|VISTAKON’s 1-DAY ACUVUE TruEye allows young patients to enjoy various activities without the hassle of eyeglasses.|
Contact lenses fit in perfectly with the active lifestyle of children.
It’s generally agreed that children should spend more time outdoors and get proper exercise. But what happens when their current vision correction interferes with their sports or daily outdoor pursuits. It’s common for kids to prefer not to wear glasses when taking part in the wide array of activities they participate in. As practitioners, there’s a great opportunity to offer contact lenses to these younger patients and their parents.
Many kids are instructed by their eyecare practitioners to wear glasses for the classroom but are not told of the importance of using them on the field, court, or outdoors for sports. There are a number of reasons for children to wear contact lenses for activities that should be discussed with them and their parents, including:
- Contact lenses provide better peripheral vision and a wider field of vision than glasses
- For sports, contact lenses are more comfortable than eyeglasses
- Contact lenses aren’t affected as much by weather conditions
- A wider variety of sunglass choices are possible with contact lenses
- Kids are often more interested in wearing contact lenses than glasses during sports
Generally, sports vision doctors agree that contact lenses are the best vision correction option for athletes. They can enhance visual skills like depth perception, peripheral awareness, and eye-hand/eye-foot coordination. By having 20/20 correction, practitioners increase the likelihood their young patients will play better since seeing well is the first step to playing well.
Unlike glasses, contacts offer advantages when used for sports because they stay in place when a player is moving, provide a wider field of vision, and eliminate the risk of eyeglass-related injuries. Contact lenses also make it easy to wear protective goggles and helmets.
In addition to improved vision and sports performance, wearing contact lenses offers children a sense of responsibility and increased self-esteem. They are more likely to feel good about wearing their lenses than putting on sports goggles that are so conspicuous.
|CooperVision’s Proclear 1 Day provide comfort to kids who experience dryness or mild discomfort during lens wear.|
Every eyecare practitioner is familiar with the question posed by parents about the appropriate age for children to wear contact lenses. With the advances in contact lens materials and designs, a wider range of patients (children included) have a greater probability of wearing lenses comfortably for their recreational activities. One of the most common modalities of contact lens wear for children is daily disposable lenses.
With the benefits of daily disposable lenses, parents can feel confident their eyecare practitioners are offering a great combination of excellent vision and ease of compliance. The following are some daily disposable lens options.
Bausch + Lomb SofLens® daily disposable (Hilafilcon B). While the exceptionally thin lens design allows for a natural feel, High Definition™ Optics reduces appearance of blurriness, halos, and glare in various conditions.
CIBA VISION’s DAILIES® AquaComfort Plus® (Nelfilcon A). Blink-activated moisture is delivered from inside the lens and released over a 20-hour period for all-day comfort.
ClearLab’s eyedia® fresh daily disposable (Hioxifilcon A). This lens has virtually no edge defects or surface irregularities, and Aquagrip™ technology enables lens to retain virtually all water content.
CooperVision, Inc.’s ClearSight™ 1 Day (Ocufilcon B). A thinner lens design minimizes lid interaction and it also features ideal lens centration and shape retention.
CooperVision’s Proclear® 1 Day (Omafilcon A). Aspheric optical design corrects lens and theoretical corneal aberrations, and lens also has FDA-cleared indication for improved comfort from dryness or mild discomfort during lens wear.
Unilens Vision Inc.’s C-VUE 1 Day (Methafilcon A 55%). This specialty single vision, wavefront-inspired design technology lens is available exclusively through independent practitioners.
VISTAKON’s, Division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc., 1-DAY ACUVUE® MOIST® (Etalfilcon A). LACREON® technology permanently embeds a hydrophilic wetting agent into the lens to create a cushion of moisture.
VISTAKON’s 1-DAY ACUVUE TruEye® (Narafilcon B). The first silicone hydrogel daily disposable lens in the U.S. features HYDRACLEAR® 1 technology to create highly wettable and ultra-smooth lens.
|Children can benefit from wearing ClearLab’s eyedia fresh daily disposables that retain virtually all water content.|
Corneal refractive therapy (CRT), or orthokeratology, is another modality of contact lens wear that is an excellent choice for kids who are active. When the discussion of contact lenses arises, the perfect opportunity presents itself to discuss the benefits of CRT lenses. Initially, many parents are in a little disbelief about how wearing a lens while sleeping can correct a vision problem when you wake up. In addition to the benefit of reducing the rate of change of a child’s nearsightedness, the fact that a lens does not need to be worn at all during daytime activities has appeal. For more information on orthokeratology, see “Treating Refractive Error in Kids with Specialty CLs,” page 18.
DON’T FORGET UV PROTECTION
A large percentage of children and teens don’t wear sunglasses during outdoor sports. Reminding parents and children of the importance of UV protection for their eyes should be a common discussion in the exam room. If they are contact lens wearers, the idea of having sports sunglasses is an easier “sell.” The cost of a second pair of prescription glasses just for sports is a hurdle for many parents, yet they do want to protect their children. A practitioner’s recommendation of non-prescription sunglasses that can be worn for various activities is more likely to be followed than a prescription pair that will be a greater expense. In addition, while they are not a substitute for sunglasses, many of today’s contact lens brands offer UV protection.
When it comes to kids and contact lenses, take the time to discuss them with both your young patients and their parents. Recommending contact lenses to kids who are good candidates is good for your business. Contact lens wearers are typically more compliant than eyeglasses wearers with returning for yearly eye exams. By establishing the importance of yearly eyecare at a young age, patients value the optometrist’s role in their general wellness.
Eric L. Bran, Professional Editor for Optometric Office, is in a private group practice in Ridgefield, CT.
WHERE TO FIND IT:
Bausch + Lomb • 800-828-9030 • bausch.com
CIBA VISION • 800-241-5999 • cibavision.com
Clearlab • 800-316-5618 • clearlab.com
CooperVision, Inc. • 800-341-2020 • coopervision.com
Unilens Vision Inc. • 800-446-2020 • unilens.com
VISTAKON, Division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. • 800-843-2020 • jnjvisioncare.com