How young is too young for Contact lenses?
Contact lenses are a medical device regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which are regularly used by eyecare professionals to correct vision. Many parents inquire as to what age children can start wearing contact lenses, and there is no exact answer to this question. The doctor, parent and child can discuss the following considerations
Reasons to consider contact lenses:
- Is the child responsible enough? – because contacts are a medical device, they need careful cleaning and care. Will someone be available to help the child?
- Cosmetics of contacts vs. glasses – some kids worry about the appearance of glasses or others prefer how they look in glasses
- Sports and activities – many patients who play sports prefer to wear contacts which are easier to wear with hats, helmets, goggles, sunglasses, etc.
- Do glasses need to frequently be replaced due to breaking? – many kids rough house or play sports that can damage spectacle frames frequently, in this case contact lenses may be beneficial
- High or uneven prescriptions – these can cause lenses to be thick and glasses to be heavy for children. If the prescription is uneven between the eyes it can also cause different image sizes which are difficult to bring together as one.
- Is their nearsightedness getting worse every year? – nearsightedness (or myopia) is usually progressive in children unless managed. Often multifocal contacts or Orthokeratology can be used to try to slow myopia progression.
- Are there allergies present? – ocular allergies may be worsened with contact lens use. It is important to be evaluated and treated for allergies if present. Many patients still do well with contacts as long as their allergy symptoms are managed.
Our doctors have been successful in fitting many children in contact lenses with careful monitoring from parents. If you or your child have considered trying contacts for one of the above reasons, you can discuss contacts with your doctor to see if they are a good fit. We will discuss the care, cleaning, insertion and removal process at your contact lens fitting appointment.