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Optometry and optical industry in Europe - Statistics & Facts

Optometry and optics are linked professions with the roles of both varying in different countries of the EU. An optician is responsible for assembling and dispensing eyeglasses or contact lenses, whereas ophthalmologists or optometrists are the primary healthcare practitioners of the eye with responsibility for providing comprehensive eye care, including diagnosing and managing disease and dispensing prescriptions. The scope of practice varies between countries as a result of the education system, the law and the organization of the profession. France employs the largest number of opticians, with a rate of 5.55 per 10,000 population employed in 2020. However, Cyprus had the largest number of optician retail outlets, with a recorded 2.69 outlets per 10,000 population in 2020. In Spain and several Nordic countries, the optometry and optics professions are combined, which explains the large numbers of optometrists employed in these countries compared to the number of opticians.

Over recent years the eyewear market in Western and Eastern Europe has increased in value as a result of the range of lens and spectacle options available. An increasing number of individuals are turning towards wearing contact lenses only. The versatility and durability of contact lenses mean individuals can use them as everyday wear, for sport or for improving their appearance. Although across Europe, there remains a significant share of the population in most countries wearing spectacles in 2020.

In the United Kingdom it is recommended that individuals receive an eye test every two years, or earlier if there are any problems. This is considered standard practice across the European Union with eye tests conducted by ophthalmologists or optometrists in specialized settings. In many European countries, eye tests are free or subsidized for children and the elderly.

Interesting statistics

In the following 4 chapters, you will quickly find the 33 most important statistics relating to "Optometry and optical industry in Europe".


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