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At What Age Can Children Wear Contacts?

What Parents Need to Know

One of the most common questions that eye care professionals hear from parents is, "When is it appropriate for children to start wearing contact lenses?"


Contact lens wear is not a matter of age. Many infants and toddlers wear them; some teenagers shouldn't. In other words, every case is different. Here are a few things you should know to help you decide whether contacts are a good idea for your own children:

Some contact lenses can slow the progression of nearsightedness.

Several studies have shown that specially designed GP lenses used for overnight orthokeratology can slow down eye growth. It's the growth of the eye that results in progressively increasing myopia (nearsighteness).

For more details on the exciting research about orthokeratology, or "ortho-k," read our article about myopia control.

Contact lenses are better for sports activities.

Even if your child is wearing polycarbonate eyeglass lenses, if the frame breaks, it too can cause injury. With contacts, he or she can wear protective goggles. Your child will also have better peripheral (side) vision, for better awareness and performance.

And if your child is using ortho-k contact lenses — the same lenses just mentioned for myopia control — they'll have an added advantage in sports. Even though ortho-k lenses are worn only while sleeping, they provide crisp vision during the day when they're not being worn. So your child won't have to worry about losing a lens, or getting dust between the lens and the eye, while playing sports.

Some contacts are a better value than others.

Unlike soft contacts, GP lenses are made of a firm plastic material that retains its shape. This means they're easy to clean without tearing or scratching, and they generally last longer than soft contacts or glasses.

Source: contactlenses

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