The Right Age for Contacts

The Right Age For ContactsWhile some children enjoy the fashion statement of eyeglasses, others prefer their appearance without them. For young children or teens who refuse to wear their glasses, many parents are left with the plaguing question, “What is the right age for contacts?”

Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer. Physically, the eyes can tolerate contact lenses at a very young age. In rare cases, some babies are fitted with contact lenses at birth. Similarly, in a recent study that involved fitting nearsighted children ages 8 to 11 with one-day disposable contact lenses, 90 percent had no trouble applying or removing the contacts without the assistance from their parents.* The decision of whether a child is ready to wear contact lenses is directly related to their maturity, and should be determined by the parent, child and your eye care professional.

If you're considering contact lenses for your child, take a look at how they handle other responsibilities. If your child requires frequent reminders to do their everyday chores, they may not be ready for the responsibility of wearing and caring for contact lenses. On the contrary, children who dutifully handle their responsibilities may be great candidates for contact lenses.

On average, many eye care professionals begin to encourage contact lens wear between the ages of 11 to 14. Compared to adults, children develop fewer complications with contact lenses, have stronger immune systems and usually heal faster. In addition, children who want contacts instead of glasses are often more willing to adapt their schedules and follow the instructions to properly care for their lenses.

In addition to being great self-esteem builders, contact lenses are also great for student athletes. Contact lenses are not a complete substitute for sports that require protective eyewear. However, some contact lenses used for recreational use can provide better optics than eyeglasses. Compared with eyeglasses, contact lenses provide better peripheral vision, which may improve your child's athletic performance.

It's important to establish a dialogue with the parents when determining if a child is ready for contact lenses, and to remember the decision to switch from glasses to contact lenses does not need to be a permanent one. If a child does not adjust well, or is not able to handle the added responsibility of wearing and caring for their lenses, it is no problem to recommend glasses as an alternative for vision correction. Contact lenses can always be tried again when the child is older.

To determine if contact lenses are right for your child or teen, please call us to schedule an appointment! Our doctors will help you and your child make this important decision.

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

Covid-19 Update

Due to the executive order from the governor, our office will be closed to routine patients until April 13.  If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to call us at 248-628-3441 and we will do our best to assist you.  Our doctors are available to speak to you over the phone, and we also have access to tele-health visits.  Thank you.

We are here for you. We are still able to provide care on an urgent or emergency basis.

What constitutes urgent or emergency eye care?

  • Your eye is red, itchy or watering.
  • Your eye is crusty
  • Your eye is bloodshot
  • You have cloudy vision or cobwebs in your vision
  • You have new floaters or flashes of light
  • You have lost or broken your only pair of glasses
  • You have new blurred vision (with your glasses on)
  • You have new double vision.
  • You have a swollen eye.
  • You have something stuck in your eye.
  • You have new distortion in your vision.
  • You have eye pain.

Please call our office at 248-628-3441 or email info@waltonandbecker.com to talk with a technician or Doctor.