06.02.2012

Contact lens market "in good shape"

Contact lens market "in good shape"

By Martin Burns

The current demand for contact lenses in the UK is as strong as ever and this looks set to continue in the months ahead as people realise the benefits of wearing the vision correction products, it has been noted.

Speaking to Optician Online, contact lens expert Dr Michael Kraftman explained that people are realising that contact lenses offer many of the same benefits as glasses but also some additional ones, such as improved comfort and convenience.

His comments followed the publication of a report by analyst GfK, which revealed that sales of contact lens sales increased by 4.3 per cent in the third quarter of 2011, while the number of glasses being sold fell by more than nine per cent.

Dr Kraftman told the website that sales of contact lenses are giving the eyecare industry "a much needed" boost during a time when consumer confidence is falling and unemployment is on the rise.

"But why the continued growth in this particular area? I believe it comes down to three things: more glasses wearers converting to contact lenses, the development of more comfortable lens technologies like silicone hydrogel, and the arrival of new channels for contact lens sales, such as supermarket retailers," the expert stated.

Optometrist Brendan O'Brien also told Optician Online that, while the technology behind glasses has not changed considerably during the last decade, the development of more oxygen permeable materials has made contacts far more comfortable and suitable for extended wear.

He explained that this has led to many consumers switching lenses, while some others have upgraded the type of lenses they wear, in some cases opting for more expensive brands.

"I'd fully expect this trend to continue well into 2012 and we may well find that sales of contact lenses become key to supporting the optical sector during the downturn," Mr O'Brien told the website.

by Martin Burns


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