Contact Lenses: Are They Right for Your Child?
Pediatric Eye Clinic
Many teenagers choose to wear contact lenses because they think they look better without glasses. But contacts offer plenty of other benefits as well.
A significant research trial called the Contact Lenses in Pediatrics (CLIP) study was conducted recently to evaluate the outcomes of teenagers and children as young as 8 years of age when fitted with soft contact lenses for the first time.
A total of 85 teenagers (ages 13 to 17) and 84 pre-teens (ages 8 to 12) were enrolled in the study, which took place at three U.S. optometry schools. Three months after the fittings began, the researchers found:
- No serious adverse effects from contact lens wear occurred among any of the participants.
- The time required to fit the lenses was essentially the same for teens and younger children.
- 89 percent of teens and 83 percent of the younger children found it was easy to clean and take care of their lenses.
- In answers to a lifestyle questionnaire after being fitted with contacts, 65 percent of teens reported that wearing contact lenses improved their performance in activities, and 73 percent reported receiving positive feedback from others after beginning to wear contacts.
Furthermore, when the parents of teens participating in the study were questioned about how well their son or daughter was doing after being fitted with contact lenses:
- 92 percent agreed with the statement, "My child finds it easy to clean and take care of his/her contact lenses."
- 89 percent agreed with the statement, "My child is demonstrating that he/she is responsible enough to wear contact lenses and properly care for them."
- 80 percent agreed with the statement, "Contact lenses make my child feel better about himself/herself, more confident."
- 84 percent agreed with the statement, "I feel that contact lenses are right for my child."
Responses from the parents of pre-teens participating in the study were comparable.
Based on the very positive outcomes of this controlled clinical trial, the CLIP study authors concluded that neither teens nor pre-teens experienced problems related to contact lens wear during the study, and that eye doctors should consider routinely offering contact lenses to young patients as a treatment option for vision problems, even for children as young as 8 years old.
Pediatric Eye Clinic.
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