With children being fit with contact lenses at younger ages than ever before, some parents have voiced concerns that lenses may not be appropriate for their child. Fortunately, with the development of daily disposable soft contact lenses, children as young as 7 years old can wear contact lenses safely, so long as they receive routine eye exams.
As a matter of fact, this has even been confirmed by tests run by eye care experts.
The Research on Kids & Contacts
In order to find out what kinds of problems, if any, children experience when wearing soft contact lenses, researchers tested 294 children aged 7-11 with myopia (nearsightedness). Each child was prescribed a different type of daily-wear contact lens, and was asked to come in for an eye exam every 6 months over a period of 3 years.
Risks of Contact Lenses
Although the majority of children did experience at least one issue, such as itchy eyes or an infection, during the 3-year trial period most of these issues happened in the first year, as the children were getting used to wearing their contacts. After this point, problems related to contact lens wear sharply declined.
Further, researchers found that most issues didn't require the child to seek medical treatment, harm their short-term or long-term vision, or cause them to stop wearing contacts. In most cases the problems were related to the lens solution used to clean and store the contacts, or allergic reactions, both of which can be easily adjusted by your eye doctor.
So, Are Lenses Safe for Children?
The study concluded that contact lens wear is just as safe for children as for adults, provided there is proper supervision. Contact lenses are a safe option for children who want to say goodbye to their glasses or wear contacts as a way to slow down their myopia.
Want to learn more about myopia for your child? Come visit our Tucson eye care team at Optical Image by Dr. Weisman today!