Vision Specific Quality of Life of Pediatric Contact Lens Wearers
Several studies have shown that children are capable of wearing and caring for contact lenses, but it is not known whether the benefits outweigh the risks associated with contact lens wear. The purpose of this article is to compare the vision-related quality of life benefits of children randomized to wear spectacles or contact lenses for 3 years using the Pediatric Refractive Error Profile. The Pediatric Refractive Error Profile was administered to 484 children who wore glasses at baseline. The children were then randomly assigned to wear contact lenses (n = 247) or spectacles (n = 237) for 3 years. The survey was administered at the baseline examination, at 1 month, and every 6 months for 3 years. During 3 years, the overall quality of life improved 14.2 +/- 18.1 units for contact lens wearers and 2.1 +/- 14.6 units for spectacle wearers (p < 0.001). In all scales except the visual performance scales (Distance Vision, Near Vision, and Overall Vision), the quality of life improved more for older subjects than younger subjects. The three scales with the largest improvement in quality of life for contact lens wearers were Activities, Appearance, and Satisfaction with Correction. Myopic children younger than 12 years of age report better vision-related quality of life when they are fit with contact lenses than when they wear glasses. Older children, children who participate in recreational activities, children who are motivated to wear contact lenses, and children who do not like their appearance in glasses will benefit most.