Monday, October 7, 2013

Are contact lenses safe for young children? How common are adverse events in 7-14 year olds?

contact lenses for children
Kids and contacts - is it a safe combination?
A new study looked at the safety of contact lens wear in children ages 7 to 14. In the study, published in the September 2013 issue of Optometry & Vision Science, researchers followed 240 children and looked for the occurrence of adverse events.  

The authors reported no serious adverse events.  The most common event in children was papillary conjunctivitis (pink eye), which occurred very infrequently.  Papillary conjunctivitis is an irritation of the surface of the eye characterized by redness, itching, watery eyes and burning.  Other than contact lens wear, it is commonly caused by eye allergies and "hay fever".

The researchers also concluded that children stopped wearing contact lenses because of reasons related to comfort, rather than because of adverse events. They also suggest that adaptation to contact lenses and the patient's motivation to wear contact lenses are important for a child to become a successful contact lens wearer.  Another important factor that we would add is a doctor that properly selects the right lens after thorough examination of the eye and a comprehensive interview with both the child and the parents.

This study suggests that contact lens wear is very safe for children aged 7-14.  It is also commonly accepted that children as young as 5 can safely wear contact lenses with proper parent involvement and supervision.

CITATION

Optometry and Vision Science: Official Publication of the American Academy of Optometry
Adverse Events During 2 Years of Daily Wear of Silicone Hydrogels in Children

Optom Vis Sci 2013 Sep 01;90(9)961-969, P Sankaridurg, X Chen, T Naduvilath, P Lazon de la Jara, Z Lin, L Li, EL Smith, J Ge, BA Holden

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