COLUMBUS , Ohio -- Children 8 to 12 years old are just as adept as teenagers at handling and wearing contact lenses.
"Optometrists traditionally don't prescribe contact lenses to children until they are at least 12 years old," said Jeffrey Walline, an assistant professor of optometry at Ohio State University. "But we found that younger children are just as responsible with their lenses."
He and his colleagues studied 169 children and teenagers who participated in the Contact Lens in Pediatrics (CLIP) study, which compares contact lens wear in children 8 to 12 with teens 13 to 17. About half the participants were in each group.
The researchers presented their findings from the month-long study on December 8 in Denver at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Optometry. The current findings confirm those of a much smaller study conducted by Walline and others, which suggested that children 8 to 12 could easily handle daily disposable contact lenses.
None of the children or teens in the current study had worn contact lenses prior to the study. The researchers gave each participant a three-month supply of disposable soft contact lenses, instructing the children and teens to take the lenses out each night and to throw each pair away after two weeks.
Each participant answered questions on the Pediatric Refractive Error Profile (PREP), a survey containing quality-of-life questions related to wearing contact lenses and glasses. The children and teens filled out the profile before they began to wear contact lenses, and again one month after wearing the lenses. PREP scores range from 100 (excellent quality of life) to 0 (poor quality of life.)
Questions included how much a child or teen liked wearing contact lenses or glasses, how clear her vision was while wearing the lenses or glasses, what her eyes physically felt like when wearing lenses or glasses, friends' reactions to the change and how easy the cont
Contact: Jeffrey Walline
Ohio State University