Eye Wonder: At what age can kids start wearing contacts?
I don’t have an age limit for contact lenses, because every child is different. I have patients ages 8-10 who do great in contacts and are able to take care of them all by themselves. Contact lenses are medical devices, though, and do need to be worn properly. If not removed, cleaned, and changed as directed, an eye infection may occur. However, advances in contact lens materials have made them easier to care for and healthier for the eye. In fact, one great option is a daily disposable lens that is thrown away at the end of each day- no cleaning needed! I think with anything, it is important to balance risk with benefit. I consider contacts to be low risk with high benefits. Contact lenses can be great option for kids, especially those active in sports, gymnastics, martial arts, or dance. Soft contact lenses rarely fall out or get debris under the lens. They provide for more stable vision with better peripheral vision. In many cases, they even provide a much better optical solution than glasses if the child has a very large prescription or a large difference in prescription between the two eyes. Also, recent studies have shown children achieve better self-esteem when given a contact lens wearing option. The biggest measure of whether a child will succeed is their motivation level. If the child really wants the contact lenses, they will do well. If you would like to see if contact lenses are an option for your child, call our office today so we may set up a consult!
-Dr. Rachel Merriman