Routine examination ensures safe soft contact lens wear for young children

August 29, 2022

2 minute read

All authors declare having received material for the conduct of the BLINK study from Bausch + Lomb. Please see the study for all other relevant financial information.

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Despite the potential for use-related ocular and non-ocular adverse effects, soft contact lenses are a safe option for children aged 7 to 10 who are regularly checked, according to a study conducted in Optometry and vision science.

“Children today are wearing contact lenses more often and at an earlier age, primarily due to the availability of daily disposable contact lenses,” Amber Gaume Giannoni OD, FAAO, from the University of Houston College of Optometry, and colleagues wrote. “Safety is a top concern for parents and practitioners when fitting a child with soft contact lenses, although rates of non-infectious inflammatory events have been shown to be comparable between children and adults.”

Seeking to document the frequency and type of ocular and non-ocular adverse events related to soft contact lens wear in children, Giannoni and colleagues evaluated 294 myopic children, ages 7 to 11, as part of the Bifocal Lenses in Nearsighted Kids (BLINK) study between September 2014 and June 2016. The study aimed to determine the rate of myopia progression in children wearing multifocal soft contact lenses compared to those wearing single vision lenses.

At enrollment, participants (60.2% female; 68% white, 26% Hispanic, 10% black, 9% Asian) had astigmatism less than 1.00 D and spherical component of 0.75 D to 5.00 D in each eye and no more than 2.00 D of anisometropia. . All were free of eye disease, systemic conditions, and binocular vision problems.

Participants were randomly assigned to either Biofinity single vision soft contact lenses, Biofinity multifocal “D” soft contact lenses with +1.50 D adding power or Biofinity multifocal “D” soft contact lenses with +2.50 D adding power (CooperVision) for daily wear and have been evaluated every 6 months for 3 years. Proclear or Proclear multifocal “D” contact lenses (CooperVision) were used as the primary back-up lens option if the initial fit was poor.

Researchers defined adverse events as slit-lamp examination results of at least Grade 3 on the Efron grading scale and parent and examiner reports of clinically significant eye change , vision or health, including eye discomfort, excessive tearing or discharge, blurred vision and headache. .

According to the study results, 91.8% of participants still wore the initially assigned lenses after 3 years, with a wear time of 73.0 ± 26.5 hours per week.

Nearly 75% of participants experienced at least one adverse event over the 3-year study period, and 51.3% experienced an adverse event most likely or definitely related to contact lens wear. The researchers reported that 50.2% of ocular adverse events occurred in the first year, followed by 27.7% in the second year and 22.1% in the third year. Conversely, 29.9% of non-ocular adverse events occurred in the first year, followed by 24.3% and 45.8% in the second and third years, respectively.

Of 432 documented adverse events, 107 were non-ocular and 325 were ocular. Most adverse events did not require medical treatment and did not result in loss of best corrected vision or discontinuation of contact lens wear. The most common diagnoses of ocular adverse events were solution-induced corneal staining, ocular allergies, and hordeola/chalazia; cases of trauma, systemic disease, and headache unrelated to vision were the main diagnoses of non-ocular adverse events.

“Contact lenses offer a safe option for children who do not want to wear glasses or who want to try daily contact lens wear as a method of slowing the progression of myopia,” Giannoni and colleagues concluded.

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