Blindness is caused due to various factors such as cataract, glaucoma, birth defects, macular degeneration, and eye injuries. Diabetics are at heightened risk of blindness. The risk of cataract increases due to personal behavior such as smoking, alcohol use, and environmental factors such as prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light.
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Cataract remains the leading cause of blindness in low and middle-income countries. According to World Health Organization (WHO), in 2014, cataract accounted for 47.8% of the cause for blindness worldwide, followed by glaucoma. Cataract surgery removes clouding from the natural lens of the eye and involves insertion of an artificial lens. It is most commonly observed among people aged 40 years and above. Laser-assisted cataract surgery uses a femtosecond laser, which has replaced the use of handmade incisions. This innovative technique uses computerized mapping and 3-D measurements to remove cataracts accurately and precisely. Glaucoma is a disease that damages the optic nerve of the eye and glaucoma surgery is carried out to reduce the intraocular pressure. According to Bright Focus Foundation, as of 2017, over 3 million people in the U.S. are estimated to be suffering from glaucoma, from which around 2.7 million affected by open-angle glaucoma are recorded to be 40 years of age and above. Laser surgery to treat glaucoma is used more frequently as compared to the conventional form of surgery. Laser in glaucoma surgery is used to make a small opening in the eye’s drainage system that helps to increase fluid drainage out of the eye.
North America holds the maximum share for ocular surgery, owing to high prevalence of diabetes and eye related disorders among the populace in the region. According to National Federation of the Blind, 2014, around 1.3 million people were legally blind in the U.S. and estimated that over 75,000 people in the U.S. are expected to become blind or visually impaired every year.
Advancement in ocular surgery and new launches of ocular devices are expected to boost growth of the market
In cataract surgery, conventional methods such as phacoemulsification (phaco) are safe and effective only when performed by a skilled surgeon. Incisions in the cornea are made using handheld blades. Laser-assisted cataract surgery has replaced many of the steps in the conventional cataract surgery. Laser technology results in fewer surgical errors and its outcomes are predictable. In 2016, Alcon launched NGENUITY 3D Visualization system, which offers enhanced visualization, improves the surgeon’s posture while performing the surgery and reduces fatigue. It also minimizes light exposure to the patient’s eye.
Growing aging population, awareness initiatives to lead to early diagnosis and treatment, expected to drive growth of the market
Increasing prevalence of ocular diseases such as cataract and glaucoma have created an increasing demand for ocular surgery globally. According to the National Eye Institute, in 2010, over 24 million people 40 of age and above were reported to have cataracts in the U.S., and this number is projected to reach around 40 million by 2030. According to NCBI, in 2012, 70% of all cases of blindness in Germany accounted for the aging population.
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Blindness can be prevented through a combination of education, medical healthcare facilities. For instance, The National Eye Institute (NEI) established National Eye Health Education Program (NEHEP) to help increase awareness about glaucoma among the populace.
Key players operating in the ocular surgery market include Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Inc, Alcon, Carl Zeiss Meditec, Bausch & Lomb, Ellex Medical Lasers, Topcon Medical Systems, Dutch Ophthalmic Research Center (International) B.V. (DORC), and Lumenis