Most parents think the only vision correction option for their child is glasses because their kid is too young for contacts. But that's just one of the many myths surrounding kids and contacts. Read on to find out the rest.
If your child requires vision correction, glasses are most likely the first choice both you and your optometrist will recommend to them. But what if your child hates them or finds them inconvenient for the sports they play or the activities they do? What if your child is always breaking them or getting them dirty?
You might think there's no other option, but studies have shown that kids who are below the age of 12 actually report better vision-related quality of life when using and wearing contacts compared to eyeglasses.
Here are some of the other surprising truths about kids and contacts and the corresponding myths that have made us think for too long that they're not a viable vision correction option for our children.
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The Top Myths and Surprising Truths About Kids Wearing Contact Lenses
For whatever reason, most of us have conditioned ourselves to think that children are simply too young for contacts, and they shouldn't be contemplated until our kids reach their teens. But that truly isn't the case or something that is rooted in research. Here are some of the most common myths surrounding kids wearing contacts, and the actual truth about each one.
Myth #1: My child's prescription needs to be stable before getting fitted with contacts
Truth: A child's prescription does not need to be stable before fitting them with contact lenses. True, as your kid grows, their prescription will likely change. But the majority of children who wear contact lenses wear daily disposable soft lenses that are discarded each day. Once their prescription changes, you can simply change your next order of contacts to reflect their updated prescription.
Myth #2: Children can't handle putting in and taking out contact lenses
Truth: Studies have shown that children as young as eight can successfully handle contact lenses, including putting them in and taking them out. So long as they're provided proper instruction, kids can easily learn to put in and remove their contacts. One recent study found that, on average, it takes about 30 minutes to teach a child to do this. Which is roughly the same time it takes to teach an adult.
Myth #3: Contact lenses will be too expensive
Truth: In the long run, contact lenses for your child may not be any more expensive than glasses. That's because, as we touched on earlier, any changes to their prescription can easily be rectified by ordering a new supply of contacts that match their current one. That's not the case when it comes to glasses. You would have to order a new pair of lenses every time their prescription gets updated. Plus, glasses can easily get broken or damaged when in the care of kids, necessitating further expense in the form of repairs or replacements.
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Myth #4: But my kid is just too young for contacts
Truth: The fact of the matter is, any child can be fitted with contact lenses. Newborns that are only a few weeks old have been fitted with contacts to help improve their visual development after undergoing cataract surgery or other procedures. Kids as young as eight have been shown to be very proficient and successful contact lens wearers, provided they've received the proper guidance.
Myth #5: Honestly, my kid won't be able to take care of their contacts
Truth: While you know your child best, contact lenses are actually pretty easy to take care of, and children are just as capable of caring for them as adults are. If your kid is having trouble following the hygiene protocols that accompany contacts, such as storing and washing them properly, you can always consider daily disposables to cut down on the care requirements they need to know and follow.
Myth #6: Kids are more likely to suffer from complications related to contact lens wear than adults
Truth: Complications related to contact lens wear, such as eye infections, are not any more prevalent in kids who wear them than adults who do. So long as the child and their parents follow their optometrist's instructions regarding hygiene and scheduled wearing and replacement times, the chances of a complication due to contact lens wear is greatly minimized.
As we've shown, the generally accepted myths about contacts and kids are just that. Myths. While contacts can not entirely replace your child's eyeglasses due to wearing time restrictions (teens are not allowed to wear theirs for more than 12 hours) and other specific circumstances or situations, they can easily and responsibly be worn by children who are as young as eight.
If you would like to know more about getting contact lenses for your child, be sure to contact us today. We can help fit them with the proper prescription and pair, so they can see clearly and comfortably while doing their favourite activities.
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If you need a comprehensive eye exam in Calgary or Three Hills, My Optometrist Calgary has you covered with our advanced eye care. Contact one of our My Optometrist Calgary eye clinics at either 403-256-0606 (Health First Optometry), 403-291-0923 (Sunridge Vision Centre), or 403-443-2040 (Three Hills Optometry) and book your appointment today. Our eye specialists are looking forward to helping you in a COVID-19 safe way!