The COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent lock downs imposed by the government has restricted people from going out. This has inevitably increased screen time. Working from home involves working on desktops, laptops, and mobile phones. Even when people are not working, they are glued to their TV sets and mobile phones, mindlessly scrolling through social media feeds. All of these can cause eyestrain, which may lead to an eye infection. Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, eyes are highly susceptible to various types of infections. Therefore, prioritizing personal hygiene and social distancing can assist in preventing any type of eye infection. Due to the prevailing lockdowns, people suffering from eye infections are avoiding visiting hospitals and relying on alternative solutions such as eye drops.
However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, there are also numerous economical and operational challenges that are growing. Substantial time is required for commercialization and development of effective treatment options for curing COVID-19 and containing the spread of the virus. This uncertainty is resulting in postponement and rescheduling of the treatment and diagnosis of eye infection. This situation is likely to remain the same for the coming two to three quarters. The eye infection treatment market gained huge traction until the first quarter of 2020. This trend of growth is likely to continue post normalization of this pandemic, due to the availability of the treatment. Moreover, in the current scenario, the local government is redirecting healthcare resources towards the COVID-19 crisis; Thus, the global eye infection treatment market has showed marginal decline in the short term.
Technological Developments are transforming Eye Infection Treatment
Market players are laying greater emphasis on developing of novel ophthalmic formulation technologies to improve eye infection treatment. Advanced surgical techniques and high technological innovations in ophthalmology help in providing better and faster results. Some of the recent innovations in eye infection treatment are:
- Recent development of multifocal intraocular lenses (IOLs) helps in making the spectacle independent after cataract surgery. This innovation helps in not only setting up the cloudy vision caused due to cataracts but also implanting a refractive lens. This lens improves the vision of the patient who was suffering from eye cataract. These lenses include toric IOLs that makes patients less dependent on spectacles for distance and correct astigmatism. Furthermore, demand for IOLs is gaining traction in Europe, as most surgeons’ have moved from bifocal to trifocal lenses.
- In 2018, some researchers developed a new technique for the powerful gene-editing tool CRISPR in order to fix distorted retinal function caused due to retina infection and retina pigmentosa at a young age. This was the first time that researchers became successful in developing CRISPR technology for a chronic disorder. Hence, in the current scenario, market players are trying to include this innovation in their treatment process in order to enhance their customer base.
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Eye Drops to Remain Highly Preferred for Eye Infection Treatment
Eye drops play an essential role in curing many eye conditions such as raised eye pressure, glaucoma, conjunctivitis, dry eye disease, and ocular inflammation. Most professionals recommend eye drops for after eye surgery when there is a need to reduce inflammation to prevent infection. In recent times, companies are investing a huge amount in the R&D activities to create better eye drops. Owing to such innovations, the eye infection treatment market will witness a spurt in terms of revenue. Some of these are mentioned below:
- In April 2020, Dextenza developed an eye drop to cure ocular itching in patients with allergic conjunctivitis. Allergic conjunctivitis has always been a major issue among people. Therefore, there is a large unmet demand for hands-free, potent, and preservative-free anti-inflammatory medication. Even in the era of COVID-19, people will require better eye drops to keep themselves safe. Thus, the company is hoping to witness huge demand in the global marketplace.
- In October 2019, Israeli startup Orasis Pharmaceuticals introduced a corrective eye drop, which is an alternative to laser surgery, reading glasses, and contact lenses. This eye drop is likely to offer a permanent solution to billions of people in the world who are growing old and are living with age-related farsightedness. It will make it easier for the elderly population to see things clearly from a distance.
- In 2018, scientists developed a fluid gel that forms a protective barrier that prevents the eye from getting infected by blinking. It is a novel eye drop that swiftly decreases scarring to corona or eye surface.
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