Is Your Teenager Ready For Contact Lenses?

“Mom, I want contact lenses.” If you haven’t already heard this, chances are you will eventually as your glasses-wearing child ages. While they are quite common, there are some important considerations to make before allowing your teen to wear contact lenses.

Basics of Contact lenses

Contact lenses are medical devices that must be prescribed by an eye care professional. The type and  specific brand of lenses prescribed vary by patient. There are four types of contact lenses: Soft, Rigid gas permeable (RGP), Hard, and Hybrid lenses. Soft lenses are the most common lenses worn that cover the entire cornea. Oxygen permeable lenses are rigid and are used to correct presbyopia and high astigmatism. Hard lenses are quite rare today but are rigid and do not transmit oxygen to the eye. Hybrid contact lenses have an optical center with the same rigid material as Oxygen permeable lenses but the surrounding lens is made of soft lenses material.

Contact lenses come in different disposable intervals, which include, daily, monthly or bi-annual contacts.

Teens and Contact lenses

Most people can wear contact lenses successfully but the trick is knowing how to properly take care of them. These are situations you should be aware of before letting your teen use contact lenses:

  1. Your teen has to realize that inserting a lens into the eye is not as easy as it appears and that it will take a while for the eyes to become accustomed to the insertion and removal process.
  2. Your teen has to remember to take off his or her contact lenses before taking a nap.
  3. Wearing contacts in the pool, shower and hot tub can increase the risks of developing Acanthamoeba Keratitis, which is an infection cause by an amoeba that is found in water. This is an infection that can cause vision loss or require a corneal transplant if not treated properly.
  4. Contact lenses make playing sports easier, but protective eye wear should also be worn to prevent UV damage and sport-related injuries.

After educating your teen about the pros and cons of contact lenses, you can proceed to the next step by visiting an eye doctor.  It’s a good idea to let your teens have a trial run to prove that they are responsible enough to wear contact lenses. The doctor can help you decide what kind of contacts to get and how to take care of them properly.

If you are ready to let your teen wear contact lenses, visit the Raleigh Eye Center to make an appointment.