It is a myth that children have to be a certain age before they can start wearing contact lenses. A more important factor to consider is the child’s motivation level.
Paediatric contact lenses
Children who are highly motivated to achieve freedom from spectacles are more likely to be successful contact lens wearers. Another important consideration is who will be taking care of the lenses: will the parents be handling insertion, removal and cleaning or is the child capable of doing this by themselves?
The Correction of Myopia Evaluation Trial (COMET) evaluated the self-esteem levels of children wearing contact lenses compared to their spectacle-wearing peers. The study found children that wore contact lenses scored higher on the physical appearance, social acceptance and athletic competence subscales of the Self-Perception Profile for Children compared to children of the same age group wearing spectacles.
Things have changed
Advances in technology have meant that contact lens wear has become safer over the years. With the introduction of new materials allowing more oxygen to pass through to the cornea, and with daily disposable lenses becoming more prevalent, eye care professionals have seen a dramatic decrease in contact lens related complications.
With myopia control gaining global attention, lenses that are designed specifically for the prevention of myopia progression have become available.
Infant contact lenses
When babies are born with visual complications such as cataracts, retinopathy of prematurity, high refractive errors or refractive errors that differ greatly from one another, it can be a challenge to address visual correction. It is of extreme importance to do so, however, as this is the time where visual development occurs at a rapid rate. If the eyes are not adequately stimulated during this period, amblyopia (“lazy eye”) will set in.
This is where infant contact lenses can be hugely beneficial. Speciality soft lenses are made with smaller diameters and in a material that allows for safe extended wear. The baby is monitored closely to ensure that no complications arise from lens wear.
Over the past 20 years Chantelle has helped many babies to successfully wear contact lenses.