Are There Age Restrictions On Contact Use?

Dr. Jim Martin 08/29/2016

teen_with_contact_lense.jpgAs a parent you may wonder how old your child should be before he or she can wear contact lenses. The truth is, it's not a matter of age but whether or not your child can handle contact lenses’ responsibly.

When Your Child Can Wear Contacts

Physically, a child's eyes can handle contact lenses at a young age. Infants with congenital cataracts and other eye conditions are even fitted with contacts. Whether or not your child can handle the responsibility of wearing contacts is the bigger question, and as a parent you need to honestly assess how they handle other responsibilities — such as good hygiene and keeping their bedrooms neat. If the answer is yes, then they're probably a good candidate to wear (and take care of) contacts.

Many children welcome the opportunity to wear contact lenses and are therefore highly motivated to take care of them. Children and teens who don't like the way they look in glasses are often affected negatively and can suffer lower self-esteem and feel self-conscious. A recent study showed that over 70 percent of children ages 8-12 and nearly 80 percent of teenagers said they preferred wearing contacts.

Contacts And Nearsightedness

Contact lenses have sometimes been shown to slow the progression of nearsightedness in children. Orthokeratology, a method of fitting rigid gas permeable lenses, has even been proven successful in reversing nearsightedness in children. These specially designed lenses are worn during sleep and change the shape of the cornea.

Gas Permeable Lenses

Gas permeable contact lenses may be used on children that have a corneal disease in which soft contact lenses are contraindicated.

Contact the professionals at Broome Optical of Amarillo to schedule your child's next eye exam and to see if contacts will be a good fit for your child.

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