Contact lens use in children is unpopular, perhaps due to perceived complications in addition to poor compliance among kids.  However, new research out of China is showing that even among this young cohort, serious events are rare and the few that do occur are far outweighed by the benefits.

A research team associated with the Brien Holden Vision Institute looked into data from three trials involving 808 children in China with myopia who wore contact lenses. After more than a year of daily wear, the analysis shows microbial keratitis (MK) was the only serious event. Significant events included two corneal infiltrative events (CIE), contact lens peripheral ulcer (CLPU) and Infiltrative Keratitis (IK), and three mechanical events, contact lens papillary conjunctivitis (CLPC), superior epithelial arcuate lesion (SEAL) and corneal erosion (CE). Non-significant events included asymptomatic infiltrates and asymptomatic infiltrative keratitis.

Only a single MK event was noted and that resolved without sequelae. Of the significant events, 18 CIE (5 CLPU and eight IKs) were seen as well as 69 mechanical events (43 CLPC, 11 SEAL and 17 CE), making these complications as rare as less than one in 100. 58 non-significant events were noted.

Sankaridurg P, Weng R, Naduvilath T. Adverse events with contact lens wear in children. ARVO 2019. Abstract 6344.