A recent study published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology has shed light on the increasing cases of pediatric keratitis, particularly among those who wear contact lenses. The study aimed to analyze the incidence and clinical characteristics of pediatric keratitis over a 10-year period in a specific population.

The study, conducted across multiple centers, focused on patients under the age of 19 who were diagnosed with keratitis while residing in Olmsted County between January 2000 and December 2009. The researchers examined various factors such as age, gender, initial and final visual acuity, and demographic information.

The findings revealed a total of 294 cases of keratitis in 285 children during the 10-year period, resulting in an incidence rate of 78.0 per 100,000 children under 19 years old. This means that approximately 1 in 1,282 children were affected. Furthermore, the incidence of keratitis increased steadily throughout the study period.

The average age at diagnosis was 15.3 years, with females accounting for 60.4% of the cases. The different forms of keratitis observed included contact lens-related keratitis in 45.6% of cases, infectious keratitis in 24.5%, unspecified keratitis in 22.1%, and keratitis sicca (dry eye) in 7.8%. The initial examination revealed reduced visual acuity (≤20/40) in 21.4% of patients, which decreased to 8.4% at the final examination.

The study highlighted that regardless of the cause, approximately 1 in 1,300 children experienced keratitis by the age of 19 in this particular population. Notably, nearly half of the cases were associated with contact lens wear, and around 1 in 12 patients experienced a decrease in vision to ≤20/40.

This study provides valuable insights into the prevalence and characteristics of pediatric keratitis, emphasizing the importance of proper contact lens hygiene and regular eye check-ups for children. The research was conducted by Tanke LB, Kim EJ, Butterfield SD, and others.


Tanke LB, Kim EJ, Butterfield SD, et al. Incidence and clinical characteristics of pediatric keratitis. British Journal of Ophthalmology 2023;107:1253-1257.

Categorized in: