Ophthalmology currently represents an important market for manufacturers of laser and laser based systems. With increasing use of femtosecond laser technology in particular, ophthalmology represents the fastest growing segment in the medical laser market. Ophthalmic lasers includes diagnostic and therapeutic devices used for the treatment of several eye disorders such as retinal disorders, glaucoma, tumors, vision correction problems, diabetic retinopathy, and cataract and age-related macular degeneration. Ophthalmic lasers operate with higher accuracy and efficacy performed on outpatient basis avoiding hospital stays and extended recovery time. Various types of ophthalmic lasers are used to treat different types of eye disorders. Ophthalmic lasers are usually named according to the material contained in the plasma tube and are mainly of following types – Argon, Diode, YAG, Eximer and Femtosecond. The laser which uses argon gas treats diabetic retinopathy, retinal detachment and several forms of glaucoma. Refractive vision correction is usually treated with the help of Excimer laser. The Excimer laser are perhaps the best known of all lasers because of its use in laser vision correction surgery such as laser in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK) and photorefractive keratectomy (PRK). Femtosecond lasers, are considered one of the significant advances in treatment of cataract and play a different role in LASIK surgery. Flap creation in LASIK is the most common use of this laser.
Over the recent years, ophthalmic laser surgery has received significant attention and acceptance owing to its greater precision, convenience and safety. The ophthalmic laser allow patients to be treated with no risk of infection, in a relatively painless way with minimal discomfort, performed on an outpatient basis. Increasing prevalence of various forms of eye related disorders and reduced treatment cost are expected to fuel the penetration of ophthalmic lasers among a large base of population especially aging population.
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A study conducted by the USFDA demonstrates the possible risks associated with the laser eye surgery that includes, visual disturbances, such as glare or double vision, poor night time vision, and the development of severe dry eye syndrome. Others possible side effects noted by the American Academy of Ophthalmology includes inflammation and infection, ectasia and even permanent vision loss in some cases. Increasing healthcare costs and economic slowdown in developed markets are some of the other factors constraining the market growth of ophthalmic lasers. Reimbursement cutbacks, and strong competition from local manufacturers will result in falling average price of the laser devices worldwide impacting the overall market growth.
The global Ophthalmic Lasers Market is segmented on the basis of type of lasers, by application and by region.
By Types of Lasers
- Excimer Laser
- YAG (yttrium-aluminium-garnet) laser
- Krypton Lasers
- Argon Lasers
- Diode Lasers
- Femtosecond Laser
- Diabetic Retinopathy
- Retinal Vein Occlusion
- Age related Macular Degeneration
- Ocular Histoplasmosis
- Retinal breaks and detachment
- Central Serous Chorioretinopathy
- Ocular Tumors
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With rising incidence of age related eye disorders such as macular degeneration, cataract and chronic simple glaucoma the demand for ophthalmic lasers over the forthcoming years is expected to take a loop. Technological advancements in ophthalmic laser surgery offer benefits beyond vision correction and attract significant demand in the future. For example, the introduction of femtosecond laser technology is the most significant advancement in cataract surgery. In addition application of laser technology in early diagnosis, and the detection of certain eye disorders in conjunction with imaging technologies, such as Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), would also contribute to the growing demand for ophthalmic lasers.
Depending on geographic regions, the global Ophthalmic Lasers Market is segmented into seven key regions: North America, Latin America, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Asia Pacific excluding Japan, Japan and Middle East & Africa.
In terms of geography North America dominates the ophthalmic lasers market followed by Europe and Latin America. Latin America and Asia Pacific are expected to grow at a high pace over the coming years. With increasing prevalence of age related eye disorders coupled with introduction of technological advanced treatment options, better healthcare setup facilities and rising awareness are some of factors expected to create revenue traction in market over North America and others. The incidence of population suffering from cataract in the U.S. has been rising since 2000 with the incidence rate of 19% according to the Prevent American Blindness report, 2012.
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Ophthalmic Lasers Therapeutic Market: Key Players
Some of the key players in this market includes Abbott Medical Optics, Inc., Carl Zeiss AG, Alcon, Inc., Bausch & Lomb Incorporated, Nidek Co., Ltd., Ziemer Ophthalmic Systems AG, SCHWIND eye-tech-solutions GmbH & Co. KG, Lumenis Ltd. and Ellex Medical Lasers Limited and others.