The Right Age for Contacts

Parents spend many years looking forward to a time when their children will be more independent. It’s difficult to care for one or more little people and still care for yourself! When children start growing into teenagers and young adults, parents often agonize over when their children are ready for these newer and greater responsibilities. One question we are often asked is, “What is the right age for contacts?”

As you can imagine, there is no definitive answer. It depends on the child. Physically, even young children are able to wear contacts, but are not ready to handle the responsibility of proper eye care. Some babies can wear contact lenses from birth as part of a treatment plan or vision correction process. Many elementary and middle school children have to continue developing to understand and practice proper procedures, but a surprising number can perform the tasks without incident.

Can Children Learn to Use Contact Lenses?

When studied, 90 percent of children in a group of eight to 11 year olds were able to use daily disposable contact lenses with little to no trouble.* Even though many parents won’t consider contact lenses for their children until they are teenagers, clearly younger children can learn proper hygiene and usage of contact lenses.

If you are considering contact lenses for your child, talk to Dr. Fries and Dr. Zimmerman about how they handle other responsibilities. Does he or she need regular reminders to wash their hands, close doors or containers, or to provide other kinds of self-care? If yes, your child may need some more time before learning how to use contact lenses. If you feel your child is mature enough to complete everyday self-care tasks, remembers to wash their hands, and will practice putting lenses in and taking them out carefully, they may be ready to try.

Why Should Children Try Contact Lenses?

On average, many eye care professionals begin to encourage contact lens wear between the ages of 11 and 14. Not everyone enjoys wearing contacts, but it’s a good idea to let children try. By giving them an opportunity to try contacts early, they are more likely to build the skills needed to place and remove contacts with ease. Adults who try contact lenses later in life are still capable of learning, but often take extra time and don’t enjoy the novelty of contact lenses like younger patients do.

Still, some patients always prefer to wear glasses no matter their age, and that’s okay! Having options is great, so we are more than happy to help your child learn about wearing contact lenses. If you would like to speak with someone about getting contact lenses for your child, contact us for a consultation. We can provide information on getting an exam, lens fitting, and follow-up to be sure you and your child are happy with the new eyewear.

If you would like to learn more, please call us at 740-335-2020 to schedule an appointment!

*”Daily disposable contact lens wear in myopic children.” Optometry and Vision Science. Vol. 81, No. 4 (April 2004); pp. 255-259.

ATTENTION:

I finally have some good news to share. After receiving guidance form the CDC, the governor, and the American and Ohio Optometric Associations we will be reopening for all services next Monday, May 4. We will be implementing several new policies and procedures to keep everyone safe.

OUR NEW POLICIES
Beginning Monday, Both Optique Family Vision Care locations will be back open for all eye care services.

While we are pleased to be able to resume providing comprehensive eye health and vision care to our patients, we have put a few new policies and protocols in place to help continue to slow the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and protect the health and safety of both our staff and our patients.

* Personal Protective Equipment will continue to be worn by all doctors and staff.
* We will continue thorough hand washing and disinfecting throughout the office.
* We will continue to provide curbside dispensing of glasses and other materials.
* (Free) Mail delivery of contact lens orders.
* Reduced appointment scheduling to limit patient-to-patient interaction.
* Requiring ‘Patient only’ appointments, asking patients to come by his or herself (or limiting minors to one parent or guardian).
* Requiring patients to wear a mask to his or her visit .
* Continued initial screening of patients before they are seen to reduce exposure risk.

We ask for continued patience and understanding as we apply these new protocols to provide the best and safest care for you and our staff.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

Sincerely,

Dr. Fries