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Is Your Teen Ready for Contacts?

August 1 2021

Is your teenager asking for contacts? These can be tricky waters to navigate. Contacts are very popular with teens. In fact, there are over 4 million contacts wearers under the age of 18. However, it’s important to realize that contacts are medical devices, not fashion accessories. Using them improperly can lead to serious ramifications, up to and including vision loss. A Marysville, WA eye doctor offers some advice on this below.

Timing

Kids all mature differently, so there’s no one specific age when contacts become appropriate. Keep in mind that the teen years are a difficult, turbulent time for many. Even responsible kids can get careless or make impulsive decisions. Our advice? Consider your teen’s overall behavior and level of maturity. If you constantly have to remind them to clean their room or do their homework, you’ll need to closely monitor their contact care as well.

Benefits

Contacts do have some clear benefits over glasses. For one thing, teens often feel more confident with contacts than glasses. Contacts are also a great option for kids that are involved in sports. Plus, they offer better peripheral vision than glasses, which is helpful for driving. Finally, they also can be quite budget-friendly.

Risks

This really is the big concern. Improper use can cause serious–and sometimes permanent–eye damage. Leaving lenses in too long, failing to clean them properly, and using them beyond their expiration date are all very dangerous … and are exactly the types of things a careless teen might do.

Colored Contacts

Teens often love the idea of changing their eye color. It’s fun to play with styles and looks this way. You may find colored contacts sold as fashion accessories in stores, but be careful: these may not be safe. Only purchase eyewear through licensed eye care professionals.

Dailies

Daily disposables can be a great option for teens. These are thrown away daily, so you don’t have to worry about cleaning or storing them. Plus, your child’s eyes will be able to breathe naturally at night, which is very important.

Tips

At the end of the day, choosing whether or not to get your teen contacts is a big decision, and one to think carefully about. Ask your eye doctor for specific information, including details on benefits and risks, types of contacts, and pros and cons of contacts vs. glasses.

Advice on Whether Your Teen Is Ready for Contacts in 2024

What specific criteria should parents use to determine if their teenager is mature enough to handle the responsibility of wearing contacts?

Parents should assess several criteria to gauge their teenager’s readiness for contacts. Consider their level of responsibility in daily tasks like homework and room cleaning. Evaluate their ability to follow instructions consistently. Assess their understanding of hygiene practices and their willingness to adhere to a contact lens care routine. Furthermore, observe their commitment to safety precautions in other activities. Maturity in handling these responsibilities indicates readiness to manage the responsibility of wearing contacts safely and effectively. Consulting with an eye care professional can provide tailored advice based on individual circumstances.

Are there any medical conditions or eye health issues that may prevent a teenager from being a good candidate for contact lenses?

Certain medical conditions or eye health issues may affect a teenager’s suitability for contact lenses. Conditions such as severe allergies or dry eye syndrome can make wearing contacts uncomfortable or impractical. Chronic eye infections, frequent eye rubbing, or a history of corneal ulcers may pose risks with contact lens use. Additionally, disorders like keratoconus, where the cornea becomes thin and irregularly shaped, require specialized contact lenses or may contraindicate lens wear altogether. Consulting with an eye care professional is crucial to evaluate individual circumstances and determine if contact lenses are appropriate for a teenager with specific medical considerations.

How often should teenagers have their eyes examined when wearing contacts?

Teenagers wearing contacts should have their eyes examined annually or as recommended by their eye care provider. Regular exams ensure early detection of any issues related to contact lens wear, such as dryness, irritation, or changes in prescription. This frequency allows adjustments in lens type or care routine to maintain eye health and comfort. Annual visits also monitor overall eye health, addressing any emerging conditions promptly. Adolescents should follow their optometrist’s guidance closely to ensure optimal vision and safety while wearing contacts.

What are the proper hygiene and care procedures for contact lenses?

Proper hygiene and care procedures for contact lenses are crucial to prevent eye infections and ensure comfort. Wash hands thoroughly before handling lenses. Clean lenses daily with recommended solution, rubbing gently to remove debris. Store lenses in a clean case filled with fresh solution, replacing the case regularly. Avoid water exposure, including swimming or showering with lenses. Remove lenses before bedtime unless they are approved for extended wear. Regularly replace lenses and adhere strictly to recommended wearing schedules. Follow these practices diligently to maintain clear vision and minimize risks associated with contact lens wear.

What should teenagers do if they experience any discomfort, irritation, or vision problems while wearing contacts?

If teenagers experience discomfort, irritation, or vision problems while wearing contacts, they should promptly remove the lenses and inspect them for damage or debris. Clean and rinse the lenses thoroughly before reinserting. If discomfort persists, switch to glasses and consult with an eye care professional immediately. Avoid wearing contacts until the issue is resolved to prevent further irritation or infection. Any sudden changes in vision, persistent redness, or pain should be addressed promptly by scheduling an urgent eye exam. Early intervention can prevent complications and ensure continued eye health while wearing contacts.

Do you need eyewear? Contact us, your Marysville, WA vision care center, today!

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