Higher sales of contact lenses, plano sunglasses and OTC readers could not prevent the vision care sector from recording an overall sales decrease of 0.1 percent to $40.21 billion in the U.S. during a rolling 12-month period ended last Sept. 30, according to the Vision Council's quarterly VisionWatch survey.

As 1.3 million U.S. adults started wearing contact lenses in the past year, purchases of these products rose by 2 percent, leading to a 4.7 percent increase in contact lens revenues to $5.03 billion. On the other hand, the number of readers sold grew by 0.1 percent to 51.96 million pairs and their average retail prices went up by 2.4 percent, leading to an increase in revenues of 3.1 percent to $887 million.

The Vision Council did not publish figures for sunglasses from its consumer survey. It reported flat sales of prescription frames in terms of value, with the number of units purchased down by less than 0.4 percent to 74.13 million pairs. The number of lenses sold declined by 0.4 percent to 83.09 million.