Study suggests contact lenses improve kids' self esteem

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. Sometimes a little boost of confidence is all kids need, but where it comes from, a Johnson & Johnson study said, may surprise some.

The newly published study shows that how children and teenagers feel about their appearance significantly improves when they wear contact lenses instead of eyeglasses.

Study investigators reported that the quality of life improvement measures follow a switch from glasses to contacts in children eight to 12 years of age. Researchers pointed out that children at this age should be provided with the option of being fitted for the alternate vision correction (contacts).

Researchers reported the results of the study in the November issue of Eye & Contact Lens, the official publication of the Contact Lens Association of Ophthalmologists.

“This research demonstrates that both children and teens derive a number of quality of life benefits from contact lenses, which leads to greater satisfaction with their vision correction,” said Jeffrey Walline of the Ohio State University College of Optometry and leader of The Contact Lens in Pediatrics study.

Teenagers are frequently fitted with contact lenses to correct refractive errors by eye care practitioners, but children younger than 13 are generally not given the option of contact lens wear, often because eye care practitioners or parents believe that children don’t have the maturity to properly care for them.

The study investigators said, however, that the benefits of providing the option were quite apparent. “Contact lenses often provide a more convenient mode of correction for young wearers, and this study demonstrates that both children and teens can adapt to contact lens wear and derive similar benefits,” added Mary Lou French, a private practitioner in Orland Park, Ill. “With a wide variety of contact lenses available, eye care practitioners can work with young patients and their parents to determine what modality best fits each child’s personality, maturity and lifestyle.”

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