What is Myopia?

Myopia or nearsightedness is defined as a common vision condition in which the affected person can see objects near to them clearly, but objects farther away become blurry. It occurs when the shape of their eye causes light rays to bend (refract) incorrectly, focusing images in front of the retina instead of on the retina. Myopia can develop gradually or rapidly, often worsening during childhood and adolescence. Nearsightedness tends to run in families. A basic eye exam can confirm nearsightedness. People can compensate for the blur vision with eyeglasses, contact lenses, or refractive surgery.

Symptoms consist of

  • Blurry vision when looking at distant objects
  • The requirement to squint or partially close the eyelids to see clearly
  • Headaches caused by eyestrain
  • Problem seeing while driving a vehicle, especially at night (night myopia)

Myopia in Childhood or Teenage

Myopia, or nearsightedness, ​​is a common vision problem that most of the times begins between the age 6 and 14. It affects about 5% of preschoolers, around 9% of school aged children, and nearly 30% of teenagers.

Children are more likely to have myopia if their parents are nearsighted. However, myopia is rising linearly overall, especially in kids. It is not still evident why; however, experts believe it could be associated to more time doing closeup tasks indoors such as using computer and playing video games.

Myopia cannot be reversed or cured, but it can be treated. The goals of treatment is to improve the child's vision and prevent it from getting worse. This is important for protecting their eye health in the future even if they still need glasses or contact lenses.

Treatment of Myopia in Childhood and Teenage

  • Glasses

Glasses for myopia can be utilized all the time or just the time when they need to see the distant object. It is crucial to select frames that fit well and that work for the child's age and activities. For instance, if the child is young, it may be a better choice to buy glasses with a strap so they stay on more easily. Or if the child plays sports, choosing sports goggles will keep their regular glasses from getting broken. An optician can suggest better what the child may need.

  • Contact lenses

Contact lenses are another option depending on the preference. They can be helpful for some activities too, especially sports. While there's no age limit for contacts, the user should be able to tolerate eye drops well and practice good hygiene. Contact lenses require to be cared for on a daily basis to avoid eye infections. It is advised to always have glasses for backup, even if the user wears contact lenses most of the time.

  • Ortho-K

Ortho-K, known as orthokeratology, is defined as fitting custom designed, high oxygen-permeable contact lenses to reshape the cornea in a controlled manner to correct ametropia and myopia. Ortho-K lenses operate by flattening the center of the cornea and it transforms the direction in which the light is bent. It is advised to wear ortho-K lenses overnight, as it fattens the cornea. The ortho-K is gas permeable lens that is sturdy in nature, which helps in reshaping the cornea and enable oxygen to pass through to keep the eyes healthy. After the removal of Ortho-K lenses, the cornea remains flattened for a while and vision is corrected without the need for glasses. The cornea retains its shape if wearing of Ortho-K lenses is discontinued. It is also advised to keep wearing the lenses regularly to keep the vision corrected.

  • Atropine

Atropine is utilized as an eye drop for the treatment of myopia. Atropine is anti-muscarinic or anti-cholinergic drug. Atropine curbs the actions of a chemical called acetylcholine. The drug is available in a number of dosage forms consisting of oral tablets, solution for injections, ophthalmic solutions, and ophthalmic ointments. Atropine eye drops are utilized for the dilation of pupils as the muscles of the eyes relax. The dilation of muscles supports the light to refract, thereby improving the vision.

Projected Scenario for Global Teenager Myopia Control Market

According to a detailed report by GMR, the global teenager myopia control market was valued at USD 553.2 million in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 1,576.9 million by 2027, expanding at a CAGR of 15.1% during the forecast period, 2020-2027.

The market is driven by factors such as increasing prevalence of myopia, rising number of diabetics rising screen time, increasing incidence of distance vision impairment. However, lack of early diagnosis and shortage of ophthalmologists are key restraints of this market. Rising awareness regarding teenage myopia control in emerging countries and increasing awareness about myopia by governments are bolstering the market growth.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led many schools and colleges to turn into a virtual platform. Therefore, kids are spending more time on screens and close-up work. Social distancing measures and staying home has led to the reduction in time children spending outside the house. These factors have doctors concerned about the potential for a massive rise in myopia in children. To lower the risk of myopia, especially during the pandemic, doctors are advising to encourage children to take frequent breaks ​from close-up work, spend daily time outside when possible, and curb recreational screen time​.

Market Segmentation

On the basis of products, the global teenager myopia control market is segmented into spectacles, contact lens, ortho-K, and atropine. The ortho-K segment is projected to expand at a CAGR of around 15.6% during the forecast period. This can be attributed to the fact that several consumers are adopting ortho-k for the correction of myopia, as they are more convenient to use. The contact lens segment is estimated to account for a substantial share of the market in the coming years owing to its rising demand in the teenage population.

Based on distribution channels, the market is divided into hospitals, optometry clinics, and others. The optometry clinics segment is anticipated to account for a major share of the market during the forecast period attributing to the rising inclusion of the teenager myopia treatment in a majority of optometry clinics globally. In terms of value, the hospitals segment is anticipated to expand at a significant CAGR during the forecast period. Several consumers purchase medicines from hospitals due to convenience, which in turn, bolsters the growth of the segment.

Regional Insights

In terms of regions, the market is fragmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. Asia Pacific is a promising region for the market. The region accounted for a 47% share of the market in 2020. The market in the region is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 15.6% during the forecast period owing to rising awareness about eye disorders, growing per capita spending, and market saturation in developed economies are encouraging the market players to expand their presence in emerging economies. The market in North America is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 14.8% attributing to growing prevalence of myopia in the region.

Prominent Market Players and Competitive Landscape

Key players in the market include Johnson & Johnson Vision, CooperVision, Bausch & Lomb, and HOYA Corporation.
Most of these leading manufacturers are constantly engaged in the product launches and expansion of their production units in other countries, mergers and acquisitions, collaboration, and partnerships to enhance their market position in the global competition. For instance:

  • On August 3, 2017, CooperVision completed the acquisition of Procornea. Procornea is a manufacturer and distributor of specialty contact lenses, in particular Ortho-K, from the Netherlands. This acquisition boosted the presence of CooperVision in the myopia management market.
  • In August 2020, Johnson & Johnson Vision, as a part of contact lens health week, announced ACUVUE Services and Resources to enhance contact lens safety, comfort, and accessibility. ACUVUE LensAssist provided free interactive training to patients and eye care professionals, encouraging healthy, hygienic, and comfortable use of contact lenses.