According to a study by the American Optometric Association, eye doctors’ attitudes have shifted regarding fitting children in contact lenses. More than half of optometrists now feel it is appropriate to introduce a child to soft contact lenses between the ages of 10-12, with daily disposable contact lenses being the most frequently prescribed contacts for this age group.
“Studies in children’s vision correction confirm that contacts provide [many] benefits to children beyond simply correcting their vision, including significantly improving how they feel about their physical appearance, acceptance among friends, and ability to play sports, so it’s no surprise that optometrists and parents are becoming even more comfortable with the decision to recommend contact lenses to children when vision correction is required.”
At our office, we have fit contact lenses in children as young as seven years old. Of course, this required more responsibility from the parents than than the child. Daily disposable lenses lower the risk and complications of contact lens wear by allowing for a new sterile lens everyday. Daily disposables are the cleanest, safest, healthiest and most comfortable way to wear contacts.
In our practice, the most common age to begin contact lens wear is between 12 and 13 years old. Obviously for many children there is significant social motivation to get out of glasses. And for parents, around this age they see their child becoming more responsible.
According to the study, many parents are interested in contact lenses for their kids because the children simply do not wear their glasses during school. While I do appreciate this motivation, I am hesitant to fit a child who doesn’t understand the importance of vision correction. Contact lens wear has to be taken seriously, and I always like to see a child grasp what we are trying to do. I don’t want someone to take vision correction for granted and not respect the potential harm of contact lenses.
Of course, if you think your child is ready for contact lenses, please bring them in for a comprehensive eye exam and a contact lens evaluation. At Clarin Eye Care we are family friendly and can’t wait to share this big moment in your child’s life.
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