Ophthalmic steroids are medicines that mainly contain corticosteroids. Corticosteroids are a class of steroid hormones that are produced in the adrenal gland of the body. Ophthalmic steroids are used to provide relief for inflammation and symptoms such as swelling, pain, redness, or irritation of the eyes. They are prescribed as drops, ointments, creams, or gels that can be administered into or around the eyes. The most important indication for steroid eye drops is anterior uveitis. The drops are used to minimize the inflammatory response within the eyes and prevent its reoccurrence that may result in cataract, glaucoma, and blindness.
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Ophthalmic steroids may cause side effects such as stinging, blurred vision, burning sensation, glaucoma, and cataracts. The degree of side effects is different in each patient. Therefore, treatment has to be individualized with the aim of using a minimal effective dose for a minimal time. Penetration of steroid depends on the drugs and mode of administration. For example, hydrocortisone penetrates the cornea better than prednisolone. Steroids may be prescribed in combination with one or more types of antibiotics for the treatment of infections and inflammation of the eyes. This combination works synergistically where the steroids reduce inflammation and antibiotics treat or prevent infection.
Increase in the prevalence of intra ocular eye disorders such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy, dry eye syndrome, etc., especially in elderly people, is a major factor fueling the global ophthalmic steroids drugs market. In addition to this, increase in prevalence of diabetes mellitus may lead to diabetes retinopathy, further boosting the market. However, certain side effects associated with drugs such as burning sensation, glaucoma, and cataracts and stringent regulations for the use of steroids are likely to hamper the ophthalmic steroids drugs market in the next few years.
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The global ophthalmic steroids drugs market can be segmented based on disease condition, dosage form, distribution channel, and region. Based on disease condition, the global ophthalmic steroids drugs market can be categorized into uveitis, inflammatory condition, diabetic macular edema, allergic conjunctivitis, postoperative inflammation, keratitis, and others. In terms of dosage form, the ophthalmic steroids drugs market can be classified into eye drops, ointments, suspension, emulsion, and novel ocular drugs delivery. Based on distribution channel, the global ophthalmic steroids drugs market can be segmented into hospital pharmacies, online pharmacies, retail pharmacies, clinics, and research institute.
In terms of region, the global ophthalmic steroids drugs market can be divided into North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia Pacific, and Middle East & Africa. North America is expected to hold a prominent share of the global ophthalmic steroids drugs market, due to rise in prevalence of intra ocular eye disorders such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy, and dry eye syndrome, etc.. Moreover, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, about 2.1 million Americans aged 50 and older have late age-related macular degeneration (AMD), whereas diabetes retinopathy affects nearly 7.7 million Americans aged 40 and older.
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Europe is expected to be constitute a key share of the ophthalmic steroids drugs market during the forecast period, due to rise in prevalence of viral and non-viral eye infections, focused product development, and availability of superior ophthalmological treatment options. The market in Asia Pacific is expected to expand rapidly during the forecast period. Expansion of the market in the region is due to increase in awareness about prevention of eye diseases, rapidly developing health care infrastructure, and rise in adoption of technology in the region.
Key players operating in the global ophthalmic steroid drugs market are Bausch & Lomb Inc. Alimera Sciences, Allergan, Inc. Novartis AG, GlaxoSmithKline plc, Genentech, Inc., Pfizer Inc., Bayer AG, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc.