The global dry eye treatment devices market size was valued at USD 203.13 million in 2021. It is projected to reach USD 494.87 million by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 10.4% during the forecast period (2022-2030). Dry eye disease is a condition that occurs due to inadequate tears that are not able to maintain lubrication for the eyes. This condition causes inflammation and damage to the surface of the eyes. Most patients with this eye condition carry chronic inflammation in tear glands and conjunctiva. In addition, it can get severe due to more extended presence in an air-conditioned room, longer bike rides, hot climatic conditions, and looking at a computer screen for a prolonged period.
Dry eye disease is increasing due to computers and smartphones for work and entertainment. This condition can be relieved with the frequent use of eye drops that gives relief for a specific period and must be used regularly. The treatment techniques such as meibomian gland expression (MGX) and intense pulsed light (IPL) are the most popular techniques that provide long-term relief from dry eye disease and control the symptoms. These treatments are inexpensive and require sessions of shorter periods, due to which the market for dry eye disease treatment devices will grow at a higher rate over the forecast period.
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Rising Cases of Meibomian Gland Dysfunction
One of the most frequent reasons patients seek out eye care is dry eye disease (DED). Its prevalence has been rising and is likely to continue to grow due to aging populations, the widespread use of computers, and environmental changes. The most common factor contributing to dry eye disease is meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD). The condition occurs when the glands do not secrete enough oil or when the fat they secrete is of poor quality. The oil gland openings frequently get blocked, which causes the glands to produce less oil. Oil escaping from the glands may be granular (crusty) or otherwise unhealthy, irritating the skin.
Patients with MGD are frequently asymptomatic in the early stages, but if untreated, it can result in or worsen eyelid inflammation and dry eye symptoms. Chronically blocked glands eventually stop secreting oil, which causes dry eyes and permanent changes to the tear film. To prevent this, patients opt for non-invasive treatments that offer relief for a longer period. Due to this, the demand for dry eye treatment devices will increase over the forecast period.
Increasing Adoption of Technology for Work and Education
Rapid technological advances are increasing the prevalence of their application in nearly every industry and academic discipline. As per one study, more than one-third of American adults report using technology for more than half of their day, and 14% say they use it for 10 to 12 hours daily. The issue affects more people than just adults.
In addition, 97% of students in classrooms have a computer at home, and 40% of teachers use digital tools in the classroom. With the rapid adoption of technological devices such as computers, tablets, and smartphones, most people face the side effects of prolonged use on their eyes. While using a digital device for a prolonged period, the eyes do not frequently blink, accelerating the evaporation of the tear film that helps lubricate the eye's surface. That might result in slight eye irritations like burning and stinging, which creates an increased burden on the eye muscles and causes dry eye disease.
Side-Effects Related to the Treatment Devices
The techniques used in treating dry eye disease also come with a few side effects that can cause some repercussions to the patients, and this can restrain the market growth over the forecast period. The side effects are generally mild, which can cause swollen eyes, redness, and a burning sensation. As per a study, it was concluded that intense pulsed light (IPL) could cause damage to the periocular area.
Furthermore, intense pulsed light is of a broad spectrum of wavelengths than a laser with a single wavelength, which makes it more challenging to operate and achieve specified goals during treatment. It can also cause retinal damage, as the retina contains melanin and hemoglobin that can be disrupted due to the IPL. Although IPL is relatively safer than laser, it can still cause damage to the eye to some extent. Due to these reasons, many patients may get cautious regarding the treatment techniques of MGX and IPL.
Innovations in Dry Eye Treatment Technology
The rapid technological advancements in eye treatments are leading to the innovation of more efficient and safer techniques. The latest treatment device for dry eye, iTEAR100, an external tear neurostimulator device, was recently approved by the FDA for treating dry eye disease. It applies a minute mechanical stimulation to the outer nose, stimulating the external nasal nerve within a few seconds. The iTEAR100 device helps activate the trigeminal parasympathetic pathway for producing natural tears. The study on this device showed positive results for the treatment of dry eye disease as the symptoms slowly faded. Another product launched by “Alcon” provides efficient treatment for dry eye disease, which delivers gentle pressure to a patient’s eyelids to unblock Meibomian glands in only 8 to 12 minutes.
The global dry eye treatment devices market is segmented by technology and end-user.
Based on Technology, the global dry eye treatment devices market is bifurcated into meibomian gland expression (MGX) and a combination of MGX and intense pulsed light (IPL).
The meibomian gland expression (MGX) segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at the highest during the forecast period. Meibomian gland expression (MGX) is a relatively affordable and easily accessible option and has shown to be an effective treatment for patients with dry eyes caused by meibomian gland dysfunction. Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) is the most common reason for dry eye disease and is treated effectively with MGX. It utilizes tools like forceps, warm compressors, and thermal pulsation systems to address the blockage around the meibomian gland and remove it. In the process, gentle heat is used to expand the glands and soften the meibum, which makes it easier to express. After that, each gland is gently squeezed to express the blocked material. During the forecast period, the frequent introduction of technologically advanced products with high portability, improved patient comfort, and increased therapeutic efficacy is anticipated to drive the growth of the MGX segment further over the forecast period.
The combination of the MGX and IPL treatment segment is also witnessing significant growth during the forecast period. The growth is driven by combining MGX and IPL treatment and providing relief for more time. It is a widely adopted treatment for ocular rosacea and meibomian gland disease with notable symptoms of dry eyes. This has led to the introduction of combination techniques by many hospitals and ophthalmic clinics for treating dry eye disease and the launch of innovative products for the stand-alone purpose.
Based on End-User, the global dry eye treatment devices market is bifurcated into ophthalmic clinics and hospitals.
The ophthalmic clinic segment owns the highest market share and is expected to grow significantly during the forecast period. An ophthalmic clinic is a clinic that treats eye diseases. The larger share is linked with the specific purpose of ophthalmic clinics, which provides treatment for illnesses related to the eyes. A person facing any problem related to the eye first visits the ophthalmic clinic for speedy relief rather than a general hospital. Owing to the rise in eye diseases due to the surge in technological devices such as computers, mobiles, and tablets, the ophthalmic clinics segment will grow further over the forecast period.
The global dry eye treatment devices market is bifurcated into four regions, namely North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.
North America Dominates the Global Market
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North America is the most significant shareholder in the global dry eye treatment devices market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13.5% during the forecast period. The market growth is primarily attributed to the high prevalence of dry eye disease, rising R&D spending, and an increase in the number of ophthalmology trade conferences and expos held in the United States and Canada. Dry eye diseases (D.E.D.) are becoming more common in the United States due to unhealthy lifestyles and uncapped use of smartphones and computers by people of all age groups, which has increased the demand for new technological non-invasive treatments of dry eye disease. According to a report, there are roughly 16 million diagnosed cases of D.E.D. in the United States, or 6.8% of the adult population. Dry eye illness is more common in women than men and is the leading reason for patient visits to optometrists. It is anticipated that the prevalence of risk factors, such as systemic diseases (diabetes), high digital device usage, and an aging population, will continue to rise in the U.S.
The Asia-Pacific region is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11.4%, generating USD 84.18 million during the forecast period. The rising levels of environmental pollution in the area can be linked to the growth of the Asia-Pacific dry eye treatment devices market. Long-term exposure to dust, wind, and dry weather conditions are all known to increase tear evaporation, which causes dry eye disease. Additionally, the widespread use of laptops, smartphones, and television, especially during the online COVID-19 due to school classes being held online, has resulted in prolonged and excessive screen time and is impacting the syndrome's occurrence. In developing countries of Asia, such as India, Vietnam, and China, construction is taking place rapidly, increasing the dust particles that irritate the eyes and evaporating the tears, causing dry eye disease. Due to the rapid development in Asian countries, new non-invasive treatments for dry eye disease are also available in the region due to the increased living standard and per capita income.
Europe region is also growing at a substantial CAGR, owing to the rapid technological advancements in U.K., Italy, France, Germany, and Belgium. In Europe, 11% to 30% of people suffer from dry eye disease. The population is aging and growing, and younger people are being diagnosed due to increased screen time. Unhealthy lifestyles leading to chronic diseases like diabetes and other medical conditions also affect the eye, which can cause dry eye disease. In Europe, an association of dry eye specialists was formed in 2020 with the objective of starting a foundation for a task force to be created at the European level to continue advancing knowledge in the broad field of dry eye and promoting education through congresses, webinars, and newsletters. The gap between fundamental science, clinical practice, and patient relief will be filled by sharing cutting-edge scientific knowledge and practical skills with other European experts.
LAMEA region is projected to contribute significantly to the dry eye treatment devices market growth due to the increased use of advanced technology in the region of the U.A.E. and Saudi Arabia (K.S.A.) and the adverse climatic conditions in the middle-east and some parts of Africa. The population in Middle-Eastern countries such as U.A.E., Israel, and Saudi Arabia is heavily impacted due to the dry climatic conditions and has more risk of dry eye disease. South American countries such as Brazil are also likely to witness market growth because Brazil's population is a mixture of native indigenous groups, Portuguese, Africans, and other emigrants from Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. As a result, it is asymmetrically distributed among the country's central five geopolitical regions and is characterized by deep miscegenation. These regions have a variety of climates, from humid equatorial to semi-arid, which may impact the prevalence of dry eye disease and the effects of risk factors.
The global dry eye treatment devices market’s major key players are