024.
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Asia Pacific to Lead to Most Promising Growth Opportunities
North America is presently the dominant region for the contact lenses market, accounting for a share of over 30% in the global market in 2015. The vast rise in the number of middle-aged and senior ophthalmological patients, as well as the vast rise in ophthalmic issues among young people have led to the huge demand for contact lenses in the region in the past years.
Over the forecasting horizon, however, the global contact lenses market is expected to see the most promising growth across Asia Pacific. Vast rise in the awareness regarding the proper usage and benefits of contact lenses, rising penetration of modern technologies in contact lens manufacturing and the resultant accuracy and safety granted to contact lenses, and rising affordability are the key factors that will boost the demand of contact lenses in the region in the near future. The Asia Pacific contact lens market is estimated to reach US$4.76 bn by 2024.
Some of the key vendors in the global contact lenses market are Valeant Pharmaceuticals, Novartis International AG, Menicon Group, The Cooper Companies, Inc., STAAR Surgical, Carl Zeiss AG, Johnson and Johnson, SynergEyes Inc., Abbott Medical Optics, Inc., Essilor International S.A., and Charenton-le-Pont.
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