A: There are three basic reasons that children and teens begin wearing contact lenses.
- They want to see clearly without wearing eyeglasses.
- They want to improve their eyesight.
- Their visual diseases or abnormalities (usually in newborns and infants) require contact lenses.
When contact lens wear is elective we find that usually by age 6 your child is able to understand what is needed when it comes to insertion, removal and care of the contact lenses. Often we train the parent or caregiver as well so that in the beginning the child has assistance when needed.
For those children and teens who may be genetically predisposed to having poor eyesight or are already wearing glasses that keep increasing in strength and thickness, there is a contact lens procedure that not only improves vision, but in fact will reverse the progression of myopia and allow them to clearly see all day without contacts or glasses called Orthokeratology (OrthoK).
Children with certain eye disease or abnormalities can begin lens wear as newborns. Parents are taught to insert and remove lenses. Some young children have a rather large prescription needed in one eye only. Glasses do not work in those cases and a contact lens on one eye is a great choice to ensure the two eyes work well together.
Whether we are preventing progression of nearsightedness or astigmatism or just making the world clearer and more panoramic,the benefit to children and teens is dramatic. There is no reason to postpone getting contacts because of age.
Dr. Stephen Rozenberg