All About Vision, one the top eyecare sites released a press release with their eyecare predictions for 2010. We added our own optical and eyecare trends at the bottom.
(PRLEAP.COM) Will new eyeglasses be self-adjustable for better focus? Can blindness be cured? Read what the editors of AllAboutVision.com say about trends and new products that may be in store for 2010:
1. Presbyopes, or people with near vision problems from presbyopia, may soon be able to adjust their own eyeglasses to achieve sharper focus. One company recently introduced adjustable lenses that give clearer focus up close or in the distance, depending on the individual’s vision needs.
2. For frazzled parents who find it tough to keep eyeglasses and sunglasses attached to young children’s faces, more conveniences are available in the form of adjustable straps, headbands and Velcro for attachments. That’s especially good news for tiny tots, who need sunglass protection outdoors just as much as adults do.
3. Companies are expanding availability of self-service vision screening kiosks in malls, grocery stores and drugstores. These self-service kiosks help assess vision and determine when the person should see an eye doctor for a full eye exam to update his or her prescription and help prevent eye problems.
4. Advances continue to be made in gene therapy, which eventually may cure blindness caused by eye diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa. In fact, scientists recently used gene therapy to reverse blindness in animals with an eye disease similar to retinitis pigmentosa. Human trials using this method could begin in 2010.
5. Scientists also have used gene therapy to reverse color blindness in monkeys, which could have long-term implications for humans with color blindness.
6. Several companies are very close to creating more modern drug delivery systems for the eye that could eliminate the need for painful injections used to control macular degeneration, a common eye disease affecting the elderly that can be blinding.
7. New drug delivery methods other than eye drops also are being investigated for common eye diseases such as glaucoma. Tiny devices the size of a grain of rice (punctal plugs) could be inserted in the corner of the eye to slowly release medications needed to control high eye pressure that can damage the eye in glaucoma.
8. Smart phone applications will help users monitor their vision and certain eye conditions.
9. New corrective lens technology will provide greater customization of vision correction than current glasses and contacts, providing sharper vision than “20/20.”
10. All-laser cataract surgery may replace more traditional methods that use ultrasound (phacoemulsification) to break up the cataract in the eye before it is removed. Newer methods use a special laser to create incisions in the eye and also to break up the cataract.
11. The same special laser (femtosecond laser) is being studied as a way to correct near vision problems caused by presbyopia, which affects most people beginning after age 40. The laser creates incisions on the front of the eye to steepen it, which improves near vision.
12. Tiny implants inserted just below the clear surface of the eye (cornea) also are showing promise as a way to correct presbyopia.
13. The eye may become a diagnostic tool for identifying people at risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Scientists have found that examining the retina in the eye’s inner, back region can reveal lesions indicating presence of the disease.
14. Stem cells may soon be used to treat Stargardt’s macular dystrophy (SMD), a retinal disease that causes blindness in young people. The treatment uses embryonic stem cells to re-create a type of cell in the retina that supports the photoreceptors needed for vision.
15. Contact lenses are being studied for many futuristic uses, such as monitoring a person’s vital body signs and blood sugar. Contact lenses currently are being developed to give instant views of charts, graphics and other displays through sources such as wireless Internet connections.
- Wearable technology in the form of USB ports in eyewear, solar powered, video eyewear will be on the rise. Eyeglasses will become mini-computers. Eventually one of the ‘standard’ optical vendors will break into this market. No matter what this is a potentially lucrative non-managed care market.
- Green and sustainable manufacturing and products will continue to rise as manufacturers and optical professionals continually realize the cost advantages and respond to consumer demand.
- The consumer (Patient) will continue to seek DIY healthcare, sustainable and green medicine. It will become more important for the ECP to offer natural and green alternative products and services in a non-toxic environment.
- Blogs, Social media will become the way to reach the GenY and older patients. Reputation Management will become part of a daily task for the eyecare professional. New titles such as Brand Ambassadors will become a part of every office.
- Growth in colored contact lenses as an important fashion accessory.
- There will be lots of growth in online retailers of both contacts and eyewear. People who are unemployed have started blogs and websites and one of the easiest and affordable things to sell is eyewear and contacts over the internet especially with the number of affiliate programs available.
- Large companies will continue to merge, form strategic alliances to sustain growth and eliminate their competition.
- Eyeglasses accessories if you stock them can and have a huge growth and income potential. People are struggling as to where to put all their gadgets, ipods, cell phones and all the wires that go with them and how to keep them protected and not lost.
- Celebrities will continue to drive the outlandish eyewear business. Stars such as Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Beyonce will be on the lookout for innovative, wacky, eye-catching eyewear and sunglasses. As a results new, small ‘niche’ street driven fashion ‘people’ will continually be coming up with outrageous and extravagant eyewear.
- Paperless is the way to go- companies will stop printing catalogues, consumer will ask for paperless, recall will be done by email or mobile marketing
For more information on vision, eyewear and eye health, please visit AllAboutVision.com.
Online since January 2000, AllAboutVision.com provides consumers with hundreds of pages of comprehensive, doctor-reviewed information on eye health and vision correction. The site’s most popular content sections are those about eye diseases, LASIK, contact lenses and eyeglasses. The site is accredited by the Health on the Net Foundation. AllAboutVision.com is published by Access Media Group LLC, a print and electronic health communications company that specializes in vision care. All About Vision and AllAboutVision.com are registered service marks of Access Media Group LLC.