Contact Lens Exam at Eye Mechanix
Some parents may deny their teens’ requests for purchasing contact lenses, thinking they’re too young. So it may come as a surprise to hear that the FDA deems it safe for children as young as 8 to wear certain types of contact lenses. Caring for and inserting contacts requires some maturity, and each parent must decide if their child is prepared for that level of responsibility. If your child is interested in wearing contact lenses, Dr. Randall Ricketts can guide both you and your child down the path to achieving clear and comfortable ‘glasses-free’ vision.
What Makes a Teen Ready For Contact Lenses?
Before deciding whether your teen is ready to wear contacts, consider the following:
Maintaining proper hygiene is crucial for contact lens wearers of all ages. They must thoroughly wash their hands before they insert, remove or clean their lenses. Furthermore, contact lenses are in constant contact with protein molecules in the tears, which leads to protein buildup on the lens surface. This can cause the eyes to feel irritated and itchy, and even cause an infection. Examine your teen’s personal hygiene habits, and discuss the importance of caring for lenses properly and safely.
Adherence to Recommended Wear Time
One of the biggest causes of eye infection in those who wear contact lenses is overuse. Your teen must be able to understand and follow the recommended wearing schedule. If wearing a bi-weekly or monthly disposable lens, they would need to keep track of when to discard the current pair of lenses and open a new pair. Additionally, wearing contacts longer than recommended (such as overnight) can deprive the eyes of oxygen, which can lead to corneal damage.
Daily disposable contact lenses are a great choice for first-time contact lens wearers since users discard them daily, after each use, and don’t need to clean the lenses.
Pre-Existing Eye Conditions
If your child has allergies, dry eye, frequent bouts of pink eye or eye infections, speak with Dr. Randall Ricketts to determine whether contact lenses might increase their risk of these conditions.
Why Some Teens Prefer Contact Lenses
Contact lenses offer various benefits that your teen doesn’t experience with glasses. Someone who wears glasses may think twice before participating in some physical activities or sports for fear of losing or damaging their glasses. If your teen enjoys sports or outdoor activities, wearing contact lenses can relieve this fear.
Additionally, contact lenses provide clear peripheral vision, while glasses do not. In some cases of a teen or child with a very high prescription, contact lenses can offer clearer and more natural vision than standard glasses. Soft contact lenses are suitable for a wide range of prescriptions and astigmatisms and could be a great choice for your teen.
Moreover, eyewear — or lack thereof — is an essential part of a teen’s image and personal style. Most teens like the idea of having the option to wear either glasses or contacts.
If you think your teen is ready for contact lenses, we’d be happy to help them find the perfect pair for their individual lifestyle and visual needs. At Eye Mechanix, we offer a wide variety of frames and contact lenses, so that every teen who comes to us leaves with eyewear that makes them feel confident while offering them the clearest and most comfortable vision possible.
- A: Many contact lens manufacturers are now producing “daily” disposable contact lenses. These are lenses that are inserted in the morning and thrown away at night. This style of contact lens wear is both convenient and healthy. With these lenses, patients buy less solutions and don’t have to keep up with how old their lenses are and when to change them. Daily disposables are also beneficial in causing less allergy and dryness while reducing the risks of infection. Daily lenses are now offered in all types of prescriptions from distance vision to astigmatism and multifocal/bifocal prescriptions.
- A: Generally, we do not recommend sleeping in contact lenses on a regular or prolonged basis. The eye is a dark, warm place while you are sleeping. Bacteria thrive in dark, warm places. There are contact lenses FDA approved to sleep in, but they should always be removed and thoroughly disinfected every week.
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