By Nigel Little 

Contact lenses for children  which correct short-sightedness and are only worn overnight while asleep have proved superior to glasses in terms of quality of life enjoyed by the wearer according to a new study recently completed in Spain. The study took 60 children of up to 12 years of age and with varying degrees of short-sightedness up to -4.0 diopters and split them into two groups - one wearing the new overnight ortho-k lenses for children and the other wearing conventional glasses. A questionnaire was administered after 12 and 24 months to evaluate the children's perceptions in terms of overall vision, near vision, far distance vision, symptoms, appearance, satisfaction, activities, academic performance, handling, and peer perceptions.

Additionally, parents/guardians were asked to provide their own rating of their child's mode of visual correction and whether or not they intended to continue treatment using the same mode after study completion. After two years, the questionnaire results were compelling - and wholly favouring those in the study group wearing overnight ortho-k lenses for children. Those wearing the ortho-k contact lenses for children  rated overall vision, far distance vision, symptoms, appearance, satisfaction, activities, academic performance, handling, peer perceptions significantly better than those children wearing glasses. Parents of children wearing the ortho-k lenses also rated this vision correction mode much higher than those whose children wore glasses and were significantly more committed to maintaining ortho-k lens wear for their children.

The key reasons why ortho-k contact lenses for children  scored so highly are easy to understand. Firstly, children only wear the lenses whilst sleeping: they are inserted under parental supervision before bedtime and removed early in the morning also under parental supervision which means that handling and lens cleaning is done effectively. Secondly, the child then enjoys perfect vision all day long - whether in the classroom, playground or doing a full range of sports activities - thus improving their confidence and self-esteem. Finally, clinical studies have proved that wearing ortho-k lenses prevents a child's short-sightedness from deteriorating further unlike glasses which effectively only accommodate defective vision. So ortho-k lenses look likely to become the preferred treatment for short-sighted children in the coming years.

Check if your child is suitable for overnight ortho-k corrective contact lenses .

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