By Nigel Little
Contact lenses for children provide an excellent way of correcting their vision problems and boosting their self-esteem yet few opticians in the UK offer this choice to parents compared to their counterparts in the US. Instead parents are invariably advised to consider spectacles as the appropriate solution. Yet as well as hindering children in terms of their ability to participate in sports and playground activities, numerous studies have shown that children wearing glasses are more susceptible to being bullied. Now a further important reason for considering contact lenses for children is provided by the latest results of the SMART Study being undertaken in the US which shows that children wearing overnight ortho-k corrective contact lenses - worn only while sleeping - have experienced no material change in their prescription after three years.
The five year SMART Study began in 2008 with the objective of comparing how overnight ortho-k corrective contact lenses for children performed against conventional daytime soft contact lenses and the results are released at the end of each year. Around 200 children in the US were split into two groups according to which type of lens they wore and the results for the third year have just been released. The children wearing overnight ortho-k corrective contact lenses have experienced less than one fifth of a diopter change in their prescription since the Study commenced whilst those wearing conventional daytime soft lenses have experienced a full diopter of deterioration over the same period.
The further deterioration in prescription suffered by children wearing the conventional daytime soft lenses equates to four lines of letters on the standard Snellen Chart which is used by opticians to measure an individual's vision. This represents the inferior vision they now exhibit after three years of the SMART Study compared with those children wearing overnight ortho-k corrective contact lenses. Additionally, because overnight ortho-k corrective contact lenses for children are worn only while sleeping then removed in the morning, they can participate in all classroom, playground and sports activities without requiring any visual aids at all. So parents need no longer worry about lost contact lenses or broken spectacles.
Check if your child is suitable for overnight ortho-k corrective contact lenses .