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Child & Adolescent Development: Overview

Risks Linked to Soft Contacts No Higher for Children Than Adults

HealthDay News

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THURSDAY, July 6, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Soft contact lenses are as safe for children and teens as they are for adults, according to a review published in the June issue of Optometry and Vision Science.

Mark Bullimore, Ph.D., an adjunct professor at the University of Houston College of Optometry, reviewed nine studies that included 7- to 19-year-olds who use soft contact lenses, to gauge the risk of corneal infiltrative events.

Bullimore found a relatively low rate of these corneal infiltrative events among young people, with one large study finding the rate of events in younger children (8 to 12) much lower than in teens aged 13 to 17. The review also found that microbial keratitis was uncommon, with one study finding no cases in younger children, and the rate among teens similar to that of adults.

"The overall picture is that the incidence of corneal infiltrative events in children is no higher than in adults, and in the youngest age range of 8 to 11 years, it may be markedly lower," Bullimore writes. "The lower rate of adverse events in this youngest group is a result of patient behavior rather than biological factors, and greater parental supervision may also help to mitigate risks."

The review was supported in part by CooperVision.

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