Corrective lens wear among adolescents: findings from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.


Journal Article

To evaluate demographic variations in the use of corrective lenses among adolescents.Cross-sectional analysis of 3,916 adolescents between ages 12 and 18 years who participated in the 1999-2002 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) vision examination component, which included questions regarding use of corrective lenses, distance visual acuity (VA; with corrective lenses if available), and non-cycloplegic autorefraction. Results reflect population-level estimates.Overall, 32.2% (95% confidence interval [CI], 29.5%-35.0%) reported wearing corrective lenses. The adjusted odds of reporting corrective lens wear were greater for female and privately insured participants. In contrast, the adjusted odds of having corrective lenses available at the time of NHANES participation were greater for participants between ages 15 and 18 years compared with those between 12 and 14 years, and participants who were white compared with those who were black or Hispanic. Although 12.6% (95% CI, 8.8%-16.3%) of participants without their corrective lenses available for the NHANES had 20/25 or better distance VA in both eyes, 26.9% (95% CI, 21.6%-32.1%) of those with their corrective lenses had distance VA of 20/40 or worse in at least 1 eye. Near VA was not measured and participants with their corrective lenses available had only their corrected distance VA measured. No data regarding the accuracy of the NHANES assessment of distance VA are available. Autorefraction was performed without cycloplegia.Many adolescents report wearing corrective lenses. Variations across demographic characteristics are possibly due to a combination of undertreatment, overtreatment, and compliance with previously recommended corrective lenses.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Kemper, AR; Gurney, JG; Eibschitz-Tsimhoni, M; Del Monte, M

Published Date

  • November 2007

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 44 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 356 - 362

PubMed ID

  • 18062494

Pubmed Central ID

  • 18062494

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1938-2405

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0191-3913


  • eng