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Jeffrey J. Walline, Andrew J. Emch, Anu Laul, Kathleen Reuter, Jason J. Nichols; Comparison of Success in Contact Lens Wearers Fitted as Children vs Teenagers. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(14):6499. doi: https://doi.org/.
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The purpose of this study is to compare comfort, adverse events, and compliance of patients who were fitted in contact lenses as a child (≤ 12 years of age) versus those fitted as a teenager (≥13 years of age).
This was a two-phase study including both a survey and examination phase (only survey results are reported). Requests to complete online surveys were sent to Ohio State University students, staff, and faculty. Eligible subjects were 17 to 30 years of age who wore soft contact lenses for the past 10 years. Statistical comparisons were made on outcomes using unpaired t-tests and chi-square tests based on stratified comparisons of age when first fit (child-fit vs. teen-fit).
The survey was completed by 175 respondents; 86 were fitted as a child (71% female) and 89 were fitted as a teenager (63% female). Child-fits currently wore their contact lenses 14.8 ± 3.4 hours per day; teen-fits currently wore their contact lenses 14.7 ± 3.6 hours per day (p = 0.74). Child-fits reported 1.1 ± 2.5 hours per day of uncomfortable wear time, and teen-fits reported 1.2 ± 2.7 hours per day uncomfortable wear time (p = 0.92). Approximately 22% of child-fits and 24% of teen-fits were able to wear their contact lenses for as many hours as they would like (p = 0.81). Having a red, painful eye that required a doctor visit since beginning contact lens wear was reported by 21% of child-fits and 19% of teen-fits (p = 0.76). Approximately 32% of child-fits reported currently rubbing their lenses and 42% reported rinsing their lenses when cleaning them, compared to 35% who reported rubbing and 45% who reported rinsing their lenses among the teen-fits (p = 0.77 for rub and 0.70 for rinse). The proportion of child- and teen-fits who replace their case every six months or more often was 53% in each group (p = 0.95). We have an adequate sample size with 80% power (α = 0.05) to detect a difference of 0.5 hours per day wearing time, 0.4 hours per day comfortable wearing time, and 6% difference for adverse events and compliance.
Fitting children at 12 years or younger is not associated with a greater frequency of current poor comfort, prior adverse events, or poorer compliance after 10 years of soft contact lens wear.
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