Many kids are expressing interest in wearing contact lenses for a variety of good reasons. Statistics show that over 4 million children under the age of 18 are wearing contact lenses. Some of these children are suffering from eye conditions at birth like congenital cataracts which have necessitated the fitting of contacts. A child’s eyes can tolerate contact lenses from a very young age. It is therefore not surprising that 8-year-olds are being fitted with one-day disposable daily contact lenses.
The greatest concern for a parent is whether a child has the maturity to handle contact lenses responsibly despite his or her age. Fortunately, 90% of kids have no problem with applying or removing the contacts without assistance from parents.
- Kids are unlikely to suffer from dry eyes which is a common problem that adults who wear contact lenses face. Dry eyes in adults can result in lens-related conditions. One of the reasons why children are unlikely to suffer from dry eyes is that they are quick to follow doctor’s instructions to the letter unlike adults.
- Contacts are great for children who participate in sports. One, unlike glasses, you will not be worried about the frames breaking and causing possible eye injury. In addition, the lenses fitted on sport eyeglasses can fog up during activities blurring the vision and affecting performance. Sport contact lenses give an unobstructed view of the field which enhances your child’s performance. Furthermore, contact lenses remain stable on your child’s eyes as they run for more accurate and stable vision.
- Contact lenses also help to build self-esteem. Most children as self-conscious of wearing eyeglasses and probably don’t like how they look in glasses. Contact lenses help to rectify this situation by improving how a child feels about his or her appearance and elevates their self-confidence.
- Contact lenses help to control nearsightedness. Gas permeable contact lenses and multi-focal soft contacts have a specific design that can control the amount of myopia control in many nearsighted children. There is also a new and modified method of fitting rigid gas permeable contact lenses that has been proven successful in reversing existing nearsightedness in myopic children.
- If your child is not mature enough to handle contacts, it can cause them eye infections.
How to tell if your child is ready for contacts
Children as young as 8 years can handle contacts responsibly. If you are thinking of having your child fitted with contact lenses, observe how she handles other responsibilities, her grooming habits, cleanliness of the bathroom and bedroom and generally how she responds to tasks you give her. If you keep reminding your child to keep things clean and be responsible then she might not be ready for contact lenses. If she does take responsibility, she is ready for contacts.
Contact lenses are not a matter of age but maturity. Eye specialists recommend them for children above 12 years but if your 8 year old is responsible enough, you can have her fitted with contacts.