Are Contact Lenses Right For My Child?

Maybe. In fact, contacts may even benefit your child more than glasses. Human eyes can tolerate contact lenses at a very early age. Sometimes infants are fitted with contacts to correct congenital eye problems before they become serious.

In general, though, contacts are appropriate when a child is old enough to wear and care for them responsibly. Over-wearing lenses—especially sleeping with lenses designed only for daytime use—greatly increases the risk of eye problems. Also, your child must be able to easily apply and remove the lenses, as well as clean/disinfect them in the proper solution.

In 2008, the Contact Lenses in Pediatrics (CLIP) study found that children as young as 8 years old are mature enough to handle contact lenses, and children aged 8 – 12 had no more contact lens-related eye problems than teenagers. Kids are also more resourceful than you might think: 83 percent of preteens enrolled in the study said contacts were easy to maintain, and 92 percent chose to continue wearing them.

Results from another study suggest contact lenses may have an additional benefit for young children—boosting self-esteem.

In another study 484 children ages 8 – 11 were randomly assigned to wear eyeglasses or contact lenses for three years.  Results suggested that children's perception of their own physical appearance, athletic ability and social acceptance may improve with contact lens wear.

Contacts may also have long-term benefits. Some experts believe that kids who wear contact lenses that block the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays may have a significantly reduced risk of eye problems like cataracts or macular degeneration later in life.

Perhaps most important, however, is a child’s motivation to wear contacts. Just because you wear contacts doesn't mean your child will want to; some children are perfectly happy wearing glasses and don't pursue contact lenses until much later in life, if at all.  Make sure to discuss the options with your child and his/her eye doctor.

Choosing the Right Contact Lenses

Choosing the right contact lenses can be tough. Naturally it’s a decision you should make with your eye doctor. The right choice depends on many factors, including your prescription, your expectations, what your eyes can tolerate, and how willing you are to care for your lenses. Here are a few questions to ask during the search:

How often will you wear you contacts? Every day? Or just on weekends or special occasions? Over 90% of Americans choose soft contact lenses, which are usually comfortable full-time or part-time. On the other hand, rigid permeable (RGP or GP) contacts, which allow your eyes to ‘breathe’ better, must be worn daily to maintain comfort.

How much visual sharpness are you looking for? RGP/GP lenses are made of silicone, which feels different than regular soft contact lenses. They may take getting used to, but they often provide sharper vision than soft contact lenses, especially if you have astigmatism.

Are you willing to care for your lenses? If you don’t clean your lenses in the solution recommended by your eye doctor, you risk serious eye injury, including fungal infections and corneal ulcers. Daily disposable lenses, like Acuvue 1 Day and Focus Dailies Aqua are convenient, but even they require some care.

Do your want to leave your contacts in while you sleep? Some contact lenses allow high amounts of oxygen to pass through them and have been FDA approved for overnight wear, like Biomedics 55. But all eyes aren’t able to tolerate this. Your eye doctor will tell you if this option is available to you.

Do you want a new look? Specialty soft contact lenses can change your eye color, or even make you look out of this world!  Contacts that mimic vampire effects from the Twilight films are hugely popular. "Theatrical" lenses like this are even available without vision correction. But remember: even if they’re purely cosmetic, contact lenses are medical devices, and they can only be purchased with a prescription and a professional fitting. Check out some of our colored contacts if you’re looking to change your style.

Do you wear bifocals?

Multifocal lenses function like bifocals and can eliminate your need for reading glasses. Another option is monovision, where one contact lens corrects close vision and the other corrects distance. Many bifocal wearers love this option. While you’re browsing our site, you can also find multifocal lenses such as Proclear Multifocal and Purevision Multifocal.

How much will it cost? Be sure to factor contact lens solution into your budget, as well as continued care for your eyeglasses. You can always find cheap contacts  at ReplaceMyContacts!

Do you have allergies or dry eyes? Allergies or dry eyes may cause certain contact lenses to be uncomfortable. Be sure to discuss these conditions—along with the rest of the above—with your eye doctor prior to your fitting.

Can I Store My Contact Lenses in Water?

Never store contact lenses in water. Even the purest water contains bacteria and microorganisms that can cause eye infections.

Water won’t disinfect your lenses. They’re made of plastic, which becomes a breeding ground for bacteria, fungi, and other pathogens within minutes of contact with water. Water can also cause your contacts to change shape and stick to your eyes, causing pain and blurred vision.

This is the same reason why you should remove your contacts when swimming. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in a pool, lake, or the ocean; microorganisms in the water will go for a ride on your lenses and cause problems later. If you can’t remove your contacts before going for a dip, wear swim goggles to protect your eyes, or dispose of wet lenses immediately after leaving the water.

We can’t stress this enough: water-related contact lens infections can cause permanent eye damage and vision loss, even blindness.  Stick to approved cleaning solutions!

The Fairness to Contact Lens Consumers Act: What’s It Mean to You?

In 2004 Congress passed the Fairness to Contact Lens Consumers Act, which guarantees consumers the right to buy their contact lenses from any source—not just their eyewear prescribers. This means you can shop around for the best deal. When doing so, it’s important to understand your rights under the law.

Your prescription belongs to you. You have a right to a copy of your contact lens prescription. Your eye care provider must offer it to you whether you ask for it or not.

There are no strings attached to it. Your provider must treat you without conditions. They may not:

  • Charge to provide a copy of your prescription
  • Require you to buy contact lenses from them
  • Make you sign a waiver/release
  • Set the expiration date of your contact lenses for less than 1 year without a medical reason

You’re free to buy where and what you choose. Shop around. Look for the best price, ordering, and delivery options. Buy wherever you like. You’re not bound to a label. It’s up to you!

Your prescriber must verify your prescription. When you order from replacemycontacts.com, your prescriber must respond to our verification request within eight business hours. If they don’t, we’ll fill your order.

Your prescription must be valid for at least a year. This is to protect you from unnecessary and costly examinations.  Your state may establish a longer minimum prescription length. Medical exceptions are allowed, but your provider must cite them specifically.

It’s the law of the land. The Fairness to Contact Lens Consumers Act protects you by overriding all state laws that limit the sale of contact lenses. The government considers violations to be unfair/deceptive trade practices, punishable by the Federal Trade Commission.