Contact lenses are highly favored among teenagers for various reasons. Convenience is a significant factor for some. Others, who are more fashion-conscious or concerned about their overall appearance, opt for contacts instead of glasses. Additionally, teenagers engaged in sports often find contact lenses more manageable compared to glasses.
Wearing contact lenses entails a significant amount of responsibility that many teenagers tend to overlook. Proper care and maintenance are essential for lenses. Ensuring that prescriptions are up to date and that the lenses fit correctly is crucial. Since teenagers are still in the process of growth and development, regular eye examinations with an optometrist become even more important. (Parents should ensure this is prioritized.)
While some optometrists may suggest contact lenses for patients as young as 8 years old, most eye doctors recommend waiting until ages 11 to 14. However, it’s important to note that each child is unique and may have different circumstances.
Q: At what age do you recommend children start wearing contact lenses?
A: As an optometrist, I believe that contact lenses can be suitable for individuals of any age. However, it is important to understand that wearing contact lenses is a privilege, not a right. It involves financial responsibility and overall accountability to maintain good eye health. Therefore, for younger individuals, I recommend waiting until both the patient and parents are ready. From my experience, if the patient does not have a genuine desire to wear contact lenses, they may not take proper care of them or find success in handling them. Similarly, parents must be willing to assume the financial responsibility for fitting, follow-up appointments, and materials. They should also agree that their child is mature enough to independently manage contact lens care.
Q: Can kids wear contact lenses?
A: The ability to wear contact lenses is not solely determined by age. While some infants and toddlers may wear contact lenses, there are teenagers who may not be suitable candidates. Each case is unique. Certain types of contact lenses can help slow the progression of nearsightedness, and they are particularly beneficial for sports activities. Many children, especially teenagers, prefer contact lenses over glasses. Eye care professionals often report positive outcomes when fitting children with contact lenses. However, it is essential to note that no eye doctor will prescribe contact lenses for children or teenagers who are not ready or do not have a valid reason to wear them.