There are many advantages to wearing contact lenses. Contact lenses can often provide vision that is nearly as good (and sometimes even better!) than the vision that patients achieve through their glasses alone. While inserting and removing contact lenses might come more naturally to some patients, anyone can learn to use contact lenses and care for them properly.
Our doctors are often asked what the best age is to learn to wear contact lenses. While some children with very large glasses prescriptions are fit in contacts when they are young, this is more out of necessity than to give them an advantage in sports. The average age to start wearing contact lenses is about twelve, though there is some variability on both sides of that figure. As Dr. Brian Abert, O.D., FAAO tells his patients, “We have patients who wear contacts at 8 years old that do great, and some patients who are 40 that shouldn’t wear contacts at all.”
What is most important is that the patient (with or without the help of their parents) take care of their contacts and their eyes as directed for their best vision and eye health. First off, re-usable contact lenses should be cleaned each day using one of several different cleaning regimens (which your doctor will go over with you and your child). If you are using daily disposable lenses, then the lenses don’t need to be cleaned – just toss them at the end of the day! Contact lenses should never be slept in. Sleeping in your contact lenses, also called “extended wear” greatly increases your chances of getting a corneal ulcer. Because of infection risks, contact lenses should be not be used around pool water, and should be changed as directed.
Knowing how to insert and remove contact lenses is important for all new contact lens wearers, and we will teach your child how to insert and remove the lenses before they take their lenses home to try. After trying the lenses for 1-2 weeks, we ask that you and your child return for a contact lens follow-up appointment. At that appointment, we will check the health of the eyes, the vision with the contact lenses in place, the fit of the lenses on the eyes, and chat with the child and parent about how the contact lenses are doing. Are there any comfort issues? Are there any vision issues? Do the contacts work well in the context of school and sports? Our doctors will iron out any issues that your child might be having at their contact lens follow-up before you purchase their lenses to make sure they are in a great position to have their contacts work great!
Contact lenses are a fun and exciting opportunity for your child. Please ask you eye doctor to discuss contact lenses at your child’s next annual comprehensive eye and vision exam. Feel free to call us to schedule your child’s annual eye check-up at (303) 450-2020, or use the button below to schedule online!
Advantage to Contact Lenses
- Greater vision when playing sports
- Sunglasses can be non-power (plano)
- Increased peripheral vision
- No issues with fogging glasses lenses
- High-prescription lenses can be heavy in glasses
- Unlike glasses, contact lenses are harder to lose since they remain in the eye
Responsibilities Needed to Wear Contact Lenses
- Daily cleaning of the lenses (if wearing re-useable lenses)
- Never sleep in lenses
- Do not use contact lenses in or around pool water
- Replace lenses as directed
- Know how to remove and insert the contact lenses