COLUMBUS, Ohio Children wearing contact lenses felt better about how they look, their athletic abilities and acceptance by their friends than did children wearing eyeglasses in a recent study.
The results suggest that nearsighted children as young as 8 years old reap social benefits from wearing contact lenses instead of glasses, researchers say.
In general, eye care practitioners in the United States tend to wait to prescribe contact lenses until children are in their early teens. But nearsighted children often are diagnosed with myopia and receive their first corrective lenses around age 8.
The study was designed to examine the effects of contact lenses vs. eyeglasses on a number of kids' perceptions about themselves, especially what is called their global self-worth, or how valuable they think they are to society.
The research indicated that children's global self-worth was not significantly affected by whether they wore contact lenses or eyeglasses. Similarly, the type of vision correction had no effect on how they felt they performed in school or how they perceived their own behavior.
"The effects really seem to be in areas that we would think made sense how they feel about their appearance, athletic abilities and what their friends think of them," said Jeffrey Walline, assistant professor of optometry at Ohio State University and lead author of the study.
The research is published in the March issue of the journal Optometry and Vision Science.
The study was conducted at five clinical centers in the United States that enrolled a total of 484 nearsighted children between the ages of 8 and 11. Of those, 237 were randomly assigned to wear eyeglasses and the other 247 were randomly assigned disposable soft contact lenses for the three-year duration of the trial.
Before assigning corrective lenses for the study, the researchers surveyed the participants to determine whether they
|Contact: Jeffrey Walline|
Ohio State University