The Vision Council


Informed by new data and methodology, Market inSights 2022 presents product category, market division and overall data estimates for 2019-2022, as well as a 2023 forecast

The Vision Council today releases its first set of comprehensive industry estimates since last year’s inSights Research Program launch. The inaugural Market inSights 2022 Report utilizes new data sources, advanced analytics, and rigorous methodology to present a summary of the vision care industry from 2019 to 2022, as well as a forecast for 2023. Detailed demographic data is also available in a special Market inSights+ edition.

2022 Key Takeaways

  • Overall size of the optical retail industry was $76.5 billion
  • More than 48,000 brick and mortar optical retail locations in business
  • Lenses made up nearly one-third of the market with a value of $23.6 billion
  • 98 million frames were sold for a total value of $12 billion
  • Between patient spending and managed vision care reimbursements, $15.27 billion was spent on eye exams
  • Sold online and in-person, contact lenses had a total value of $17.9 billion
  • Plano sunglasses and readers totaled $7.6 billion, led by in-person sales

“We are thrilled to release this first edition of Market inSights and to offer our members a report populated by unparalleled data and cutting-edge critical analysis. We’ve spent the last year building a new market model, collecting the latest data from multiple sources, creating a robust data infrastructure and fine-tuning our analytics and rigorous methodology,” said Alysse Henkel, Senior Director, Market Research & Analytics. “With market data estimates across specific categories – including exams, frames, lenses, contact lenses, plano sunglasses, and readers – and a product-by-product forecast, these reports help members and the industry understand sales trends and make informed business decisions for the year ahead.”

Following a summary of the overall size and growth of the optical retail industry from 2019 to 2022, Market inSights reports on share of market and trends by the following categories: exams, frames, lenses, contact lenses, plano sunglasses and readers.

2022 Market Division Takeaways: Volume vs. Value

  • Lenses led the market by value followed by contact lenses and exams
  • Readers, with an average price of $16, make up a small percentage of total value, however, by volume, they represent more than 10 percent of the market
  • Frames have a very slight lead on readers in terms of volume while ranking closer to exams in value
  • Contact lenses claim the largest share by volume, followed by exams which remain steady across both volume and value
  • Plano sunglasses, with the second lowest average unit price of $52, hold less than 10 percent of value share, but equal lenses in volume

New Methodology and Data Infrastructure

In 2022, The Vision Council rebuilt its research program infrastructure and pipeline to store and analyze a high volume of data. Advanced analytics and a modern data infrastructure informed a substantial departure from the methodology used in the trade association’s retired VisionWatch industry reports. As a result, the trends outlined in Market inSights 2022 are not comparable to previous research estimates.

New data sources include consumer retail expenditure data, patient billing and payment data, and optical retail location data, along with an updated consumer survey program. A unique methodology was also implemented and included a separate analysis of prescription vs. nonprescription products, as well as comparisons between in-person and online sales. While the Market inSights report published today focuses on presenting estimates from 2022, data from 2019 through 2022 has been included and analyzed via the same methodology as a benchmark of consistency.

What’s Next

Accessible online in The Vision Council’s Research Center, Market inSights – inclusive of the 2019-2022 Industry Report and 2023 Industry Forecast – is complimentary for members and available for purchase for non-members. Supplementary inSights+ reports containing demographic details by market share category are exclusively offered for purchase. Updates to all will be released on a quarterly basis.

Learn more about The Vision Council’s commitment to providing a comprehensive perspective on the state of the optical industry and access consumer survey reports and in-depth special reports on eyewear and eyecare products and topics on the inSights Research Program page.

*All data estimates and analysis referenced are indications of the United States optical industry only.

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About The Vision Council

As the vision care leader in enabling better vision for better lives, The Vision Council positions its members for success by promoting growth in the vision care industry through education, advocacy, research, consumer outreach, strategic relationship building and industry forums.



Contact: Chelsea Pillsbury