The Innovation In The Eye Industry: A Market Overview The eye industry has advanced in both diagnostic and treatment terms.

By David Wither

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The eye industry is one that's forever evolving. Emerging markets in Asia and beyond are forcing the eyewear industry in North America and Europe to change the way they do things and lead the way in the eye industry as a whole. This guide is going to give you an introduction to the challenges facing the market of today, and how providers are innovating for the benefit of patients.

What are the Main Challenges Facing the Eye Industry?

The eye industry in the West is suffering from pressure from emerging markets like Japan. Many of the best eye specialists are looking abroad, thus threatening a brain drain in many European markets.

Another criticism of the eye industry is products are quickly becoming similar. This applies both to the treatment side of the eye industry and the fashion side of it. Patients are complaining that it's difficult to distinguish between certain eye products.

But the good news is this is only encouraging further innovation.

Contura Vision

At the forefront of eye care is Lasik technology. Lasik is continually being adapted and perfected to get even better results for patients. A brand new procedure called Contura Vision is helping to find deficiencies in cornea optics and curvature. It uses software guided by topography to move around the eye to find out where corrections are required.

It's quickly becoming a way to get better results. This is a major step forward in the attempt to eliminate blindness.

Femtosecond Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery

Cataracts are a major issue in the US. By age 80 over 50 per cent of all Americans have either developed cataracts or have had cataract surgery. One of the major concerns surgeons have when performing cataract surgery is making sure the capsulorhexis occurs without any complications. This is where the thin membrane is torn to make it as symmetrical as possible. A symmetrical capsule is crucial because otherwise, it can impact vision.

The femtosecond laser has managed to all but eliminate these complications because it allows everything to be perfectly centered. Surgeons also avoid the problem of radial tears. Cataract surgery is now more precise and more predictable than ever before.

The Light-Adjustable IOL

After cataract surgery, a patient might not be happy with the outcome. This is more common than people think. A surgeon might have already inserted the intraocular lens (IOL) and they don't want to take it out to exchange it for another lens. This is where the light-adjustable IOL comes into play.

It's a type of procedure that happens after an operation. The light-adjustable IOL has the power to change its shape and lens power with the help of UV exposure. A surgeon can simply expose the lens to UV rays, which will help to change the lens power over a period of time.

This is less invasive and it ensures that patients are happier with the results.

Corneal Inlays

There's a major gap within the eye industry. Patients can have presbyopes but they don't want to get cataract surgery because they happen to be an older patient. That same patient could be against wearing glasses or putting in contact lenses. Doctors might think that there's nothing they can do and they have to accept that the patient either wears glasses/contact lenses or they have to suffer in silence.

But corneal inlays provide another option for patients in this position. There are three ways to use corneal inlays, including for better depth of focus and more refractive lens power.

The way corneal inlays work is they can be implanted with ease and it's a fully reversible procedure. The design of them makes it easy to evaluate them and provide any further surgical procedures if required.

Dry Eye Diagnostic Technology

Dry eye diagnosis has always been difficult. It used to require collecting a large tear volume in a laboratory setting. Those with dry eye struggled to produce enough tears to be examined. The way doctors look at dry eye has changed. Osmolarity has become the heart of dry eye testing, with the eye industry adopting it at a remarkable rate.

This type of testing can detect inflammation, which is crucial for doctors in deciding what type of dry eye treatment is likely to work best.

Last Word – The Eye Industry is Moving Forward

The eye industry has advanced in both diagnostic and treatment terms. The goal of helping people to see for longer and eliminating blindness is coming ever closer as surgeons become more adept and consistent with the help of new technology.

David Wither

Team and Startup Management Coach, Wither Leadership Consulting

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