Some infants, children may benefit from contact lenses

Children as young as in fants can begin wearing contact len s- es.

Some infantsare fittedwith co nt ac t len se s becaus e of con - genital cataracts, a cond it ion in wh ic h the eye’s natural le ns is cloudy in stead of clear. Thoug h such a condition is not com mon, occ urring in le ss than one per - cent of all bir ths, doctors might fit infant s with congenita l cataracts or ot her eye condition s for contact lense s.

But it’s not only infant s bor n with cer ta in conditions who can wear contac t lenses. In fact, most children can tolerate contact lenses, and a 2007 study published in Vision magazine found that most child re n pref er c ont act len ses over traditional eyeglasses.

While that preference is often co smet ic, the choice of cont act lenses for kids might ser ve more prac tical purposes as well.

Thoug h cont roversial, so me st udie s have sugges ted that fitting young near- sighted kids with ga s perm eab le c ont act s might slo wthe progres sio noftheir myopia. Ho weve r, more rec ent studies have cast doubt on that rese arch.

Still, ortho kerato logy, or “orth o-k,” is another tech nique being used. Ortho-kcantem - pora rily reverse my opia us ing spe cially de signed gas permeable lenses worn at night. These lenses cha nge the shape of the cornea and are remove d in th e morn - ing.

When successful, the ort ho- k te chnique enables a near -sighted person toseecle arly withou t glasses or contact lense s during theday.Suchafix,howe ver,is te mporary, and the lenses must be worn re gula rly during sleep toensure unco rrec tedvisio n throughout the day.

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2012-01-05 digital edition

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