The global orthokeratology market size was valued at US$ 37.6 million in 2017, and is expected to witness a CAGR of 7.0% over the forecast period (2018 – 2026).
Orthokeratology (Ortho-k) is a process that uses specially designed contact lenses to temporarily reshape outline of the cornea to reduce myopia (nearsightedness). It is a non-surgical procedure, which offers advantage of reduced risk in comparison to refractive surgery. Ortho-k lenses are also termed as corneal reshaping contact lenses or overnight contact lenses to correct or control myopia.
These lenses are prescribed to correct refractive errors primarily nearsightedness, astigmatism, and hyperopia. In some cases, ortho-k is also used to correct presbyopia and to slow the progression of childhood myopia. According to a study published by American Academy of Optometry 2015, use of orthokeratology lenses led to a consistent reduction in myopia progression of around 45% for a period of two-year and 30% over five years, in terms of axial length.
Increasing prevalence of myopia and high myopia worldwide are expected to drive growth of the orthokeratology market
The prevalence of myopia and high myopia is increasing worldwide at a significant rate. Myopia is a major public health concern and high myopia is ranked second, as the leading cause of visual impairment worldwide. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) 2016 report, in East Asia, nearly 50% of urban population suffered from myopia and the prevalence among students was around 90%.
Moreover, onset of visual complications from myopia occurs earlier than other causes of blindness such as cataract and thus its impact on quality of life is also observed earlier. According to the Eye Contact Lens journal 2018 study, the economic burden of eye diseases in the U.S. is around US$ 139 billion, with nearly US$ 16 billion spent on myopia correction alone. Therefore, methods for preventing myopia and controlling its progression have high demand across the globe.
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Moreover, prolong usage of laptops, smartphones, and tablets is causing digital eye strain leading to permanent eye damage among kids and young population. Young people whose nearsightedness is progressively increasing are the most suitable candidates for orthokeratology. All these factors are collectively increasing the demand for ortho-K eventually driving the orthokeratology market growth.
Orthokeratology Market Restraints
According to the NCBI 2016 report, factors such as onset of microbial keratitis, lack of training of practitioners and wearers, poor compliance to lens care regimens, improper fitting procedures, and lost to routine follow-ups can decrease the adoption of orthokeratology.
Fitting orthokeratology lenses is a more time-consuming process and requires more expertise than fitting regular contact lenses. Ortho-K lens requires a series of office visits and potentially multiple sets of lenses. Therefore, it increases the overall treatment costs, which can be a significant factor limiting the orthokeratology market growth.
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Moreover, the cost of ortho-k, including follow-up care can vary significantly depending on the type and degree of refractive error and duration of myopia correction. In 2016, Ortho-k prices in the U.S. ranged from US$ 1,000 to US$ 2,000 (for both eyes). This cost can increase up to US$ 4,000 based on the difficulty of cases. Furthermore, orthokeratology is not covered completely by vision care insurance plans.
Orthokeratology Market - Regional Insights
On the basis of region, the global orthokeratology market is segmented into North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa. Europe is expected to generate a significant revenue share in global orthokeratology market in 2026, owing to increasing burden of short-sightedness among the regional population. According to a study published by Ulster University in 2015, rate of short-sightedness in the U.K. has doubled over the past 50 years, as children no longer spend enough time outdoors. Moreover, around 23% of teens suffer from myopia in the country.
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