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Q: At what age could my child start wearing contact lenses?

Posted January 16, 2013 in Advice Column, Ankeny

A: Today’s contact lenses are the most breathable and comfortable lenses technology has to offer. Today’s most advanced contacts are not like the contacts of even 10 years ago, let alone 20 or 30 years ago. That said, there are no set restrictions regarding contact lens wear in children. It all depends on the comfort level of the parents, the patient and the optometrist.

There are certain instances where contacts are recommended/required, such as after congenital cataract removal in infants. Other times contacts can provide clearer, more realistic, vision than what glasses can, as is the case for children who are extremely farsighted. There is even new research with special contacts to help slow or prevent the progression of nearsightedness.

Many children can be taught to handle soft contact lenses properly at a fairly young age and are even fit in infancy when a parent is taught how to care for the lenses until the child is old enough to care for them on his or her own. In addition, numerous studies have shown that contact lenses improve self-esteem and self-image, especially in adolescence. So, if you are curious about contact lenses for your child, having an open discussion between the doctor, the patient and the parents is the first step. From there, if all parties feel contacts are a good option, the best type of lenses for the patient and their situation would be fit. If you or your child wears contacts or are interested in contacts, please call us at 515-964-7541 to schedule an evaluation.

Information provided by Erik Romsdahl, Child and Family Vision Center, 2525 N. Ankeny Blvd., Suite 109, Ankeny, 964-7541.

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