Around 20% of the world´s population is presbyopic, but only 8% wear contact lenses as their primary mode of correction. Learn about presbyopia in this post!

What is Presbyopia?

Presbyopia is a gradual reduction of the eye’s ability to focus accurately on near objects. It starts to affect vision at around 40 years.

Figure 1: Presbyopic eye and corrected presbyopic eye with multifocal contact lenses.

Near and intermediate vision are more than ever a need because of the increasing usage of digital devices on our day-to-day basis. Consequently, this condition has an undeniable impact on working and social life. For example, when a review examined the public health impact of presbyopia, they found that quality of life decreased as presbyopia progressed.

Treatment options include wearing glasses or contact lenses, undergoing refractive surgery, or getting lens implants.

As well as the rest of the developed world, Europe has a rather mature population. The median age, which gives a better picture of what the age distribution looks like than other measurements, is 42.5 years these days.

In addition to that, around 340 million people over the age of 45 need some degree of correction for near or intermediate vision. In comparison, other countries have less population with such needs.

Table 1: Median age and presbyopic population data by world’s regions or countries.

Across the world, 1.4 billion people were presbyopic in 2020 and that amount will rise to 1.8 billion by 2050. In summary, around 20% of the world´s population is presbyopic and that number will continue to grow.

Figure 2: The predicted number of people with presbyopia from 2005 to 2050. Holden B, et al. Global vision impairment due to uncorrected presbyopia. American Journal of Ophthalmology. 2008;126(12):1731-1739.

On one hand, in 2021, soft contact lenses were 86% of total fits. If only presbyopes are considered, multifocal fits made up 49% of lenses and monovision, 11%. The conclusion is clear – 40% of potential multifocal wearers are left unfitted.

On the other hand, previous findings (Figure 3) say that contact lens usage dramatically decreases around age 40. At this critical time, opticians sometimes set aside contact lens fit and the market reflects that. However, multifocal contact lenses would be a great option for these patients.

Figure 3. Contact lens usage by age. Contact Lens Spectrum. 2010. 40 is the New 20/20 — Presbyopia Equals Opportunity. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.clspectrum.com/supplements/2010/march-2010/presbyopia-opportunity/40-is-the-new-20-20-x2014;-presbyopia-equals-opp. [Accessed 13 January 2022].

The Economics behind Presbyopia

“92% of presbyopes wear spectacles as their primary mode of correction while only 8% wear contact lenses.”

Contact Lens Spectrum. 2010. 40 is the New 20/20 — Presbyopia Equals Opportunity. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.clspectrum.com/supplements/2010/march-2010/presbyopia-opportunity/40-is-the-new-20-20-x2014;-presbyopia-equals-opp. [Accessed 13 January 2022].

As opticians, we tend to think that a multifocal contact lens sale is going to dent our multifocal glasses sales. Nothing could be further from the truth!

Nowadays, our patients, for the most part, need both options. For example, they may need their glasses for work but contact lenses for practising sports. There are millions of reasons to advise our patients not to choose between one type of correction and the other.

To illustrate this, table 2 reflects that multifocal glasses and custom multifocal contact lenses will always be the winning combination. No matter how long the contact lens user stays in your practice, custom multifocal contact lenses bring you the potential to generate more revenue!

Table 2: Compared average retail price of various options for presbyopic correction.

Seize the Moment

Presbyopia is where preparation and opportunity meet. This means that clinical and revenue opportunities will only continue to get BIGGER AND BIGGER.

At mark’ennovy, we believe that every patient can wear contact lenses. That’s why we manufacture our individually crafted CLs for presbyopia with several additions and three different geometries (EDOF, CD and CN). As a result, we can meet the needs of wearers, thus ensuring perfect visual performance and comfort.

Do you have any questions or would you like more information?

Contact your Senior Regional Sales Manager for more information or contact our specialised technical support team: 0800 328 0610 (M-F 8:30 am to 5:30 pm) or mkservices@markennovy.com

Multifocal & Toric contact lenses, consistently shipped in 72 HOURS.

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March 2022

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Mark’ennovy

mark'ennovy is a custom monthly soft contact lens manufacturer. We believe that you should be able to fit the right lens to every prescription, that’s why we start with the eye’s own unique measurements, and then individually craft a lens to match. Our unrivalled combination of contact lens parameters, geometries, materials, and expert technical advice, is backed by world class manufacturing technology and an exclusive focus on the Eye Care Professional.