It is important that parents and children get proper guidelines from their optometrists before deciding
Children want to wear contact lenses for many of the same reasons as adults: vision, clear view from all angles, and convenience.
In general, there is no specific age for kids to wear contact lenses. Optometrist Hambiah Liyana Hamzah shared that some studies showed that they kids were can wear contact lenses from as young as eight years old.
“It is important that the parents and children get proper guidelines from their optometrists before deciding to wear contact lenses so that they would not develop an eye infection,” she advised.
Liyana noted that some parents may think that their child may not responsible enough to wear contact lenses due to various assumptions such as being too young. But she assures that contact lenses are safe for children.
“Age, although important, should not be the only factor in the final decision. We can consult parents to let their kids wear contact lenses depending on the kid’s ability to be compliant on how to use contact lenses. Kids are actually more than capable of listening and following the proper care guidelines, provided we teach them. We tend to underestimate them.”
And parents too, play an important role in ensuring that their child too practises good contact lens care.
“Sometimes, children don’t like to follow instructions. So, when the parents are having trouble with their children adhering to these care instructions, we may suggest for them to set stricter rules for the child.”
Glasses, contact lens and disposable contact lens
“Usually, younger children may prefer glasses because they want to emulate their parents who wear glasses.”
However, the older kids and teens may prefer contact lenses for convenience during sports or for appearance sake.
“Children who are interested in wearing contact lenses are supported by their parents”.
Disposable contact lenses are highly recommended for kids, especially the daily disposables compared to the monthly disposables.
“Daily disposables are the safest and most convenient form of lens wear. It requires less lens care, which will make it easier for children to handle.”
“They just need to put on the lenses in the morning and throw them away in the evening. The children don’t have to use solutions as there is no cleaning involved. They must ensure they don’t sleep with the lenses on and shouldn’t swim while using them.
Acuvue daily disposable contact lenses, which come in 30 lenses per box, are available for myopia, astigmatism, presbyopia and even for beauty.
Benefits of contact lenses
“As for sports performance and safety, contact lenses work better than glasses if your child plays sports or is involved in physical activities frequently,” she said, noting that children are more likely to damage their glasses due to their active nature.
“These children may actually reap the most benefits from contact lens wear. Contact lenses also allows a child to have better access to the side view and are safer to wear.”
She said for some, wearing contact lenses would help with their self-image as they may refuse to wear glasses due to appearance.
And for children who are very nearsighted or myopic, contact lenses provide better vision than glasses.
“Your child’s attitude toward wearing glasses can affect school performance and self-image.”
She continued: “According to research, contact lens wear dramatically improves how children and teens feel about their appearance and participation in activities, leading to greater satisfaction with their refractive error correction.”
The improvement in their quality of life after contact lens wear indicates that younger children should be offered contact lenses as a treatment for refractive error as routinely as teens.
Practicing proper contact lens care
“In some studies, adolescent and young adult wearers have been reported to be more likely than older adult wearers to develop eye infections and more likely
to have poor contact lens hygiene practices.”
To avoid these risks, they must adhere to the following:
- Wash your hands in warm soapy water and dry them well before touching your contact lenses.
- Avoid water. Do not wear lenses when swimming or bathing, and never clean or store contact lenses or their case in water. If lenses touch water, throw them away or disinfect them in fresh solution.
- Use the right products. Use a fresh solution each time. Wash the contact lens case in solution. Dry it with a clean tissue and store it upside down with the caps off. Replace the case at least every three months.
If these are adhered to, there would be absolutely no problem for children to wear contact lenses. — The Health