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Doctor . . . Are You Missing Out on this Gigantic Presbyopic Profit Center?

Doctor . . . Are You Missing Out on this Gigantic Presbyopic Profit Center?

April 11, 2023

The 2019-2026 reading glasses market is predicted to be $53.23 billion with a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 5.4%.1 There is an increased demand for fashionable frames as well as the desire to purchase frames designed with specific materials, such as fiber or wood. This is all according to a recently published Fortune Business Insights report titled “Reading Glasses Market Size, Share and Industry Analysis, By Age Group, By Type, By Distribution Channel and Regional Forecast, 2019-2026.”  

Major Reading Glasses Developments in the News
There have been some major developments in the reading glasses category over the past few years. Here are some examples:

On June 7, 2019, FGX International started collaborating with Restoring Vision to launch the first Reading Glasses Day with the intent of raising awareness of access to reading glasses. 

In May of 2018, Lenskart invested around $500,000 in ThinOptics, Inc., a California-based reading glass manufacturer, to fulfill its goal of “revolutionizing eyewear.”  

In April of 2017, SlimViews, a manufacturer of contemporary eyeglasses, unveiled its range of lightweight reading glasses equipped with high-density TR90 material.  

Sales of Reading Glasses Are Surging
In this internet era, the sales of reading glasses are surging owing to the emergence of numerous e-commerce websites. Zenni Optical, for example, had 6.6 million visits during the month of November 2022 as compared to 5.1 million for EyeBuyDirect, its nearest competitor. Warby Parker’s website averaged 4.7 million. Potential customers accessed Zenni Optical through several social media sites, the largest three being YouTube, Facebook, and Reddit.  Zenni Optical’s audience is 50.01% male and 49.99% female, 44.21% of its traffic is accessed directly to its website, while 42.44% is through search engines looking for eyeglasses or eyewear or reading glasses. Warby Parker’s Home Try-On allows you to pick five frames to try on at home (including sunglasses) and also allows you to use most major vision insurance providers.  

From its research, Fortune Business Insights found that the age group of 18 to 64 years accounted for 65.26% of the reading glasses market share. This growth is attributable, in part, to the rising incidence of presbyopia in the older portion of this age group. The surging use of mobile phones and computers for entertainment as well as for work purposes also contributes to the growth of this segment. 

The Global Reading Glasses Market is Growing Due to an Aging Population
Recently, there has been a market shift toward aging populations across the developed regions. This is more prevalent among the population that is older than 40. According to the World Health Organization, by 2050, the world’s population aged 60 years and older is expected to total two billion, up from 900 million in 2015.  

The Fortune Business Insights report2 lists key companies in the global reading glass market.  They include De Rigo Vision S.p.A.; EssilorLuxotica; Zenni Optical, Inc.; Bausch + Lomb Inc.; ThinOptics, Inc.; Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc.; Carl Zeiss; Hoya Corp.; and other prominent players. You are probably already doing business with some of these global corporations.

Reading glasses are used extensively in the medical industry by doctors and surgeons while performing delicate procedures. (Remember CliC readers worn by the Criminal Minds television doctor?) They help in magnifying the image of the area on which the surgery is being performed, thereby providing a clear view to the doctor. Dentists also use reading glasses while examining their patients.  

The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic has also positively impacted the readers market.  More people started working from home and online due to lockdown restrictions. In response, people spent more time on smartphones, laptops, and on desktops. These longer screen times caused consumers to also spend on blue-light-canceling and anti-fatigue glasses. 

While your practice may consider reading glasses an afterthought to prescription glasses, or maybe not at all, they deserve a second look for at least all these reasons.

1, 2.  Fortune Business Insights, July 7, 2022

3. Smick, Kirk L Blue Light Basics Optometric Management, October 2014.  Pp. 28.


  • Kirk Smick, OD

    Dr. Smick is a retired Air Force Colonel and pilot. He has held several key leadership positions in optometry and has lectured both nationally and internationally. He is a past president of the Georgia Board of Optometric Examiners, the Georgia Optometric Association, and SECO International. Dr. Smick believes that post-graduate education is the key to best practices and therefore has dedicated much of his professional life to continuing education. He served as the chairman of continuing education for SECO International, the American Optometry Association’s Optometry’s Meeting, and the Vision Expo meetings. In total he has dedicated more than 30 years to continuing education, both as a facilitator and a lecturer. He was the first optometrist to be certified by the American Academy of Certified Procedural Coders and an original founder of the Omni Referral Center System. He continues to consult with several industry partners, including Allergan, Optical Connection, and ScienceBased Health. He views presbyopia as a unique opportunity for optometrists because of the new technologies available.

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