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HomeHealth & LifestyleA Guide to Help You Understand Corrective Eyewear

A Guide to Help You Understand Corrective Eyewear

If you feel like you’re experiencing more vision issues, you’re not alone. Globally, incidents of ocular problems are rising at an unprecedented rate. Presently, more than two billion people have some sort of vision loss or impairment. Contrary to popular belief, these issues are not limited to any age or socioeconomic group either. In fact, the prevalence of poor eye health is so significant that it results in over $411 billion lost in annual productivity.

Interestingly, though, the same studies report that nearly half of all vision concerns can be treated and prevented. One of the most common yet effective ways to do this is via corrective eyewear.

How many people wear corrective eyewear?

According to a study on OvernightGlasses, about 64% of all adults require some form of vision correction. Apart from more aggressive solutions like LASIK, this largely involves using glasses and contact lenses. While around four billion people wear glasses around the world, this translates to about 70% of those aged 18 and up in the US. Among children, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that just over 25% of those between the ages of two and 17 wear glasses regularly.

In terms of contact lenses, an estimated 140 million people wear these corrective products worldwide. In the US, around 1 in 6 adults wear contacts on a daily basis. Given that contact lenses are usually more involved than glasses, they are significantly less worn among children. As per the American Optometric Association (AOA), only about 14% of minors wear some sort of contact lenses.

It should be noted that gender seems to influence who wears what kind of corrective eyewear, too. Research indicates that women are more likely to wear corrective aids, in general. This is believed to be because women are more susceptible to developing vision problems than men.

What are the most common types of corrective eyewear?

As hinted above, the two most common types of corrective eyewear are eyeglasses and contacts. Eyeglasses, also called prescription glasses, are an accessible treatment option for those with various refractive errors. To get these glasses, a patient must first get their unique prescription from a licensed optician who will diagnose their vision and determine the necessary lenses. Some of the most common lenses are single-vision, bifocal, and progressive. While single-vision caters to those with only one vision problem, bifocals and progressives work for those who need assistance for varying distances. The difference is that bifocals have a distinct “seam” where the prescriptions change, whereas progressives use a more subtle gradient. These glasses can also be upgraded with additional coatings like UV and blue light filters. Prescription glasses today are available from a wide selection of brands, ranging from Ray-Ban, Versace, and Prada.

Meanwhile, contact lenses are another corrective option, except that this one sits directly on the eyeball. These lenses come in different types, including soft and hard contacts. The latter is made of rigid-gas permeable lenses, which offer a sharper vision for those who have uneven corneas. That said, the former are more popular since they are usually more flexible, making them more comfortable for longer wear. Soft lenses also come in more varieties, like dailies and monthlies, which refers to how long they can be worn before needing to be replaced. Decorative and colored contacts also come in soft lenses, although these do not necessarily have prescriptions like clear ones typically do. Some of the most popular brands of contact lenses include Bausch + Lomb and Acuvue, both of which can be used for different refractive errors. Depending on the manufacturer, some contacts can have additional features like UV protection and extra lubrication.

Where do most people purchase their eyewear?

As of 2023, 77% of all consumers buy their corrective eyewear from physical stores. Most of these purchases are made from independent storefronts, but the growing popularity of chain optical retailers has seen sales grow by 27%. One of the aforementioned studies explains that this shift is likely due to more competitive prices.

With the rise in digitalization, many people also use e-commerce for their corrective eyewear needs. While last year only saw 23% of all eyewear sales conducted online, this number is expected to grow in the near future. This is in line with growing smartphone adoption. As of 2024, almost seven billion people own smartphones, with the average adult spending over six hours on their device daily.

Trends in corrective eyewear

The world of corrective eyewear continues to shift regularly to meet consumer demands. One of the leading trends today is the incorporation of technology. An example of this can be seen in the relatively newly released Ray-Ban Meta Stories. What makes these specs special is their use of artificial intelligence (AI) tech. AI is widely used in many industries, like healthcare, for its ability to predict outcomes and analyze patterns. The Stories also use AI to track and anticipate the user’s needs to deliver a new way to capture and share content hands-free.

Aside from this, there is also a demand for more luxury brands. According to market evidence, the luxury eyewear sector alone is worth more than $18 billion. This covers brands like Dolce and Gabbana, Burberry, and Dior, among other high-end labels that now offer optical and sun products. Aside from their availability in physical stores, the fact that luxury items are now also sold online has helped boost overall sales.

Finally, another trend making waves in corrective eyewear is sustainability. Posts on McKinsey explain that consumers are becoming more aware of the environmental impact of their purchases. As a result, more are choosing to back brands and products that similarly support eco-initiatives. In fact, surveys show that up to 78% of consumers say sustainable brand efforts matter to them, with a further 60% saying they’re willing to pay more for eco-friendly items. With this in mind, more businesses are actively pursuing sustainable or green practices. The eyewear industry, in particular, has been taking action using more green materials. Historically, eyewear has been known to contribute to plastic waste, which makes up 80% of ocean pollution. To address this, manufacturers have been using alternative materials like wood or bio-cellulose. To illustrate, Oakley uses their Bio-Matter for some frames. This material is made of castor bean bio-resin.

Overall market growth for corrective eyewear

In conclusion, the relevance of corrective eyewear has seen the international market grow in value by almost 8% annually until 2030. This is equivalent to reaching a valuation of about $323 billion. With this, we can assume that the corrective eyewear offerings will also expand and innovate, which is promising given that health experts expect global eyewear users will account for half the total population by 2050.

IEMA IEMLabshttps://iemlabs.com
IEMLabs is an ISO 27001:2013 and ISO 9001:2015 certified company, we are also a proud member of EC Council, NASSCOM, Data Security Council of India (DSCI), Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC), U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). The company was established in 2016 with a vision in mind to provide Cyber Security to the digital world and make them Hack Proof. The question is why are we suddenly talking about Cyber Security and all this stuff? With the development of technology, more and more companies are shifting their business to Digital World which is resulting in the increase in Cyber Crimes.


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