Are you wondering how old your child has to be in order to try contact lenses? Is it even possible for kids to wear contact lenses? These are 2 common questions that a lot of our patients ask us regarding their kid’s eye health.
In this blog post we’ll give you some information about children wearing contact lenses versus eyeglasses. We’ll give you a lot of details so you can make an informed decision.
After reading the post, if you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact Your Eyes R Us. We are more than happy to answer your questions and to help you understand your son or daughter’s treatment options.
Kids Have a Responsibility When It Comes to Wearing Contact Lenses
Many parents wonder if their child practices sufficient responsibility that is needed to wear contact lenses. For instance, are they going to keep up with the cleaning regiment required for contact lenses?
A good way to assess how responsible your child is: ask yourself the following questions.
- Does he often forget his homework at home?
- Does she do chores before you have to remind her over and over again?
- Does she brush and floss her teeth without constant reminders?
Hopefully your answers will demonstrate just how responsible your son or daughter is when it comes to routine tasks. If your answers show that your child is responsible, he or she may be suitable for contact lenses. The only way to know for sure, medically-speaking, is to schedule an optometry appointment.
Just remember that responsibility is a key trait when it comes to wearing contact lenses.
Common responsibilities for contact wearers:
- Your child has to care for them properly.
- Your child must be able to properly insert the contacts, as well as remove the contacts from the eyes.
- Keeping the contacts clean is a must.
- Your child must wear the contacts as prescribed by the optometrist.
These are all important tasks that must be done to minimize complications that could arise from improper use and care.
Is it Better for Your Kids to Wear Contact Lenses for Sports?
Is your child struggling to put on his or her glasses while wearing sporting equipment? Do you think it would be safer if he or she can wear contact lenses—at least while playing in the game or during practice?
All great questions to ask your optometrist.
Sport contact lenses have a few advantages over glasses. Some advantages:
- Contact lenses provide an unobstructed view of the basketball court or playing field. This allows for much better peripheral view to react faster in the heat of battle.
- Contact lenses remain stable on the eyes while running. This allows for much better accuracy and a more stable vision.
- There are certain contact lenses (i.e. gas permeable lenses) that offer much better optics than typical eyeglasses. This allows for much clearer vision to improve your child’s performance.
With sport contact lenses, your child will no longer have to worry about his or her glasses fogging up when they’re about to kick the ball to score a goal.
If your son or daughter currently plays sports while wearing eyeglasses, you may want to consider whether or not contact lenses would be a good choice. You can also ask his or her opinion if they would rather wear contacts while playing on the court.
If you and your child would like to proceed to find out if he or she is a suitable candidate, call our office. We will schedule a consultation appointment. During this appointment, you and your child can ask us any questions you have regarding eye care. We will help you understand your treatment options as best as possible, depending on what is best for your child’s health.
So…Do Kids Have to be a Certain Age to Wear Contact Lenses?
Back to our original question. And here’s the answer you’ve been patiently waiting for…
No, kids do not have to be a certain age to wear contact lenses. There have been some cases where infants must be fitted with contact lenses due to congenital cataracts or other eye conditions.
This demonstrates that kid’s eyes can tolerate contact lenses starting at a young age.
Kids typically adapt very well to wearing contact lenses. And since kids are less prone for dry eyes, this is a huge benefit for them, especially since dry eye is a common condition experienced by adults and caused by contact lenses.
All in all, if your child does not exhibit any physical restrictions, he or she may be suitable candidates for contacts. It is very important to ask your optometrist, however, if contacts are right for your child’s situation and health.
Contact Lenses Versus Glasses for Kids—Why Do Some Kids Get Contact Lenses and Some Don’t?
Briefly mentioned in the sports section above, contact lenses provide a child with a lot of benefits over their counterpart—eyeglasses. We’ll present a few of those advantages and benefits in the following sections.
Kids can build self-esteem by wearing contact lenses.
No one can see contact lenses when your child is wearing them. That’s not the case when a child has to wear eyeglasses day in and day out. Some kids just don’t like the way they look when wearing eyeglasses. This can decrease their self-esteem and self-confidence to a certain extent, especially if his or her classmates make jokes about the eyeglasses.
Various studies have been done to research how kids really feel about wearing eyeglasses versus contact lenses. Out of 169 children, 71.2% of kids (ages ranging from 8 to 12) and 78.5% of teenagers reported their preference of wearing contact lenses rather than eyeglasses. The study’s participants also showed better participation in activities and higher improvements to how he or she feels about their appearance.
Contact lenses for cosmetic or medical reasons
The most popular reason kids wear contact lenses is for vision correction. However, there are some older kids and teenagers who wish to wear contacts for cosmetic reasons—changing their eye color, peer pressure, etc.
Discuss these reasons with your child. If your child wants contacts for cosmetic reasons, keep in mind that there are scams to be careful of. For instance, it is possible to buy contact lenses online (i.e. Halloween-themed lenses), but please be careful of some websites. Some lenses may not be FDA approved, which means they can potentially be unsafe if used.
The best thing to do, if your child or teenager wants contacts for cosmetic reasons, is to schedule your appointment with us. We can speak with him or her regarding certain advantages and disadvantages of getting contacts purely for cosmetic purposes.
Also, if you or your child has any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to call our office.
Contact lenses can correct and control nearsightedness
Nearsightedness (also called myopia) can potentially be controlled with contact lenses, which is very beneficial for kids. However, there is some debate on this practice.
Past studies show that myopia progression can be slowed down if nearsighted kids wear gas permeable contacts. On the other hand, more recent studies cast doubt on how effective conventionally-fitted gas permeable contacts can be when trying to control myopia.
With that being said, there is a type of modified technique that fits gas permeable lenses a different way. It is called orthokeratology or “ortho-k.” This has been shown to temporarily reverse myopia.
Still Have Questions? Call us!
If you think your child may be interested in contact lenses, the first step is to schedule an appointment with our optometrist. Just remember that wearing contact lenses is a reversible decision; if your child does not do well with wearing contacts, he or she can get eyeglasses instead. He or she can also try wearing contact lenses once again in the future.
If you find yourself still asking questions, call our optometry office! We love helping patients understand treatment options and make informed decisions.
We are conveniently located in Smyrna, GA for all of your optometry needs!