Best Contact Lenses for Teens and Children: Benefits and Tips

Many teenagers and children experience vision problems that can be corrected with eyeglasses or contact lenses. While glasses are a tried-and-true method, contact lenses offer a distinct alternative for young people. 

Beyond correcting vision, contact lenses can provide significant advantages over glasses in specific situations. This article will explore the best contact lenses for teens and children, discussing factors to consider, potential benefits, and essential safety information.

Suitability of Contact Lenses for Young People

Age Considerations

There’s no single “right age” to start wearing contact lenses. Maturity and a commitment to good hygiene are far more important factors than chronological age.  While some eye doctors might fit responsible children as young as eight with contact lenses,  early teens are generally considered a more realistic starting point.  Ultimately, the decision should be made in consultation with a qualified eye doctor who can assess a child’s individual maturity level and eye health.

Maturity and Hygiene Requirements

Wearing contact lenses successfully requires a high level of responsibility. Proper lens care is essential to prevent eye infections. This includes washing hands thoroughly before handling lenses, using the correct cleaning solutions, and replacing lenses according to the prescribed schedule.  Children who struggle with routines or forgetfulness might not be ideal candidates for contact lenses.

Lifestyle Factors: Sports, Activities, and Daily Routines

An active lifestyle can be another factor to consider. Glasses can be a hindrance during sports and physical activities. They can slip, fog up, or even get broken. Contact lenses, on the other hand, offer a wider field of view and stay securely in place during movement.  Contact lenses can be a game-changer for children involved in sports, dance, or other active pursuits, allowing them to participate freely without worrying about their glasses.  A busy daily routine that involves frequent handwashing or exposure to dust or allergens might necessitate a conversation with the eye doctor about the suitability of contacts.

Benefits of Contact Lenses for Teens and Children

Improved Field of Vision and Peripheral Awareness

Unlike glasses with frames that can obstruct some peripheral vision, contact lenses provide a wider, unobstructed field of view. This can be especially beneficial for young people involved in sports or activities that require good spatial awareness, such as catching a ball or navigating crowded spaces. Peripheral vision is also important for depth perception, which can be crucial for safe participation in various activities.

Enhanced Self-Esteem and Confidence

Some teens and children may feel self-conscious about wearing glasses, particularly during a time when appearance is often a significant concern. Contact lenses offer a more discreet vision correction option, potentially boosting a child’s confidence and self-esteem. This can be particularly impactful for teenagers who are already navigating social pressures and body image concerns.

Compatibility with Active Lifestyles

Contact lenses can be a practical choice for children and teens who lead active lives. Unlike glasses, they won’t slip off during physical activity, reducing the risk of breakage or lost glasses. Contact lenses also don’t fog up during exercise, ensuring clear vision throughout. This compatibility with sports, dance, or other physical pursuits allows young people to participate more freely and comfortably.

Suitability of Contact Lenses for Young People

Age Considerations

There’s no single “right age” to start wearing contact lenses. Maturity and a commitment to good hygiene are far more important factors than chronological age.  While some eye doctors might fit responsible children as young as eight with contact lenses,  early teens are generally considered a more realistic starting point.  Ultimately, the decision should be made in consultation with a qualified eye doctor who can assess a child’s individual maturity level and eye health.

Maturity and Hygiene Requirements

Wearing contact lenses successfully requires a high level of responsibility. Proper lens care is essential to prevent eye infections. This includes washing hands thoroughly before handling lenses, using the correct cleaning solutions, and replacing lenses according to the prescribed schedule.  Children who struggle with routines or forgetfulness might not be ideal candidates for contact lenses.

Lifestyle Factors: Sports, Activities, and Daily Routines

An active lifestyle can be another factor to consider. Glasses can be a hindrance during sports and physical activities. They can slip, fog up, or even get broken. Contact lenses, on the other hand, offer a wider field of view and stay securely in place during movement.  Contact lenses can be a game-changer for children involved in sports, dance, or other active pursuits, allowing them to participate freely without worrying about their glasses.  A busy daily routine that involves frequent handwashing or exposure to dust or allergens might necessitate a conversation with the eye doctor about the suitability of contacts.

Choosing the Right Contact Lenses for Young Beginners

Soft Contact Lenses

The vast majority of contact lenses prescribed for beginners are soft lenses. These lenses are made of flexible materials that conform comfortably to the shape of the eye. Soft lenses are generally more comfortable to wear and easier to adapt to than rigid gas-permeable (RGP) lenses, making them a good choice for young people who are new to contact lens wear.

Daily Disposable Lenses

Daily disposable lenses can be a convenient option for beginners who might be concerned about proper cleaning and care routines. These lenses are worn for a single day and then discarded, eliminating the need for cleaning solutions and storage cases. This minimizes the risk of complications that can arise from improper lens care.

Best Contact Lenses for Beginners

Deciding on the right contact lenses is an important step for young beginners.  Soft lenses, known for their comfort and ease of adaptation, are a great starting point. Here are some of the most recommended contact lenses for beginners:

Includes wetting agent?Yes
Blocks UVYes
Lens.com customer rating9.2/10
  • Proclear® 1-Day is a daily disposable soft lens worth considering for those looking for a budget-friendly option. This lens utilizes PC Technology™ to attract and retain moisture, keeping your eyes comfortable all day. Plus, its aspheric design ensures clear vision.
Can be worn overnight?No
Water content60%
Lens.com customer rating9.6/10
  • DAILIES TOTAL1® stands out as a top choice among daily disposable lenses. This innovative lens combines two unique technologies: Water Gradient Technology creates a continuous moisture cushion on your eye, while SmarTears® Technology mimics your natural tears for exceptional comfort throughout the entire day.
Includes wetting agentYes
Lens.com customer rating9.4/10
Oxygen transmissibility156 Dk/t

Eye Care and Safe Lens Use 

Essential Role of Eye Doctor Visits

Regular eye examinations by a qualified eye doctor are crucial for safe and successful contact lens wear, especially for young beginners. These visits allow the doctor to:

  • Properly measure the child’s eyes to ensure a perfect lens fit.
  • Instruct the child on proper lens insertion, removal, and cleaning techniques.
  • Monitor eye health and check for any potential complications arising from contact lens use.
  • Discuss and recommend the most suitable type of contact lens based on the child’s individual needs and lifestyle.

Risks and Safe Practices

While contact lenses are generally safe when used correctly, neglecting proper hygiene or care routines can increase the risk of eye infections. Here are some key points to emphasize for safe lens use:

  • Always wash hands thoroughly with soap and water before handling lenses.
  • Use the recommended cleaning solutions and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for lens care.
  • Replace lenses according to the prescribed schedule (daily, weekly, etc.).
  • Never sleep in contact lenses unless explicitly approved by your eye doctor.
  • Discontinue wearing lenses and consult your doctor immediately if you experience any eye redness, irritation, or discomfort.

By following these guidelines and attending regular eye checkups, young people can enjoy the benefits of contact lenses while minimizing the risks of complications.

Conclusion

Contact lenses can be a safe and effective alternative to glasses for teens and children who are responsible and committed to proper hygiene. They offer a wider field of view, enhanced self-esteem, and greater compatibility with active lifestyles.  The decision to switch to contact lenses should always be made in consultation with a qualified eye doctor.  Regular eye exams, proper lens care, and responsible lens use are essential for ensuring a safe and positive experience with contact lenses.