Contact Lenses

Contact Lenses

Can kids safely and comfortably wear contact lenses?

The short answer—absolutely! 

Kids as young as 5 years old can safely and comfortably wear contact lenses. Of note, a child’s motivation, maturity and ability to responsibly handle contact lenses is more important than age alone. It is also important that your child has expressed interest in wearing contact lenses for best outcomes.

What are the risks of contact lens wear in kids?

Arguably the most concerning complication of contact lens wear is the risk of microbial keratitis (MK), or infection of the cornea (front surface of the eye) due to microbes. However, the risk is only 1 in 5,000 for daily disposable soft CLs and approximately 1 in 2,000 for reusable soft CLs and orthokeratology.

This means

Amongst 5,000 kids wearing daily disposable contact lenses, only 1 will get an eye infection.

Or if they wear daily disposable contact lenses for

5,000 times

they are likely to develop an eye infection only once.

Are contact lenses better than spectacles?

Some kids and their parents prefer spectacles to contact lenses as they don’t want something “directly touching the eye”. However, special types of contact lenses have been shown to be far more advantageous than wearing regular spectacles. Not only do these contact lenses provide clear vision without the inconvenience of wearing spectacles, both research and clinical practice studies show that they  also help slow down progressive vision deterioration that occurs with myopia.

Cost-wise, since your child still needs to have backup spectacles on hand, you can expect that adding contact lenses may be more costly. However, there are some benefits to contact lenses that could save you money. If your kid is very active and/or participates in sports where spectacles are easily damaged, you won’t be replacing those nearly as often. Also, a lot of kids have rapidly changing prescriptions as they’re growing. Ordering a three-month supply of contact lenses sometimes makes more sense than continually replacing spectacles.

Advantages of contact lenses:

  • Functional and psychological benefits. It improves their own perceptions of their physical appearance, competence in athletic activities and social acceptance.
  • No need to worry about spectacles sliding down the nose or falling off!
  • Provides an unobstructed field of view and better peripheral vision.
  • Less likelihood of fogging up or getting splattered.
  • Less chance of injury during sport! Spectacles may break and cause an injury if you take a hard hit.
  • More stable vision. Frames move slightly on the  face with some activity and can cause vision disturbances.
  • Better compatibility with safety equipment like headgear or protective goggles.

Characteristics of a child who is likely a good candidate for contact lenses:

  • Responsible (e.g., able and willing to follow best practices like not sleeping with contact lenses on, always using clean, dry hands when putting on and removing them)
  • Demonstrates that they practice good hygiene (e.g., brushes teeth every night, keeps their room tidy)
  • No abnormalities in the shape of their eye (e.g,. if the child has astigmatism, they might require a hard, reusable contact lens rather than disposable ones)
  • Must be confident enough to put them on and take them off in case, for instance, a lens falls out at school and they have to put in a new one
  • Has no anxiety about touching their eyes (in these cases, it is best to stick to spectacles)

How Can Eyecare Kids Optometrists help?

After a contact lens consultation to determine if your child is suitable for contact lenses, our optometrist will prescribe the contact lenses with their prescription. They will train your child on the correct technique for inserting and removing them. Reminders will be reiterated, including remember to wash their hands before touching their lenses or their eyes in order to prevent the spread of bacteria, and remember to take their contacts out before bed and insert fresh ones in the morning. Our team will be very involved especially during the first few weeks of contact lens use and will be available to address all questions you have regarding your child and their lenses.

After a contact lens consultation to determine if your child is suitable for contact lenses, our optometrist will prescribe the contact lenses with their prescription. They will train your child on the correct technique for inserting and removing them. Reminders will be reiterated, including remember to wash their hands before touching their lenses or their eyes in order to prevent the spread of bacteria, and remember to take their contacts out before bed and insert fresh ones in the morning. Our team will be very involved especially during the first few weeks of contact lens use and will be available to address all questions you have regarding your child and their lenses.

Is your child ready for the clarity and convenience that contact lenses offer?

Ask us for a suitability assessment!

Is your child ready for the clarity and convenience that contact lenses offer?

Ask us for a suitability assessment!

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