What You Need to Know When Considering Contact Lenses for Your Teen

If your teen has just been diagnosed with nearsightedness, he or she may request contacts instead of glasses. Additionally, a teen that has been wearing glasses for a few years may now decide that contact lenses would be a better choice. As a parent, there are a few things you'll want to know before opting to have your child fitted for contact lenses. 

Is the Teen Responsible?

Age isn't really a factor, as even babies who have had cataract surgery are prescribed contact lenses. Instead, parents need to look at their child's character. Is the teen able to handle the responsibility of cleaning the lenses properly, putting them in each morning while following proper hygiene practices, and taking them out faithfully each night and storing them safely in their designated case?

Does Your Child Play Sports?

Perhaps your teen enjoys wearing glasses for everyday tasks but finds them a hindrance when playing football or basketball. According to the Contact Lens Manufacturers Association, wearing glasses while participating in sports can be dangerous, as the glasses can break and cause an injury. The organization goes on to point out that contact lenses allow for better peripheral vision, which will result in better play. 

Does Your Teen Lack Self-Esteem?

The teenage years can be rough, and some children get picked on for wearing glasses, being called such names as "four-eyes." Allowing your teen to begin wearing contact lenses may add the boost of confidence he or she needs to make new friends and pursue a few additional activities that they may not have felt comfortable trying before. 

Is There a Best Type of Contact Lens for Your Child?

If you decide that contacts are appropriate for your child, your optometrist will go over all of the possible options with you and your teen so you can find the perfect match. There are disposable lenses that can be tossed at the end of each day, soft contact lenses that may be reused for two weeks before a new pair is needed, and gas-permeable (GP) contacts that are made of a plastic that allows oxygen to reach the cornea. 

If you're unsure as to whether your teen will thrive with a pair of contacts instead of glasses, discuss the possibility of a trial period with the optometrist. Should your teen prove responsible and enjoy wearing the lenses, then the doctor can authorize a long-term prescription. There's always the option of returning to the glasses later on down the road if need be. 

Visit a professional such as Glacier Eye Clinic for more information.