Kids and Teens: Are contact lenses suitable for young people?

According to the British Contact Lens Association, contact lenses have a very high satisfaction rate among young wearers; as high as 97% among 8 to 12-year olds and 99% among 13 to 17-year olds.

Why contact lenses are a great choice for children and teens:

  • Freedom to be active – youngsters can run around, take part in sport and play, without the worry of glasses fogging up, falling off or breaking.
  • Improved self-esteem – contact lenses can change how a young person feels about their appearance and improve their confidence socially.
  • All-round vision – greater peripheral vision enables things to be spotted out of the corner of the eye, helping to improve performance in sport and keep young drivers safe.
  • Full time vision correction – often glasses are forgotten or not worn at school which may impact on learning and performance. Especially for children with a lazy eye, squint or astigmatism (eye curved like a rugby ball) contact lenses can be an ideal correction option.
  • Replaceable – contact lenses are easier and cheaper to replace than lost or broken glasses, or to frequently update with changing prescriptions.
  • Many lenses provide added protection from ultraviolet (UV) exposure.

Is my child or teen ready for contact lenses?

There’s no minimum or maximum age for wearing contact lenses. The most important consideration is whether they are mature and motivated enough to wear and care for their lenses properly. Although wearing contact lenses involves a little more effort than wearing glasses, children can learn how to handle contact lenses easily. One study found that more than eight out of ten children and teenagers found it easy to clean and care for their lenses after three months of wearing them [1]. As a parent, you are the best judge of your child’s level of responsibility, however our contact lens practitioners can help you decide if contact lenses are right for your child and which is the most suitable lens for their needs.

Choosing the right lens

Daily disposables give young wearers maximum freedom. They are ideal for children or teenagers who don’t want to spend time cleaning their lenses, or just want to use them for sport and special occasions. You simply pop them on in the morning after washing your hands, then throw them away after each wear.
Reusable contact lenses are great for responsible young people who want to wear them most days, as they are most cost effective in the long term. They require quick nightly cleaning – ready for use the next day.
Whatever lens you and your child opt for, our Contact Lens Practitioners will ensure you are both confident about putting in, taking out, replacing and cleaning lenses.

[1] Walline JJ et al CLIP Study group. Contact lenses in Pediatrics (CLIP) Study: chair time and ocular health. Optom and Vis Sci 2007; 84:896-902.

NEW MISIGHT® CONTACT LENSES FOR MYOPIA CONTROL IN YOUNGSTERS

Myopia (short-sightedness) is a common condition that affects millions of people. The prevalence of myopia is increasing around the world as more children become myopic at a younger age₁. It is estimated that by 2050 approximately 50% of the world’s population will be myopic₂.

Myopia means your child will need to wear spectacles or contact lenses to see clearly at school and for sports and they will be at increased risk of ocular health conditions later in life₃. Children are three times more likely to become myopic if they have a myopic parent and up to seven times more likely if both parents are myopic.

Children who spend less time outdoors are also more at risk. Performing prolonged near tasks such as reading/gaming devices, low levels of outdoor activity₄,₅ and poor lighting levels can all contribute to myopia progression.

So, what can you do to help reduce the risk of Myopic progression in your child?

The first and simplest thing that can done is to ensure that your child undertakes outdoor activities on a regular basis.

The second thing that may help is to use contact lenses that are specifically designed to try minimalize Myopic Progression, such as Misight ®. This innovative range of daily (single use) contact lenses have been shown to reduce Myopic progression in children by 59% on average, reducing their reliance on vision correction₆,#.

For more information and guidance about the risks of myopia and myopia management please speak to your Haine & Smith Contact Lens Practitioner

₁McCullough SJ, O’Donoghue L, Saunders KJ (2016) Six Year Refractive Change among White Children and Young Adults: Evidence for Significant Increase in Myopia among White UK Children. PLoS ONE 11(1) ₂ Holden BA, Fricke TR, Wilson DA, et al. Global Prevalence of Myopia and Hgh Myopia and Temporal Trends from 2000 through 2050. Ophthalmology 2016:123(5):1036-1042 ₃ Flitcroft DI. The complex interactions of retinal, optical and environmental factors in myopia aetiology. Prog Retin Eye Res. 2012;31:622-60. ₄ Wolffesohn JS, Calossi A, Cho P, et al. Global trends in Myopia Management Attitudes and Strategies in Clinical practice. Cont Lens Anterior Eye. 2016: 39:106-16 ₅ Rose KA, Morgan IG, et al. Outdoor Activity Reduces the Prevalence of Myopia in Children. Ophthalmology 2008;115:1279-1285 ₆ Chamberlain P, Back A, Lazon P, et al. 3 Year Effectiveness of a Dual Focus 1 Day Soft Contact Lens For Myopia Control. Presented at the 40th British Contact Lens Association Clinical Conference and exhibition, 10 June 2017; Liverpool, UK. # Misight® 1 day contact lenses may not slow the rate of myopic progression in all children and will not cure Myopia