Are Contact Lenses For Color Blindness Safe For Use By Kids?
Color blindness, more accurately called Color Vision Deficiency (CVD), is the inability to see or distinguish specific colors accurately. Color blindness is not actual blindness. It is just a deficiency with correctly detecting particular colors.
For a person to be “color blind” in the real sense of the word (a condition known as achromatopsia), it implies the person only sees in shades of black, white and gray — a quite rare condition.
Most people with Color Vision Deficiency usually suffer from the common Red-Green variety. In this particular case, they experience problems properly seeing red, green or a mix of these two colors. Less common among people suffering CVD, is the blue and yellow form.
Although there are other ways of getting CVD (like aging, injury to the eyes, and diseases such as cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, etc.), the most common cause is genetics. Being that it is passed from mother to child through X chromosomes, male children are prone to getting it more than females. For every one female who has CVD, about 17 males are suffering from it.
When CVD is gotten via causes other than genetics, it can happen at any age. In this case, only one or both of the eyes may be affected. On the contrary, if it is genetically transferred, CVD starts right from childbirth, and both eyes will be affected.
Several people born with CVD grow into adulthood with the condition undiagnosed. This is because they have no idea that they do not see colors the way others are. However, for some people, it gets detected when they start learning the names of colors as kids.
How Color Vision Deficiency Affect Kids
Kids living with CVD can see lines, shapes, and everything else that others see. They only differ when it comes to seeing and interpreting colors. They tend to see and think of specific colors differently from others.
Seeing and thinking about colors differently from other kids can affect children in some ways in school and in their everyday life. Listed below are some of the ways it affects them:
- They might face trouble doing specific assignments, classwork or projects that require colors correctly.
- It might affect them while participating in sports and other leisure activities. For example, they could mistakenly pass the ball to the opposing team during a game of soccer.
- They might experience sensitivity to light in the classroom. To mitigate this, the kids might require special seating arrangements at school.
- They might feel frustrated and self-conscious about the CVD.
- They stand the risk of being teased or bullied by other kids due to CVD.
How Color Vision Deficiency Can Be Handled In Kids
While there is no medical cure for genetically acquired CVD, there are palliatives or treatment options that can help kids live comfortably with the eye condition.
Listed below are two options parents can explore with their kids to ease the condition:
- Resort to walk-around procedures. Examples include labeling and sorting clothes or other items around the home by colors, with the help of friends or relatives. Doing so will help prevent wrong selection or clashing of colors.
Another walk-around example is recognizing colors by remembering the order of things, rather than the colors itself. An example is remembering that red comes first, before yellow, then green, at a traffic light.
- Wearing special lenses can help improve color perception among people with CVD. These lenses are special filters that are customized in glasses or contact lenses form to match the wearer’s CVD condition.
Dr. Azman, a Maryland-based Optometrist, has taken these special glasses to a whole new level of efficacy using his trademarked ColorCorrection System. Glasses or contact lenses made with the ColorCorrection System, change the wavelength of light entering through the patient’s eyes.
The tweaked wavelength (which is personalized to the patient’s condition) allows the patient to see the full spectrum of light and colors like never before.
Patients who use these contact lenses have a 100% success rate in passing the Ishihara Color Test and go on to live a very comfortable life. This is a perfect solution for children living with CVD.
Are Contact Lenses Safe For Kids?
Contact lenses are very safe for kids. Even at a very young age, the human eye is already adapted to tolerating contact lenses. As a matter of fact, for medical conditions like congenital nystagmus, even infants can be fitted with contact lenses to treat the condition.
While contact lenses are generally safe for kids, there are some risks which parents should educate their child on. The awareness of these risks and the demonstration of the child to be able to guard against these risks should be the key determining factor if it is okay for the child to wear contact lenses or not.
For example, going to bed with contact lenses that are designed for daytime only can lead to contact lenses eye-related problems. If a child demonstrates the ability to wear his or her contacts according to the Doctor’s instructions, then it is safe for him or her to wear one.
The ability of the child to wear and take off his or her contact lenses with relative ease is another critical deciding factor. Also, the child must demonstrate the ability to properly clean and disinfect the contact lenses after every use.
In conclusion, the question of how safe it is for a child to wear contact lenses boils down to how motivated and prepared he or she is to wear one. As a parent, you should take note that while contact lenses are practically safe for children, wearing eyeglasses is still perfectly fine for some kids.
While some kids are interested in and practically prepared to wear contact lenses, some are better off using contacts when they grow to be young adults.
What Age is Safe For Kids to Start Wearing Contact Lenses?
This is a question many parents ask. Though several studies have shown that children aged 8 to 11 are safe to start wearing contact lenses, many parents report that their eye care practitioners often refuse to fit their kids with contact lenses until they reach 13.
This led to a study called the Contact Lenses in Pediatrics (CLIP) that compared contact lens fitting and follow-up between children between the ages of 8 to 12; and teenagers between 13 to 17.
A total of 84 children and 85 teens were examined, making a total of 169 subjects. At the end of the study, it was concluded that “neither children nor teens experienced problems related to contact lens wear during the study.”
The study went further to state that “Eye care practitioners should consider routinely offering contact lenses as a treatment option, even for children eight years old.”
From the study, the following results were also gotten:
- 83% of the children (ages 8 to 12) reported that the contact lenses were easy to take care of.
- 89% of parents said that their children found it easy to clean and take care of their contact lenses.
- 90% reported that the contact lenses do not fall out of their children’s eyes.
- 76% of the children stated that using contact lenses gave them a positive reaction from the people around them.
- 80% of the parents reported that using contact lenses made the children feel better and more self-confident.
- More children (than teens) reported an improvement in the quality of life in the areas of activities and satisfaction when they switched over to contact lenses.
- 86% of the parents stated that their kids demonstrated to be responsible enough to wear and adequately take care of contact lenses.
- 89% of parents indicated that they felt that contact lenses are right for their kids.
Outside the CLIP study, proponents of contact lenses for children point out that wearing a contact lens earlier on in life will further help prevent certain UV radiation-related eye problems later on in life.
This is because when kids wear contact lenses that block the sun’s UV rays from entering the eyes, they will have a significantly lower level of lifetime exposure to UV radiation. Long term exposure to UV radiation has been associated with eye problems such as macular degeneration and cataracts.
With all the points above, one can comfortably conclude that contact lenses are a safe and effective treatment for color blindness in kids.
Do you have a child living with color blindness, and would like to explore Dr. Azman’s ColorCorrection System™ as a treatment option? Then get started by getting your child to take this FREE color blind test.
Need more information? Visit the FAQ page for color blindness treatment.
Want to schedule a consultation or inquire more about color blindness treatment for children? Then contact Dr. Azman by calling (443) 470-9844, or by filling out this secure online form.