Multifocal contact lenses are emerging as a viable option for controlling myopia progression in young children, and it would help to understand any potential adverse effects from lens wear in this population. A recent clinical trial looked into the eye health effects associated with daily wear and found that kids can wear soft lenses with minimal impact on ocular physiology.

The trial, supported by CooperVision, studied 144 children ages eight to 12, comprised of 34 East Asians, 12 West Asians and 79 Caucasians who had never worn contact lenses before. They were fitted with soft hydrogel daily disposable contact lenses, randomized to either MiSight 1 day or Proclear 1 day. The two lenses have identical material (omafilcon A) and geometry, except for their anterior optical zone designs.

After three years of daily wear (at least 10 hours per day, six days per week), the children wearing Proclear were switched to MiSight; all children wore MiSight during years four to six of the study. After dispensing, the children had follow-up exams at one week, one month, six months and then every six months until year six. During each visit, subjects underwent ocular measurements and gave their subjective responses to questions. A total of 92 children completed all six years of the study.

The researchers noted that the most common biomicroscopy findings were limbal, bulbar and tarsal hyperemia and tarsal roughness; 99% of findings were grade 1 or lower. There were no adverse contact lens–related events. Three children discontinued the study due to ocular adverse events. The researchers reported that after six years of wear, ocular health remained largely the same.

They concluded that children can safely and successfully wear daily disposable hydrogel lenses, with confidence bolstered by the longevity of the trial and low rate of adverse effects. Most cases of discontinued lens wear occurred in the first month and were due to inadequate lens fit or an inability to handle the lenses. The researchers noted that these are among the most common reasons for early contact lens drop-out among the general population. “In order to advise parents and children considering soft lenses as a myopia control strategy, eyecare practitioners should understand how children respond in their early years of contact lens wear,” the study authors said.

Woods J, Jones D, Jones L, et al. Ocular health of children wearing daily disposable contact lenses over a 6-year period. Contact Lens Ant Eye. February 4, 2021. [Epub ahead of print].