Pediatric RGPs: Give Them a Try
BY LORETTA B. SZCZOTKA, OD, MS, FAAO
For children with congenital, surgical, traumatic or refractive ocular problems, contact lenses are often the only potential for visual rehabilitation and/or visual development. Pediatric contact lens options include silicone elastomer, hydrogel and RGP lenses.
RGP lenses are underutilized for infants and small children, due to practitioner inexperience, lack of proper equipment or perceived RGP intolerance in children.
Our group hypothesized that lens comfort, adaptation and success with RGPs in children were better than what community pro-viders perceived. We published a retrospective review and study of the safety, efficacy and economic impact of RGPs in a series of pediatric patients in The CLAO Journal. Some highlights are:
- RGP dropout due to intolerance was only 17 percent, and 80 percent of eyes could successfully wear RGP lenses.
- Some 82 percent of families succeeded in daily insertion and removal.
- There were no adverse events secondary to contact lens use in any patients.
Table 1 shows comparisons of costs and available parameters for all lens types.
This study was not designed to compare RGP contact lenses to other lenses; in fact, a contact lens fitter needs all these options available to him. Our goal was to reassess the value of RGP lenses and impress upon eyecare professionals that these are excellent options for some patients. RGPs are more cost effective than silicone lenses. They are available in unlimited parameters when the other options may significantly limit your choices. They are economically competitive with soft lenses and have much better Dk/L values in high-powered prescriptions.
To obtain references via fax, call (800) 239-4684 and request document #81. (Have a fax number ready.)
Dr. Szczotka is an assistant professor at Case Western Reserve University Dept. of Ophthalmology and Director of the Contact Lens Service at University Hospitals of Cleveland.