|Last Quarterly Update:||10/21/2013|
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Companies in this industry perform routine eye exams, write prescriptions for corrective lenses, and treat many eye conditions. No major companies dominate the industry.
Around 300,000 optometrists practice worldwide, according to the World Council of Optometry. As the middle class expands in developing nations such as China and India, demand for optometrists to treat vision impairments is expected to increase significantly.
About 20,000 optometrist offices operate in the US with combined annual revenue of about $12 billion. Key industry growth drivers include the aging of the population and increased availability of insurance coverage.
Demand is driven by demographics. The aging of the US population increases demand for eye exams and glasses. Eye diseases such as cataracts and glaucoma, which are often diagnosed by an optometrist but treated by an ophthalmologist, also increase with age. The profitability of optometrist practices depends on efficient operations and whether glasses and contact lenses are sold. Eyeglass purchases are mildly cyclical with the economy, as many consumers view extra glasses as an expense that can be deferred.
The US industry is highly fragmented: the 50 largest US companies account for less than 10 percent of revenue.
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Optometrists perform routine eye examinations, write prescriptions for corrective lenses, and can treat some simple eye conditions. Complicated conditions like glaucoma, cataracts, and retinal detachments generally are referred to ophthalmologists. Optometric eye examinations are fairly standard, usually take less than ...
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