Four million and counting

ACLM market research concludes that the number of contact lens wearers in the UK has surpassed the four million mark


Approximately one in 12 adults in the UK now wear contact lenses, according to the latest report from the Association of Contact Lens Manufacturers (ACLM) published in the Contact Lens Year Book 2016.

The market continued to grow in 2015, with over 700 million pairs of contact lenses sold. For the first time ever, the total number of wearers was over four million, a total of 8% of adults aged 15–64.

Sales of contact lenses totalled £268m, a figure up 6% from 2014, against negligible inflation for consumer goods over this time period.

The total number of wearers also grew 4% between 2014–15, the report highlighted.

The daily disposable contact lens continued its market dominance, with sales rising from £150m in 2014 to £164m in 2015.

Frequent replacement contact lens sales rose from £91m in 2014 to £93m in 2015, with the estimated sales for traditional and rigid contact lenses unchanged in this time, according to ACLM figures.

A total of 1.9 million people in the UK wore daily disposables in 2015, and another 1.7 million chose frequent replacement contact lenses. An estimated 338,000 UK patients wore rigid contact lenses last year, while just 39,000 selected traditional varieties.

The full market report, as part of the contact lens product manual, was released at the end of June. The Year Book is now available to order through the ACLM website.