The photochromic lenses when exposed to sunlight change their color and darken automatically. The lenses function as a normal spectacle when they are not exposed to the sunlight (indoors), and they return to their clear state. These lenses protect the eyes by blocking the excess ultraviolet rays and ultimately improve the ocular health of people when exposed to sunlight. The lenses shield the eyes 100% of the sun's harmful UVB and UVA rays. This factor increases the demand for photochromic lenses. Both plastic and glass are used to make photochromic lenses. Organic photochromic molecules are used to make plastic photochromic lenses; and microcrystalline silver halide molecules are embedded in glass substrate to make glass photochromic lenses.
Globally, there is a rise in the prevalence of eye diseases due to increased level of ultraviolet radiation in the atmosphere, which is likely to boost the growth of the market for photochromic lenses during the forecast period. Increased awareness about various eye diseases, rise in the number of eye diseases patients, and increase in aging population have been witnessed globally. These reasons are propelling the growth of the ophthalmology market at a stable rate. Improvement in quality and advancement of photochromic lenses offered in the market, increasing awareness among people, reduced costs, and increasing prevalence of eye diseases are driving the growth of the photochromic lenses market. In addition, increasing inclination toward special eye care for children to avoid damage caused by the ultraviolet rays is likely to be another factor for the market growth. However, discomfort and some other minute drawbacks associated with the usage of these lenses and economic slowdown are the restraining factors of the market growth. Additionally, availability of alternatives such as dedicated sun wears due to advanced technology is restraining the market growth for photochromic lenses.
The market is expected to grow rapidly owing to advanced technology used in making innovative products and the growing acceptance. The use of different technologies is done to make new variety of lenses by companies’ involvement in R&D in the photochromic lenses market are some of the major trends. For instance, a combination of NuPolar polarization technology and photochromic lenses is used to develop innovative drive wear lenses.
The global photochromic lenses market can be segmented on the basis of product, application, material and design, and region. On the basis of product, the market can be categorized into plastic, glass, polycarbonate, and others. On the basis of application, the market can be segmented as digital lenses, sunglasses, and others. On the basis of the material and design, the market can be segmented as bifocals, high-index lenses, progressive lenses, and others.
Geographically, the market is distributed over North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and rest of the world. The market is dominated by North America due to technological advancement and high level of recognition among the people. It is followed by Europe. The Asia Pacific market is expected to experience a high growth rate during the forecast period. Majorly populated countries such as China and India are expected to be the fastest growing market for photochromic lenses in the next few years. Increasing disposable incomes and growing awareness in emerging countries are key driving factors of the photochromic lenses market.
Key players operating in the market include Corning Inc.; Transitions Optical, Inc.; SEIKO Optical Europe GmbH; Carl Zeiss AG; Rodenstock GmbH; Vision Ease Lens; Essilor International; Optical Dynamics; Younger Optics, Inc.; and Signet Armorlite, Inc.
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