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Contact Lenses for Children - Is It A Good Choice?

Are contact lenses safe for children? Parents frequently ask eye doctors this question when kids first express curiosity in wearing contacts. But regardless of the child's age, their maturity and ability to handle contact lenses responsibly plays an important factor as well. Children represent one of the fastest rising segments of contact lenses wearing population.

Are contact lenses safe for children?

Physically, a child's eye can endure contact lenses at a very young age. Some infants are even fitted with contact lenses because of congenital cataracts (a hereditary eye disease in which the lens is covered by an obscure film which affects the child's eyesight causing a total loss of sight) or other eye conditions that are present at birth.

Recent studies have shown that 90% of children between ages 8-11 who are nearsighted that were involved to fitting 1 day disposable contact lenses had no trouble inserting or removing the contact lens without any assistance from their parents. Like adults, children wear contact lenses for the very same reason: to see or to look better.

What kind of contact lenses should children wear?

Children can wear all types of contact lenses. The choice of lens depends on the patient and the eye doctor. With most children, soft contact lenses are the preferred type of contact lens. Since generally, soft contact lenses are more comfortable to wear and our eyes easily adapt to it.

How old must a child be to be able to wear contact lenses?

Typically, optometrists will not prescribe children unless they are 12 years old or older to wear contact lenses. However, recent studies suggest that younger children, including children who are age 8-12 may be able to handle contact lenses and use them in a healthy and safe behavior.

Parents Involvement

Perhaps, the main difference between fitting contact lenses for children and adults is the notion of "dual patient". The child and the parent/s are both patients, they must both also be involved in all stages: lens fitting, care and follow-up. Many optometrists insist on having the parent/s or guardians consent first before fitting contact lenses to minors.

Quality of Life Improved by Contact Lenses

Most kids feel awkward wearing eyeglasses or they don't just simply like the way they look with it. Contact lenses for children can improve how children feel about their appearance, thus, elevating their self-confidence.

Children who wear contact lenses are eager to take advantage of the contact lens trend. They are more satisfied wearing contact lenses as compared to eyeglasses. Studies also show that children wearing contact lenses may have a higher-self esteem and better courage. Children also find it easier to engage in everyday sports and activities.

Special Circumstances in Wearing Contact Lenses for Children

There are a number of situations where contact lenses for children are necessary for good vision or treat eye deficiencies: cataract, strabismus and unequal refractive error.

Contact Lenses for Children Involved in Sports

For children who are active in sports, contact lenses are advantageous over the wear of eyeglasses. Since the eyeglasses frames can break especially during contact sports which can lead to eye injury.

Sports contact lenses eradicate these problems and provide other benefits as well:

  • An unobstructed view of the playing field for enhanced peripheral vision which enables your child to react faster to other players and objects (e.g. a soccer ball approaching from the side).
  • Contact lenses remain stable and in place on your child's eyes when he/she is running which results to more precise and stable vision.
  • Also, many contact lenses especially gas permeable (GP) contact lenses present better optics which leads to a clearer vision that may help improve your child's sports performance.

What are the best brands of contact lenses for children?

Daily disposable contact lenses which should be prescribed by ophthalmologists are the best type of contact lens for kids to wear. Since it's only good for 1 day usage and there is no need for cleaning and solutions. It's hassle-free which is great for children, specially the younger ones. Some of the best brands that are suitable for children are the ff:

  1. 1 Day Acuvue Contact Lenses and
  2. Bausch & Lomb SofLens daily disposable contact lenses

With the appropriate choice of contact lens, regular follow-up and careful obedience to all compulsory lens care guidelines, many children are able to effectively continue wearing contact lenses until their adult lives.


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