What makes kids feel better about how they look, more confident in their athletic ability and more secure with acceptance by their friends?
The answer might surprise you – contact lenses. This is one of the key findings of a study conducted across five clinical centers in the US, which included almost 500 nearsighted children between the ages of 8 and 11.
According to one of the study’s authors, “We thought kids who hated wearing glasses would have a lot greater benefit from contact lens wear than kids who thought glasses were perfectly fine. Overall, across the scale, it didn’t seem to have much of an effect. But what that tells us is that, regardless of what kids think of their glasses, they seem to benefit from contact lens wear in these three specific areas.”
One of the insights arising from the study is that even young children with myopia should be given the option to select contact lenses over glasses. As the authors say, “Kids, in consultation with parents, should be able to choose what kind of vision correction they want. Age should not be the determining factor for whether a child receives contact lenses or eyeglasses. Look at a child’s motivation, abilities, maturity, hygiene, eye size – lots of those factors – but don’t look at age. There are 6-year-olds who can wear contact lenses on their own and there are 25-year-olds who can’t.”
Another study, this one a meta-analysis of 20 years of child psychology studies, found not only that kids link glasses with negative traits, they might also fear being bullied because of wearing them. It’s not surprising that research also shows that as kids get older, they skip wearing their glasses more than younger children and fear being teased.
In an earlier 2006 study conducted at the Ohio State University College of Optometry on children between ages of 8 and 11 that found that kids who wore contacts instead of glasses had significantly higher self-esteem, especially girls.
We know from experience that parents can be challenged regardless of whether their child wears glasses or contact lenses. Glasses break, they get lost. Kids may leave the house wearing them but take them off quickly, often times for the reasons cited in the research studies. And many parents think that younger children might have a hard time managing their contact lenses, even though our experience tells us that even 6 and 7 year olds quickly adapt to putting in and taking out contact lenses.
At Treehouse Eyes, 2 of the 3 treatments we use to slow or stop the progression of myopia in children use customized contact lenses. Our primary purpose is to slow or stop their vision from deteriorating, and reduce their risk of sight threatening eye diseases. An added plus is that the contact lens options give the children all the benefits shown in these studies as they don’t wear glasses during the day.
To learn more about the Treehouse Vision System and how its finally possible to slow or stop myopia’s progression please visit here. To schedule an appointment for your child to be assessed we invite you to visit here.