Contact Lenses for Children as Young as Eight
Although many optometrists seldom consider contact lenses for children under 12, a recent study in paediatrics has shown that children as young as 8 can be given the opportunity to wear contact lenses. Sponsored by Johnson & Johnson Vision Care this study looked at the following:
1. Does it take more time to fit children with contacts?
Overall children and adolescents required the same amount of consultation time with their optometrist to ensure a successful lens fitting. Children, on average, require approximately 10 minutes longer to master the techniques of lens insertion and removal.
2. Do children enjoy contact lenses?
Reports of improved quality of life within 1 week of wearing contact lenses were received by both children and teens. Both groups felt that contact lenses improved their appearance and made participation in sports easier.
Are you still worried?
Children and adolescents in the study experienced similar difficulties initially, all of which occur among adults too. No safety differences were noted between children and teenagers in terms of what could be seen inside the eyes.
As this study only ran for several months it did not examine the long-term safety of wearing contact lenses. However, other similar studies have examined contact lens wear in children over a period of three years, and did not show any increase in problems compared to those experienced by adults.
So, what are we saying?
Younger children can be successful contact lens wearers. Granted, they may have more difficulty wearing contact lenses if they have small eyes, poor hygiene, or if they can’t act independently of their parents but, for the most part, these factors can be overcome.
The types of contact lenses suitable for children include many of those available for adult wear. Daily disposables are possibly the best choice as they do not require cleaning and are easier to replace if lost or torn.
- Date July 26, 2018
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