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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. The World Health Organization estimates that an additional 65,000 optometrists and other eye care specialists are needed to address treatable vision impairment, which is estimated to affect more than 700 million people and to cost the global economy some $200 billion per year in lost productivity.
About 20,000 optometrist offices operate in the US with combined annual revenue of about $12 billion. US consumer spending at optometrist offices is forecast to grow at a high rate in the next two years. Key drivers of growth 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 as well as increasing incidences of eye disease such as glaucoma, which is often diagnosed by an optometrist although treated by an ophthalmologist. The profitability of optometrist practices depends on efficient operations and whether they also sell glasses and contact lenses. Eyeglass purchases are mildly cyclical with the economy, as many consumers view extra glasses as an expense that can be deferred. The industry is highly fragmented: the 50 largest companies account for less than 10 percent of revenue.
Complement this Industry Profile by purchasing a Focus Profile. Optometrists has one Focus Profiles that can help you better understand this industry:
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