The global artificial tears market has been disrupted by a growing demand for preservative-free and naturally manufactured artificial tears which do not irritate the eyes unlike the ones filled with chemicals. The rising demand for organic products in the pharmaceutical industry has also contributed to this development, with many patients now opting for cellulose-derived artificial tears. Preservative-free artificial tears are being increasingly prescribed to patients suffering from keratoconjunctivitis sicca or dry eye syndrome who need to apply these at least four to five times a day. This has helped key market players in expanding their sales through pharmaceutical centers inside hospitals and as over-the-counter drugs. In the upcoming years, the artificial tears market will experience growth owing to drivers including increasing incidence of dry eye syndrome, rising demand for care after surgical operations, increasing sales of contact lenses, and rising business for tear gas. During the forecast period 2019-2025, the artificial tears market will grow with a CAGR of 4% and earned a revenue of $2.21 billion in 2018. Moreover, glycerin obtained from plants and other natural resources is also being used in artificial tears, and the resultant product has become popular amongst patients, thus helping the artificial tears market in attaining further growth. This segment will experience growth at a CAGR of 4% during the forecast period of 2019-2025.

North America as the Leading Region for Artificial Tears Market

North America has emerged as the geographical leader for the market with an evaluated share of 38% out of the total revenue earned by the market in 2018. The primary reason for this share is the rising demand for ophthalmology services, especially amongst the geriatric population. According to the American Family Physician Organization, one in every three elderly persons suffers from an ophthalmological disorder by the age of 65. Older people are more likely to suffer from dry eyes due to a gradual decline in the production of lubricants, especially for cornea and the conjunctiva. Moreover, with aging, macular degeneration often leads to retinal disorders resulting in loss of vision requiring surgery in most cases. Advanced care is advised after surgeries to prevent the eyes from contracting dry eye syndrome, majorly contributing to the growth of the global artificial tears market. Additionally, North American countries have significantly invested in improving the healthcare system of the continent. The United States of America, for example, is significantly increasing its healthcare expenditure with every passing year. According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the U.S. government will increase its healthcare spending at an average rate of 5.8% from 2012-2022. This investment has benefitted the artificial tears market as a growing number of people are now readily opting for ophthalmological treatment.

Factors behind the Growth of the Artificial Tears Market:

·         Rising Incidence of Dry Eye Syndrome

Mostly caused by lack of adequate lubrication on the surface of the eye, dry eye syndrome has become common amongst people of all ages. This eye condition can lead to severe inflammation of the cornea and persistent itching, thus generating a need for external lubrication. This factor has benefitted the artificial tears market with dry eye syndrome becoming increasingly common. This development has taken place due to several factors some of which include-

Ø  Increasing Exposure to Digital Displays- With the advent of technology, devices with displays have become a standard part of human life. According to a study conducted by Coopervision, an American company manufacturing contact lenses, 42% of the U.S. population spends nearly half of their waking hours looking at a screen. An increase in screen time has been directly linked to the development of eye conditions such as dry eye syndrome.

Ø  Air Travel- Flight travel has increased owing to their availability as the fastest mode of transportation. According to statistics released by the International Air Transport Association, approximately 4.1 billion passengers accessed flights for traveling in 2017. Air travel has been linked to exacerbating dry eye syndrome because of low humidity maintained inside the flights. For people already suffering from dry eye syndrome, using rinse eye drops becomes important, thus providing growth to the artificial tears market.

Ø  Rise in Air Pollution- With a rise in disposable income, the number of vehicles on the streets has been consistently rising. As per The Cost of Air Pollution, a report published by the World Bank and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, 92% of the world’s population lives in areas where air pollution has reached hazardous levels. Air pollution severely reduces the amount of ozone present in the atmosphere and leads to low humidity. Both of these factors contribute to increasing incidence of dry eye syndrome, providing growth to the artificial tears market. 

Artificial Tears Market: Key Market Players and Recent Developments

Key companies of the artificial tears market have majorly focused on understanding patient preferences and subsequently manufacturing more organic and preservative-free artificial tears. This has helped them in increasing sales, thereby contributing to earning more revenue in the market. These key market players are Alcon Inc., Advanced Vision Research, Inc., Allegan Inc., Bausch & Lomb, Santen Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., Novartis International AG, McNEIL-PPC, Inc., and Abbott Medical Optics, Inc.

Alcon Inc. is a pharmaceutical company that specializes in innovative products suited for eye care. One of their innovations in artificial tears market includes producing artificial tears solutions that have nano-sized droplets. These droplets form a matrix of protection across the entire surface of the eye, thus giving an edge over similar products. Some of their prime artificial tears products include Tears Naturale Forte made from glycerin, Systane series preservative-free drops and gels made out of polyethylene glycol, and others.

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