Maintaining the health of your child’s eyes is extremely important. You want to make the right decision when it comes to looking after their eyesight. The main thing to remember is that every child is different, and it’s crucial to understand what they need from their perspective before making a decision. At Petersfield Eyecare, we’re more than happy to provide you with all the information you’ll need.
When Can My Child Start Wearing Contact Lenses?
Children’s eyes are able to cope with wearing contact lenses, even from a young age. From the age of 8 years old, a child can put in, wear and remove their own contact lenses. In a recent study of 8-11 year olds, 90% of those taking part didn’t need any help with managing their own contact lenses. However, this is all dependent on the individual child.
You can judge whether your child’s ready for the responsibility of managing their own contact lenses based on their ability manage other responsibilities, such as homework, keeping their room tidy and personal grooming. If they’re capable of these things independently, they’re most likely ready for the responsibility of contact lenses.
Children can wear contact lenses from any age.
From a medical point of view, there’s no reason why children cannot wear contact lenses. Even infants are sometimes fitted with contact lenses as result of eye conditions at birth, such as congenital cataracts. The British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) state that 97% of 8-12 year olds, and 99% of 13-17 year olds, who wear contact lenses are satisfied with them.
Are Contact Lenses Safe For My Children?
Contact lenses are safe for children to use. Providing that your child receives proper education on how to wear and look after their contact lenses, this will ensure the health of their eyes and vision. Common eye conditions, such as dry eyes, that adults are susceptible to developing whilst wearing contact lenses, are less likely to affect children.
Depending on your child’s requirements for their eyes, a specialist will be able to guide you towards the right contact lenses for your child. Visit us in branch to see what’s best for your child.
What Are The Benefits For Children To Wear Contact Lenses?
There are many benefits for children who wear contact lenses. As long as the correct instruction is provided, younger children are often quicker at adapting than adults who choose contact lenses later in life. This means that applying and removing contact lenses becomes a part of a child’s daily routine.
By wearing contact lenses, children do not have to wear glasses. Contact lenses provide a better quality of vision and do not interrupt a child’s peripheral vision either. By not having to wear glasses, children often feel more confident and eager to join in.
Contact Lenses and Sport
For children at school, playing sport is often an integral part of their education. Children who wear glasses can sometimes feel nervous about getting fully involved in sport in case they experience any difficulties. For example, their glasses fogging up and clouding their vision, or falling over and breaking their glasses.
Wearing contact lenses can eliminate some of these issues for children who are playing sport. Contact lenses are safer as there’s no danger of them breaking during contact sport, or when falling over. They won’t fog up, and they allow for better peripheral vision as they don’t obstruct the field of view.
Hygiene and Children’s Contact Lenses
Early education on how to look after contact lenses is key to ensuring the hygiene of your child’s contact lenses and, as a result, their eyes.
There are basic rules which apply to all contact lens wearers:
- Never share/swap your contact lenses with anyone else
- When cleaning your contact lenses, never use saliva/tap water/homemade non-sterile saline solution
- Only apply makeup after the contact lenses are in your eye
- Only use hypoallergenic skin products
Contact Lenses and Self-Confidence
It’s common for children to feel self-conscious whilst wearing glasses. This can lead to nervousness, particularly amongst their peers. Wearing contact lenses means that they can feel more comfortable and confident whilst out and about. Also, if contact lenses just don’t work for your child, it’s easy to revert back to wearing glasses again. When surveyed, 71.2% of children between the ages of 8 and 12, and 78.5% of teenagers, said that they feel more comfortable wearing contact lenses than glasses.
Ortho-K lenses are specially designed lenses that are worn only at night. They remove the need to wear contact lenses during the daytime. Ortho-K lenses can provide a solution for children with myopia (short-nearsightedness) and will provide perfect vision which lasts all day.
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