You may already know if you’re shortsighted, longsighted or if you have astigmatism, the three most common vision issues that come to light when you’re young.
For now, put aside the idea of laser eye (or refractive) surgery. It’s something to consider when you’re in your twenties. Glasses may still be your best option. If you feel that you’re ready for contact lenses, talk to your parents. However, your parents and your eye care professional may decide that it’s best for you to wait. Your eyes will continue to change throughout your lifetime, so contact lenses may be an appropriate solution in the future.
Ready for Contact Lenses?
If corrective lenses are needed, it’s also a matter of determining if you’re “ready” for contacts. This may not be based on any sort of age guidelines – only your willingness to care for and wear lenses properly. If you feel you will be able to responsibly wear and care for your lenses, then talk to your parents about setting up an appointment with your eye care professional to discuss options. It’s up to you and your parents and your eye care professional to determine if you’re ready for this responsibility.
Special Note for Parents
Together with your eye care practitioner, you are the most qualified person to judge your teen’s readiness for contact lenses. For information about contact lens care, the kinds of contact lenses available, the cost of lenses compared to glasses and the things your teen will need to do to wear contact lenses in the healthiest way see our parents’ guide to contact lenses.
Parents Guide to Contact Lenses
This guide is designed to help answer your questions about your teenager wearing contact lenses.
How do I know when my child is ready for contact lenses?
There’s no “right age” to begin wearing contact lenses. It’s more about your child’s level of responsibility. If you feel your child can responsibly care for lenses, then they’re ready. If your teen is talking about contacts, and generally likes to try new things, that indicates they will probably have success with contact lenses. Sports and extracurricular activities are also good indicators of being able to follow a routine.
If you still need help determining whether your child is ready for contact lenses, talk to your eye care professional.
Vision correction options
Contact lenses are designed for a variety of vision correction needs – from shortsightedness (myopia) and longsightedness (hyperopia), to more advanced needs like astigmatism. While they’re all designed to improve vision, there are differences – in optics, materials, and replacement schedules.
Some contact lenses even have enhanced optics to reduce the effects of spherical aberration, a natural occurrence that can cause halos and glares around lights at night. The optical design of your child’s lens will depend on his or her vision correction needs and how the lenses will be used.
What about younger-aged children?
There are many lens attributes to consider when deciding on a contact lens for your teenager. Your child’s eye care professional will take a number of factors into consideration when determining the right lens for your child, including:
- Ease of insertion/removal
- Lens strength to resist damage
- Ability to resist build-up over time
Lenses are also designed for specific wearing times. Depending on what’s best for your child, your eye care professional may recommend a lens that’s worn for one day (daily disposable), or one that’s designed for one month of daily wear.