Tonometer is an instrument used for the determination of the intraocular pressure or the pressure of the fluid within the eye. Tonometry is a diagnostic test primarily used to detect glaucoma. Glaucoma is an eye disease in which the optic nerve is damaged. The buildup of the pressure of the extra fluid inside the eye damages the optic nerve, and if this is left unattended, it may first cause peripheral vision loss and could lead to permanent loss of vision. Tonometer is equipped to measure the intraocular pressure by determining the resistance of the cornea to indentation.
The normal intraocular pressure ranges from 12 to 22 mm Hg according to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, and the tonometer measures in units of “mmHg” which is the unit used to record eye pressure. According to a study conducted by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, an estimated 2.2 million people in the U.S. are effected with open-angle glaucoma and is likely to increase to 3.3 million people by 2020.
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Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the U.S. after macular degeneration. Globally, it is the second leading cause of blindness after cataract. Blindness caused by glaucoma is six to seven times more common in African Americans than in Caucasians. According to The Glaucoma Foundation factsheets, an estimated amount of US$ 1.5 Bn is spent by the U.S. government annually. Glaucoma is more prevalent among the age group of above 60 years.
A major driver of the global tonometer market is the rising geriatric population as glaucoma tends to occur more in people with age above 60 years. In addition, other eye diseases such as chronic eye disorders increase the demand for tonometers. In addition, increasing diabetic population and inheritance of glaucoma are factors contributing to the rising demand for tonometers. However, the use of contact tonometer may lead to risk of infection or corneal abrasion. Non-contact type of tonometer have low accuracy level in the measurement of the intraocular pressure. These factors might restraint the growth of the tonometer market during the forecast period.
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The global tonometer market is segmented by product type, technology, modality, end-user, and region. On the basis of product type, the market is segmented into applanation tonometers, Pascal dynamic contour tonometers, rebound tonometers, and indentation tonometers. The applanation tonometers segment is subsegmented into contact type and noncontact type. The contact type subsegment includes Goldmann applanation tonometer, Perkins tonometer, Tonopen, pneumotonometer, and Mackay-Marg tonometer.
The noncontact type subsegment includes Grolman tonometer or air-puff tonometer and ocular response analyzer. The indentation tonometers segment is categorized into schiotz, electrical, mercurial, and scleral tonometers. On the basis of technology, the market is segmented into probe based, electronic, and pneumatic tonometer. Based on modality, the market is segmented into stand-alone and handheld. Based on end-user, the market is segmented into hospitals, diagnostic centers or clinics, and others.
Applanation tonometer is widely used as it is easy to use, accurate, and affordable. However, a major disadvantage of this tonometer is that it could cause a slight abrasion on the cornea. Indentation tonometer is used to measure the ocular pressure in scarred eye but it is more likely to cause corneal abrasion. Air-puff tonometers do not come in direct contact with the cornea which avoids abrasion but they are expensive and uncomfortable for few patients. Rebound tonometers are emerging tonometers which do not require anesthesia.
Geographically, the global tonometer market is distributed over North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. The market in North America is growing due to increase investment in health care in the U.S. and development of new technologies. The region accounts for a major share of the global market. The Asia Pacific and Europe markets are anticipated to grow rapidly during the forecast period owing to the growing diabetic population. According to a survey in 2013 by Asian Diabetes Prevention Initiative, 60% of the world’s diabetic population was from Asia. About 113.9 million people in China and 65.1 million people in India have diabetes, indicating a large market opportunity for tonometers as diabetes is the second leading cause for glaucoma.
Key players operating in the tonometer market include Topcon Corporation, Oculus Inc., Keeler Ltd., iCare Medical Inc., Reichert Technologies, Rexxam Co., Ltd., and Nidek Medical India Pvt. Ltd.
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