We prescribe, recommend, discuss, and educate patients on contact lens solutions daily. However, have you ever considered the vastness of the contact lens solution market? A report published in November 2019 reviewed not only the contact lens solution market size but also the type of contact lens solution, volume of solution, distribution channels, regional trends, and segment forecasts (Grand View Research, 2019). Various types of contact lens solutions were included in this report, including multipurpose and hydrogen peroxide solutions, saline solution, daily cleaners, enzymatic protein removers, and solutions used for specific purposes such as cleaning and disinfecting.

Solutions by the Numbers

In 2018, the estimated global contact lens solution market was $2.67 billion. The market is expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.6% from 2019 to 2025.

The number of contact lens wearers is also expected to escalate, especially in developing countries. Another reason for anticipated market growth in the imminent future is the emergence of new lens innovations and materials that require a solution that can both disinfect effectively and lubricate the ocular surface. An example is a new multipurpose solution designed to work with a polyethylene-glycol (PEG)-based coating.

The contact lens solution market is classified into multipurpose and hydrogen peroxide-based solutions. Multipurpose solutions have a higher market share compared to hydrogen peroxide-based solutions. The report suggested that multipurpose solutions are widely used by soft contact lens wearers who comprise the majority of the contact lens market. However, in the forecast period, hydrogen peroxide solutions are expected to register the fastest CAGR.

Contact lens solutions come in various volumes, the most common being 120ml, 360ml, and 480ml. Due to a rise of cosmetic contact lenses and diagnostic contact lens use, solutions in the 120ml segment are expected to grow. However, solutions in larger volumes are generally more cost effective. Therefore, the 360ml segment is anticipated to grow at a steady CAGR and is projected to hold a moderate market share in upcoming years. The greatest market share is held by the 480ml segment due to those who wear lenses daily, disinfect regularly, and purchase solution in larger quantities.

Distribution and Geography

There are various distribution channels for contact lens solutions—retail, e-commerce, and via eyecare professionals. The majority of the distribution market share is currently held by the retail segment, which is expected to continue. Over-the-counter products appeal to lens wearers due to the ease of access and various retail discounts. The e-commerce segment has increased significantly in recent years due to convenience, easy accessibility, and the ability for manufacturers to gain a competitive edge by escalating their presence; therefore, the CAGR is anticipated to grow by 5.9% over the forecast period. A small number of contact lens wearers visit an eye-care professional to purchase contact lens solution, which is projected to continue over the forecast period.

The largest global market share is held by North America, due to an escalation of companies focusing on new solutions for disinfection, especially in the United States. Additionally, the largest CAGR growth over the forecast period is in the Asia Pacific area due to an increasing number of acquisitions by leading contact lens solution providers. South America is also projected to experience moderate growth over the forecast period.

Future Forecasts

This report is based on 2018 information. It will be exciting to see the vastness of the contact lens solution market in the years to come. CLS

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