Many parents and children alike have questions about kids and teens trying contact lenses for the first time. When is the right age to try contact lenses? What type of lenses should we try? Are contact lenses going to harm the development or health of my child’s eyes? These are all completely normal questions, and the answer to these questions and many other factors must be considered before trying contact lenses for the first time. Continue reading for a guide to contact lenses for kids and teens.
There is no magic number that dictates the right age for children to try contact lenses for the first time. Most of the time, teens are the ones most interested in switching out of eyeglasses and into contact lenses, though young children can also be good candidates for contact lenses. Whether contact lenses are an appropriate option does not depend on age – responsibility plays a much bigger role. Children and teens who are interested in wearing contact lenses must be able to closely follow instructions regarding hygiene, wear time and replacement schedule, and proper cleaning and storage routines. Some children and teens are naturally more responsible when it comes to these habits, which makes them better candidate for contact lenses. How motivated a child is to wear contacts can play a huge role in their dedication to being a responsible contact lens wearer.
These days, glasses are commonly used as a fashion statement. However, even with the fashionable frames, glasses can make kids and teens self-conscious. Switching to contact lenses can be a self-esteem boost for many children, but this is far from being the only lifestyle benefit of contacts. Contact lenses are an excellent choice for active teens who play sports, as they are much more comfortable and convenient than sports goggles. For kids who have very high prescriptions, switching to contact lenses can usually provide better vision and relieve discomfort associated with wearing thick heavy spectacle lenses. Some contact lenses can even be used to help slow to progression of nearsightedness.
Again, the answer to this question comes down to responsibility. If your teen or child regularly replaces their contact lenses as directed and properly cleans and stores their lenses, they are much less likely to have any health problems associated with contacts. That being said, if a child is able to responsibly wear contact lenses, there is no risk to the development of their eyes or vision. Kids may take a little bit longer to learn how to safely put on and remove their lenses, but with patience and practice, most children are able to use contact lenses as a safe and convenient corrective option.
In order to choose the best contact lens, factors like convenience, cost, and comfort must be considered. Because they are convenient and require less maintenance in terms of storage and cleaning, daily disposable lenses are a popular option among teens. Others may prefer monthly or biweekly lenses for comfort or cost purposes. Either way, your optometrist will be able to help find the perfect contact lens for you or your kid.