For people who need vision correction, contact lenses provide an effective alternative to eyeglasses. How old do you have to be to start wearing contact lenses? That’s an interesting question, but not one with a precise answer.
Why Choose Contacts?
There are many reasons why people choose to wear contact lenses instead of eyeglasses, including:
- Unrestricted central and peripheral vision
- More comfortable than eyeglasses
- Contact lenses don’t fall off or get broken, making them ideal for sports and other activities (though you’ll still want to wear protective goggles for certain sports)
- Self-esteem/aesthetic reasons (some people feel that eyeglasses take away from the appearance of their face, or they wear tinted contacts to provide a different eye color)
- Contact lenses don’t fog up
However, the decision to wear contact lenses or eyeglasses is one that needs to be carefully considered by both the parent and child (your eye doctor can provide some helpful recommendations). There’s no minimum or recommended age for wearing contact lenses, so there’s no reason why children can’t wear contact lenses instead of eyeglasses. Like adults, many children prefer the benefits contact lenses provide.
Maturity Is an Important Factor
The major factor to take into account when making the decision to start wearing contact lenses is not so much how old the child is, but their maturity. Your child has to be mature enough to handle the responsibilities that come with wearing contact lenses.
Wearing contact lenses is a lot more complicated than wearing eyeglasses. Your child must be able to safely insert and remove the contacts. They also need to know how to care for the lenses when not in use. Infections, eye abrasions, and other problems can arise when contact lenses are not handled or cared for properly.
How can you tell if your child is mature enough for contact lenses? If your child needs constant reminders to perform their everyday chores (especially when it comes to personal hygiene), they may not be ready for the responsibilities that come with caring for and wearing contact lenses. On the other hand, if they’ve proven that they can handle responsibility, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t wear contact lenses.
It’s important that your child only wear prescription lenses obtained through your eye doctor or a reputable contact lens distributor. Non-prescription cosmetic or decorative contact lenses, like those you find at flea markets, beauty supply stores, and online should never be worn by anyone — adults or children.
Berkeley Eye Center Can Help You Make An Informed Decision
Berkeley Eye Center has been delivering expert vision care to patients of all ages for more than 60 years. If you’re trying to decide between contact lenses or eyeglasses for yourself or a family member, schedule an appointment to speak with one of our eye care professionals. We provide patients with a wide range of options when it comes to choosing either eyeglasses or contact lenses; let us help you determine which one best suits you and your family’s vision needs.
Schedule your appointment online or call us at (713) 526-1600. New patients are always welcome! Berkeley Eye Center accepts most forms of eye insurance and offers patients many different payment options. We have several locations in and around Houston — including The Woodlands, The Shops Downtown, Katy, Pearland, Memorial City, Greenway Plaza, Champions, and Clear Lake, to name just a few — so there’s sure to be a Berkeley Eye Center near you!