Calendar year 2017 was a relatively flat year in terms of overall sales in the U.S. vision care market, with dollar sales totaling $40.38 billion across all eyecare products and services categories, according to VisionWatch data compiled for The Vision Council. This total compared with overall sales of $40.36 billion in calendar year 2016.

The 12-month comparison for 2017 and 2016 shows a 0.1 percent increase in the total U.S. vision care market. The contact lens segment stood out as a bright spot in 2017, with 4.5% growth in a year-over-year comparison. The lens segment, which represents roughly one-third of the total vison care market, showed a 1.3 percent sales decline in 2017, according to VisionWatch data for the 12 months ending in December 2017.

The independent sector of optical outperformed the overall market in 2017, albeit only slightly, with growth of 0.9 percent, according to VisionWatch data. The independent sector captured $18.44 billion of the U.S. Vision Care market in 2017. The contact lens segment, with 4.0 percent growth last year, was a strong category for independent practices, which recorded sales of $1.96 billion via contact lenses. Sales of frames rose 1.2 percent to $5.2 billion across the independent sector.

The independent optical retail segment includes dollars spent at independent optical locations on either spectacle lenses (regular Rx and Rx sun), frames, sunglasses (plano only), OTC readers, or revenue earned from refractive surgery or eye examinations. This number does not include sunglass clips and reflects the dollars spent only by those U.S. residents 18 and older. Does not include retail dollars spent by/for exams for those 17 years of age and younger. An independent optical location is a location with 3 doors or less that has either a MD, OD, Optician or Optical Retailer on site.

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