For kids and teenagers, trying contact lenses for the first time can be both a scary and exciting experience. Most first-timers and their parents will have lots of questions about trying contact lenses. What age is appropriate for trying contacts for the first time? What type of lenses should be worn? Are there any risks? The truth is that the answers to these questions varies from person to person. There are many factors to consider and to discuss with your optometrist before trying contact lenses. Continue reading to learn more about them.
Responsibility Is a Factor
There is no definitive age when kids can start wearing contact lenses. Instead, it comes down to how responsible the child is. Contact lenses are medical devices that require dedication and accountability in order to be worn safely. Kids and teenagers must be able to follow detailed instructions for wearing, cleaning, storing and replacing their lenses. They must be responsible enough to take their lenses out, even when they are tired or busy. Hygiene, including regular hand-washing, is also important for successful and healthy contact lens wear. Some children are naturally more mature and diligent about these factors, and may be able to safely wear contact lenses at a younger age. Others may need to wait until they are a little bit older and able to handle more responsibilities. Ultimately, this is a decision that should be made between the patient, the parents, and the optometrist.
Comfort and Safety
As long as kids can properly wear and care for their contact lenses, they are a safe option for visual correction. Children may take more time to learn how to easily put in and remove their lenses, but once they get the hang of this, there is no significant risk associated with kids putting in contact lenses. Just like in adults, contact lenses should be comfortable and pain-free if they are worn correctly.
It is important to remember that contact lens wearers of all ages face some risks. Over-wearing contact lenses, or failing to properly clean and store contact lenses, can cause irritation or discomfort while wearing lenses, and can even pose threats of serious infections. Complications from abusing contact lenses can be vision-threatening, so care and caution should be practiced by contact lens wearers of all ages.
As children grow accustomed to the routine of caring for their lenses, daily disposable contact lenses may be a great option. These lenses lessen the risk of infection by reducing the need for a thorough cleaning and storing routine.
The Benefits of Contact Lenses for Kids
Most kids and teens are interested in trying contact lenses for cosmetic reasons. Some may feel more comfortable and confident once they gain independence from spectacles. Others choose to wear contact lenses to help their sports performance. Kids with high prescriptions and bulky glasses may not only be more comfortable, they will likely also see clearer with contact lenses. While the cost of contact lenses depends on the brand and type of lens worn, an annual supply is typically comparable in price to a pair of glasses, and many affordable options exist.