Are contact lenses an option for kids? Often this depends on several factors, including motivation, purpose, and cooperation between the child and eye care team. Foresight Eyecare offers specialty soft contact lenses that help prevent the progression of nearsightedness.
For children with myopia (nearsightedness), contact lenses can be a convenient method of vision correction. It allows kids to go about their day without having to worry about breaking or misplacing their glasses, and enables them to freely participate in sports and other physical activities. Special lens designs such as MiSight 1 day soft contact lenses are designed with special concentric zones that help prevent the progression of nearsightedness, also known as myopia control.
Some children and young teens may ask their parents for contact lenses because they feel self-conscious wearing glasses. Contact lenses may even provide children with the confidence boost they need to come out of their shell. Moreover, these days, it is very popular for children to wear single-use one-day disposable soft contacts, since there is no cleaning or maintenance involved. The key is to ensure clean hands (minimum 20 seconds hand wash with soap, lathering well and cleaning from fingertips to all areas of the hands) when handling the lenses. This is especially important due to the COVID 19 pandemic.
Some parents may deny their child’s request for contacts due to concerns about eye health and safety. Our doctors like to ask: “How clean is the child’s bedroom?” This may be a good indicator for the hygiene level needed for contact lenses as medical devices in the eyes.
At Foresight Eyecare, we provide children, teens, and patients of all ages with a wide variety of contact lenses. If you’re concerned about the safety of contacts for your child, we’ll be happy to explain and explore ways to ensure maximum safety, optimal eye health and comfort. To learn more or to schedule a pediatric eye exam and contact lenses fitting, please phone us to book an appointment.
What Are the Risks of Having My Child Wear Contact Lenses?
A study published in the January 2021 issue of The Journal of Ophthalmic & Physiological Optics found that kids aren’t at a higher risk of experiencing contact lens complications.
The study followed nearly 1000 children aged 8-16 over the course of 1.5-3 years to determine how contact lenses affected their eye health.
The results indicate that age doesn’t have an effect on contact lens safety. In fact, the researchers found that the risk of developing infections or other adverse reactions was less than 1% per year of wear — which is comparable to contact lens wearers of other ages.
But before you decide that contact lenses are right for your child, you may want to consider whether your child is ready to wear them. During his or her eye doctor’s appointment, the optometrist may ask about your child’s level of maturity, responsibility, and personal hygiene. Since many children are highly motivated to wear contacts, they tend to display real maturity in caring for their lenses. That said, in the initial stages, parents may need to play an active role, as their child gets used to inserting and removing the new contact lenses.
It’s important to note that just as with any other medical device, contact lenses are not risk-free. Anyone who wears contact lenses has a chance of developing eye infections or other complications with contact lenses. However, when worn and cared for according to your eye doctor’s instructions, contact lenses are low-risk and perfectly safe for children and teenagers.