According to one study, contact lenses improve vision-related quality of life in children compared with glasses---this was especially true in the areas of athletics and appearance.
The study, published in Optometry and Vision Science Journal, was a 3 year assessment of the effects of glasses and contacts on the self-perception of myopic (near-sighted) children ages 8 to 11. According to the researchers "During 3 years, the overall quality of life improved 14.2 units for contact lens wearers and 2.1 units for spectacle wearers. In all scales ... 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."
While parents may be apprehensive about putting children as young as 8 years old in contact lenses, it can be done successfully and safely. Daily disposable contacts are our preferred lens type for children. These types of lenses are disposed of at the end of each day, meaning the patient wears a fresh lens everyday.
This is important because a fresh lens each day essentially eliminates the risks for contact lens related complications, such as eye infections. Likewise, patients prone to allergies do much better in daily disposables due to the fact there is no build up of pollen or other allergens. These lenses also don't burden the patient with the responsibility of lens cleaning, care, and replacement cycles as seen with 2 week and monthly disposables contact lenses.
By eliminating much of the maintenance burden and greatly reducing the risk for contact lens related complications, we believe daily disposable lenses make a great entry way for younger patients into the wear of contact lenses on a day-to-day basis. And, as the study above showed, this may greatly impact the quality of life in a number of areas for children--even younger children who require constant vision correction.