A large number of eye-health products are being introduced to the United States market, and consumer interest is tracking slightly ahead in the US over Europe, according to a research report by Frost and Sullivan.

“The US eye health ingredients market is benefiting from the consumers’ need to protect their eyes through beneficial nutrition,” stated the report, U.S. Eye Health Ingredients, published in November.

This is part of a larger trend away from merely trying to cure disease toward disease prevention.

About 3.3 million Americans 40 or older are affected by blindness or low vision, according to a study by the National Eye Institute. This figure is projected to reach 5.5 million by 2020. Low vision and blindness increase considerably as a person ages, particularly for those over 65. The most common eye diseases are age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts and diabetic retinopathy.

This spells opportunities for such eye-health ingredients as lutein, beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, bilberry extract and astaxanthin – and Frost & Sullivan considers the US market for such ingredients largely “untapped.”

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