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2022: Companies to keep an eye on in the eye care space

By Natasha Szombara

The world of eye care is constantly evolving – and so are the companies in the space. Here’s just some of those to watch in the year ahead.

The world of eye care is constantly evolving, with big players repeatedly coming out with fresh technology and modern start-ups emerging with innovative solutions.

From new product launches continuously keeping the market competitive to large investment rounds pumping more funding into the space, this year is certainly one to look forward to.

With that in mind, here’s just a handful of the top companies within the market to keep your eye on in the year ahead, including some of their 2021 achievements and what makes them popular with candidates:


One of the top 10 ophthalmic companies in the world, Alcon remains a big player off the back of another successful year. 2021 saw several new products launched, including Systane Hydration Multi-Dose Preservative-Free Lubricant Eye Drops and TOTAL30, the first-and-only monthly replacement water gradient contact lenses.

And this year is already off to a good start! Earlier this month, Alcon launched DAILIES TOTAL1 Contact Lenses for US patients alongside acquiring Invantis Inc., bringing Hydrus Microstents into its global surgical portfolio. By broadening its product portfolio, Alcon may attract candidates who want to work with the most cutting edge, new tech on the market. It also receives high praise on Glassdoor, with people regularly saying it’s a great company for work-life balance.

Bausch & Lomb

Another long-standing member of the world’s top ophthalmic companies list, Bausch & Lomb also had a busy year. Across the year, the company has launched multiple specialist eye drops and in partnership with Clearside Biomedical, the company announced U.S. FDA Approval for XIPERE, the first-and-only medicine to be approved in the states for delivery via Suprachoroidal injection.

And in October, Biotrue® Eye Care Recycling Program was launched in collaboration with TerraCycle U.S. – allowing consumers to recycle eye care products such as contact lens cases and single-dose eye drop units. With corporate social responsibility being something that is becoming increasingly important to people when looking for their next employer, B&L’s commitment to the environment is likely to be a pull for some candidates.

Birmingham Optical

Birmingham Optical also saw expansion through multiple new product launches last year.

The Oculus Myopia Master, an all-in-one device for myopia management, allows for early detection and management of myopia. It also saw the introduction of NIDEK’s Retina Duo Scan 2, which allows for 70,000 A high-definition scans per second for faster acquisition.

It’s not just their technologies that gives them appeal as an employer, though, they also boast strong development opportunities and are known to be a team that are passionate about patient outcomes – something that will appeal to candidates with the same mission.

DORC (Dutch Ophthalmic Research Center)

Alongside multiple product launches, from disposable phaco needles to directional laser probes, DORC announced Health Canada approval of TissueBlue™ for Staining of the ILM During Vitreoretinal Surgery and have already welcomed good news in 2022. Earlier this month, they partnered with WEFIS GmbH for the research and development of innovative ophthalmic instruments based on an equity investment which will strengthen DORC’s commitment and investment in the cataract surgical market.

These investments into the latest technologies will appeal to candidates, particularly sales people, who want to work with the most cutting-edge technology available.


Debatably Santen’s biggest news of last year was the approval of PRESERFLO MicroShunt – a surgical device that helps to drain eye fluid and reduce intraocular pressure in patients with primary open-angle glaucoma.

2021 was also an exciting year in terms of partnerships for Santen – the company partnered with IAPB to advocate for better eye health and Airdoc to improve the diagnostic rate of fundus ocular diseases with AI devices in China.

They’re also praised for their robust training programmes and good progression opportunities in their Glassdoor reviews, something that is always a pull to candidates looking to progress their career.


Last but definitely not least, Zeiss remains one of the top players in the space. Undoubtedly, its biggest news is generating record revenue in the fiscal year 2020/21 of approximately €1,647m – corresponding to a growth of 23.3% compared to the previous year.

The company also patented QUATTRO Pump – a synchronized fluid exchange system that directly measures and controls both infusion and aspiration volumes. With a whole host of other products launched across the company and a high volume of orders, Zeiss says it is looking ahead to the next year with optimism.

Others worth keeping an eye on

With so much going on in the eye care space, it’s been hard for me to narrow it down to just eight companies. Here are some more names who I think are worth keeping an eye on over the course of this year:

What do you think is in store for the eye care space in 2022? And who do you think are the top players in the market? We’d love to hear your thoughts! 

If you’d like to discuss recruitment in the ophthalmology space, please get in touch on 01522 812247 or email me at