Teens and contacts

7 Things to Consider Before Your Teen Gets Contacts

Posted May 3, 2018 | Eye Health

7 Things to Consider Before Your Teen Gets Contacts

When it comes to living an unobstructed life, contacts can give teens the freedom to be active and have clear vision at any angle. Not to mention, it’ll give them a fresh look if they’re used to wearing glasses all the time. Whether your teen is an athlete or prefers to wear contact lenses for aesthetic reasons, they need to understand their new wear-and-care regimen.
Here are some things you should discuss with your teen before getting them contact lenses:

1. Explain that wearing contacts comes with responsibilities.

It turns out many kids are capable of caring for contacts and there’s no age limitation for when children can start using them. Still, many optometrists recommend they begin around ages 11-14. Parents, optometrists, and teens must make this decision together and consider whether they’re ready to properly take care of contact lenses as a part of their overall eye health. Don’t have an eye doctor? Use our Find a Doctor Tool

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2. Stress the importance of cleaning contacts.

Protein build up. Sounds fun, right? Turns out this type of protein won’t leave you looking buff.  If you neglect to clean your contact lenses, proteins from your tears can build up on the surface of your lenses, making them itchy, blurring your vision, and maybe even causing an eye infection.
In the grand scheme of things, cleaning your contacts is relatively painless. Most people use a cleaning solution and a case designed for holding your contact lenses.
You should also only be wearing your contact lenses for the prescribed period of time. Any longer and you can deprive your eyes of oxygen, which can cause serious damage.

3. Make sure they understand that contacts aren’t toys.

Teens may be tempted to swap contacts to try them out. This is a terrible idea. Your eyes are really a window to your immune system. They’re one of the most vulnerable points of your body and germs stick to your contacts, which in turn stick to your eyes.
Dangerous microorganisms can cause eye infections that can be passed on from shared contacts. If your teen was worried about not looking cute with glasses, serious eye infections are a whole new level of not cute.
If your teen is eager to try contact lenses, the safest option is a visit to an eye doctor where they can receive a free trial pair of contacts to see how they look and feel.

4. Be honest about the downsides of wearing contacts.

Contact lenses need to be handled with care. Once damaged or ripped, the lenses are no longer salvageable and are about as good as a popped pool floaty. Trying to wear a ripped contact lens can also lead to corneal abrasions, which can cause pain and irritation with every blink. Ouch!

5. Let them know that LASIK isn’t an option yet.

A teen’s eyes continue to grow and change before adulthood, sometimes even correcting issues like near-sightedness. While there is no set age for LASIK, most doctors wouldn’t consider it until the ages of 18-21.

6. Don’t forget to consider glasses.

Occasionally, a doctor can determine that contacts may not be right for the patient’s prescription or that they aren’t ready for contact lenses. Even though contact lenses are not the best choice now, they may be in the future! In the meantime, you can shop for prescription glasses.

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7. Find a fashionable frame alternative.

If it happens that the time isn’t right yet, you can always sit down with your teen and look at some fashionable frames to help offset the obligation of wearing glasses. Teens can feel self-conscious about wearing frames that they think are unattractive.  On Eyeconic, there’s a wide selection of designer frames to choose from. With our Virtual Try-On Tool you can see how they’ll look before you place your order. Plus, you can seamlessly link to your vision insurance plan and pay with your HSA or FSA to maximize your savings!

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What to Do When Your Teen is Ready for Contacts

If everyone agrees that contact lenses are an option, your eye doctor will schedule a fitting and write a prescription. At that point you can shop for contacts on Eyeconic. We’ve got all the major brands and accept VSP, Cigna, and MetLife vision benefits.

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