The global keratoconus treatment market size was valued at USD 820.80 million in 2022. It is projected to reach USD 1,209.32 million by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 4.40% during the forecast period (2023-2031).
Keratoconus is a progressive eye disease that thins the cornea and transforms it into a dome or cone-like shape. Keratoconus causes vision changes that cannot be corrected with eyeglasses. Keratoconus is characterized by nearsightedness, sensitivity to light, blurred vision, and irregular astigmatism. Treatment for keratoconus disorder highly depends on the severity of the condition and the rate of its progression. Treatment options for mild to moderate keratoconus include contact lenses and eyeglasses. As more individuals are diagnosed with keratoconus, the international market for keratoconus treatments is expanding at a breakneck pace. There is a high likelihood that an increase in sun and ultraviolet radiation exposure will contribute to the expansion of this industry.
Keratoconus is thought to be caused partly by ultraviolet light because of the oxidative damage it causes. This is demonstrated by the fact that it is widespread in places with a lot of heat and sunshine. It is hypothesized that exposure to UV light will result in an abnormally high production of reactive oxygen species within the cornea and that individuals affected by keratoconus cannot process these additional reactive oxygen species, ultimately resulting in oxidative stress, cytotoxicity, and a reduction in corneal thickness. Saudi Arabia, Iran, New Zealand, Israel, and certain Pacific Islands have been found to have a higher prevalence of the eye condition known as keratoconus because of the high levels of ultraviolet radiation. Therefore, increasing ultraviolet and sun exposure are also resulting in the development of keratoconus, which positively impacts the demand for treatment for keratoconus and also provides companies with encouragement for the development of new therapeutics and other advanced treatment methods.
Many issues affecting the eyes develop gradually and are brought on by carelessness. Most of these issues are unimportant, but a few require specialized care, which can be pricey. In countries that are still underdeveloped, a significant percentage of people do not have sufficient financial resources to obtain treatment for these disorders. Additionally, many individuals have a limited understanding of such disorders, contributing to the severity of the conditions.
According to the National Keratoconus Foundation, Keratoconus affects approximately one person out of every two thousand persons in the general population. It has been discovered that in the long term, people become blind due to a lack of awareness, which might lead to a misdiagnosis. According to some reports, keratoconus is not regarded as a hazardous eye condition. There is less awareness among the general population despite the bothersome symptoms and problems associated with these conditions because of this. The market expansion will probably be hampered by the need for more awareness regarding ocular keratoconus therapies, leading to a time management loss.
Keratoconus has emerged as a significant public health issue that has an impact on people's lives all over the world. It is estimated that between fifty and two hundred out of every one hundred thousand persons suffer from keratoconus. A wide variety of therapy options available on the market can adequately control keratoconus illness. Patients are increasingly turning to various contact lenses, including soft contact lenses, piggybacking contact lenses, hybrid contact lenses, and others, for treating keratoconus. In addition, treatments for keratoconus, such as Intacs and corneal transplants, have made significant headway in the market in recent years.
Compared with white populations, people of various non-Asian ethnicities and Asia, particularly Indians, Pakistanis, Middle Easterners, and Polynesians, have a more significant risk of developing keratoconus and a faster rate of disease progression. In addition, developing nations are seeing an improvement in their healthcare infrastructure. For instance, in Saudi Arabia, the frequency of keratoplasties in patients suffering from keratoconus has skyrocketed in recent years.
The global keratoconus treatment market is segmented by type, treatment type, and end-user.
Based on type, the global keratoconus treatment market is bifurcated into corneal hydrops, forme fruste keratoconus, and others.
The corneal hydrops segment is the highest contributor to the market and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 5.20% during the forecast period. Corneal hydrops is a kind of advanced keratoconus characterized by the rapid onset of severe corneal opacification due to edema. Corneal hydrops can be treated through corneal transplantation. The edema happens due to a spontaneous break in Descemet's membrane because of the fragile cornea, which results in a painfully low level of visual acuity. There has been no discovery of a specific treatment for corneal hydrops; in most cases, the symptoms disappear independently after a few months. Medical therapy is the primary focus of traditional medicine for acute corneal hydrops. This is done in addition to the natural resolution of the condition, which is intended to maximize patient comfort and decrease the likelihood of persistent sequelae.
Forme fruste keratoconus can be defined as a cornea that has no aberrant results by both Placido-based corneal topography and slit-lamp tests and with the fellow eye of clinical keratoconus. This type of keratoconus is considered to be milder than clinical keratoconus. It is the topic with which one might devise more effective screening methods for recognizing the early stage of keratoconus. A key determinant in the development of corneal ectasia following excimer laser ablation is the presence of forme fruste keratoconus in the patient. Forme fruste keratoconus can be clinically diagnosed based on several criteria, including topographic and pachymetry patterns.
Posterior keratoconus is an uncommon corneal condition that does not progress. In 1930, a British ophthalmologist named T. Harrison Butler was the first to characterize keratoconus as a "small basin-like depression" in the posterior portion of the cornea. This condition is also referred to as keratoconus posticous in some circles. This condition can be identified by the gradual thinning of the posterior cornea without developing ectasia in the anterior cornea. In most cases, it is considered a developmental anomaly but can also be acquired due to ocular trauma. It manifests as cloudiness in the cornea.
Keratoglobus is a rare, non-inflammatory corneal thinning disorder characterized by global thinning and globular ectasis (protrusion) of the cornea. Keratoglobus affects only a tiny percentage of the population. The non-inflammatory corneal ectasias are a category of illnesses characterized by the cornea's thinning, the cornea's protrusion, and the cornea's scarring. Keratoglobus is a member of this group. However, it is one of the less common subsets. Myopia or high myopia, abnormal retinoscopy reflex, irregular astigmatism, folds, cracks, or thickening of Descemet's membrane are the most prevalent symptoms of this condition. The American Academy of Ophthalmology estimates that there were approximately 684 people diagnosed with keratoglobus in the United States in 2018.
Based on treatment type, the global keratoconus treatment market is bifurcated into corneal cross-linking, lenses, surgery, and others.
The corneal cross-linking segment is the highest contributor to the market and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 5.05% during the forecast period. This treatment, also known as corneal collagen cross-linking or CXL, reinforces the corneal tissue in keratoconus patients to stop bulging the eye's surface. There are two ways to cross-link the cornea's epithelium-off and epithelium-on. In the procedure known as epithelium-off cross-linking, the outer layer of the cornea is peeled away. This allows the B vitamin riboflavin to enter the cornea, followed by UV radiation to make it active. The corneal epithelium can remain undamaged throughout the treatment process while using the epithelium-on approach.
The severity of the patient's keratoconus determines how well they can see. Eyeglasses or contact lenses can be used to treat keratoconus, which is mild to severe. The condition known as keratoconus can be treated with various lenses, including hybrid contact lenses, piggyback contact lenses, gas-permeable contact lenses, and bespoke soft contact lenses. In the late 1800s, blown glass was used to manufacture contact lenses to cure keratoconus. By the 1940s, this had progressed to the point where it utilized rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses, which were hard and made of plastic. This served as the benchmark for a significant number of years.
In cases when the patient's cornea has become extremely thin, there has been corneal scarring; the patient has poor vision even when wearing the most robust prescription lenses, or the patient cannot wear any contact lenses, surgery may be recommended. Penetrating keratoplasty and deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty are two surgical procedures that may or may not be an option depending on the severity of the condition and the position of the bulging cone (DALK). In patients with corneal scarring or significant thinning, as well as those requiring a cornea transplant, a penetrating keratoplasty may be performed (keratoplasty). The procedure known as penetrating keratoplasty is a transplant of the entire cornea.
Based on end-user, the global keratoconus treatment market is bifurcated into eye clinics, hospitals, and others.
The eye clinic segment is the highest contributor to the market and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 5.00% during the forecast period. Eye clinics are the ideal settings for most sophisticated eye treatments today. Patients are provided with appropriate therapeutic advice by the ophthalmologist, who bases their recommendations on the current state of the disease. Patients can receive refractions and glasses or contact lenses, screenings for asymptomatic eye diseases, diagnosis and treatment of most eye conditions, referral to specialists, and coordination with other aspects of medical care at eye clinics, which serve as an entry point for patients. Eye clinics also coordinate with other parts of medical care. It is the responsibility of an ophthalmologist to carry out a thorough medical eye evaluation; however, certain areas of data gathering may be carried out by qualified personnel under the supervision of the ophthalmologist.
A hospital is a medical facility that treats patients by employing doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals and providing them with specialized medical equipment. Some surgical eye treatments found at hospitals are penetrating keratoplasty, deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty, and corneal collagen cross-linking. Other surgical eye treatments include: The availability of highly skilled medical professionals and technologically advanced treatment facilities contribute to a rise in the number of patients visiting hospitals. This market is expanding due to several factors, including the rise in the number of hospitals and ENT specialists and an increase in the overall number of patients. Around 213,459 ophthalmologists work worldwide, while the American Academy of Ophthalmology reports 19,216 active ophthalmologists in the United States.
The global keratoconus treatment market is bifurcated into four regions: North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.
Asia-Pacific is the most significant revenue contributor and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.00% during the forecast period. This is due to the region's high rate of product approvals and merger and acquisition activity. Several regional businesses use organic growth strategies to enhance their product portfolio and global market presence. In January 2018, Hoya Corporation established a cataract intraocular lens research and development center in Singapore. In January 2019, Hoya Corporation acquired two ophthalmic medical device manufacturers, Mid Labs (US) and Fritz Ruck (Germany). This acquisition strengthened the company's ophthalmology product portfolio.
North America is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.10% during the forecast period. The availability of advanced medical facilities and ongoing technical breakthroughs in the US are the main causes of this high proportion. The Americas led the keratoconus therapy market in 2019 and most likely throughout the evaluation period. The high volume of cataract operations, mergers and acquisitions, and product introductions in this area can be blamed. The demand for different treatment alternatives, such as lenses, surgery, and corneal cross-linking, is also driven by the rising incidence and prevalence of keratoconus illnesses.
Europe maintained the second-largest position, with a share of approximately 26.95% of the global market for keratoconus treatments in 2019, due to the region's thriving medical sector and the rising number of keratoconus cases. Advanced diagnostic and treatment options are also significant factors in the expansion of this market. The illness is being effectively treated thanks to ongoing research by academic and medical research institutions. Similar to how product introductions will accelerate this market's growth.
The Middle East and Africa have had consistent expansion in the keratoconus treatment industry over the past few years. The Middle East nations, including South Africa, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia, have strong adoption rates for more modern diagnostic tools. The growth rate is anticipated to increase over the next several years due to increased strategic efforts by public and private businesses and organizations. Furthermore, a remarkable increase in keratoplasties for keratoconus patients has been seen in Saudi Arabia. Keratoconus was the fourth most common reason for keratoplasty in 1983, accounting for 7.6% of all procedures. It was the main disease-causing factor in 2016, and 48.2% of keratoplasties were carried out.
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