The results of the 2010 Annual Contact Lens Survey from Advance Insights, an inVentiv Health company are in, and there are some very interesting statistics to report.

Overall, the entire contact lens industry is down 4.2% after holding steady one year ago.  That sounds about right from what we continuously see in our practice, with 1 out of every 3 exams being for contacts.

The good news is that patients over 40 years old are increasingly wearing contacts, which is usually a more specialized fitting that often requires more time and visits – a perfect match for our service-based, and not volume-based, practice.

In fact for the first time, patients over 40 were the largest group of contact lens wearers, barely edging out those young punks in the 25-39 year old range.

A lot of what I experience with the over 40 demographic is people wanting to read their phone or computer and finding it inconvenient to reach for readers.  Thirty years ago if you were going to sit and read, finding your reading glasses was fine. But today it’s a lot more of a hassle to grab the readers for every little text message.  That’s where contacts come in- they offer the over 40 crowd the ability to live a glasses-free life.

Another reason why people over 40 are making up a larger segment of the contact lens wearing population is that they grew up with soft disposable contact lenses.

The last 10 years especially has been full of new technologies and advancements that have made lenses more comfortable.  But starting about 20 years ago contacts became mainstream, so much so that there are thousands of websites the sell lenses online.  So all of the 20 and 30 year olds that have been wearing lenses just got a little bit older.

This data is very interesting and inSIGHTful and there is a lot more to bring you from the report.  Stay tuned for our next post on daily disposable contact lenses.