Contact lenses are placed in your eyes to help correct vision problems. They are small, curved pieces of plastic shaped to fit your eyes. Contact lenses float on top of a thin layer of tears on the cornea, which is the clear outer layer on the front of the eye. Contact lenses can correct most of the vision problems that glasses correct. They can also correct some problems that glasses cannot.
Your child’s attitude toward glasses can affect her school performance and self-image.
Contact lenses may be better than eyeglasses if your child plays sports where glasses could break or slip. Also, contacts give better side vision than glasses do. Your child may want to wear contact lenses because she does not like how she looks with glasses, or refuses to wear glasses.
Contact lenses may provide better vision than glasses for your child if he is very nearsighted or has corneas damaged by disease or injury. Infants and toddlers with certain eye problems may be prescribed contact lenses.
Contact lenses may not be right for your child if he has:
You should also consider that your child’s vision will change as he grows, and contacts will need to be replaced often.
Disposable contact lenses
Disposable contact lenses are the type of lens usually prescribed for children under the age of 13. Disposable contacts may be used for one day to one month, depending on the lens. Then you throw them away. For daily disposable lenses, your child puts in new lenses every morning and discards them at night. Children may try to wear the lenses longer than the recommended time or reuse the lens. Doing this greatly increases the risk of eye irritation or serious eye infection.
The advantages of disposable lenses are:
The main disadvantage is that disposable lenses cost more over time than other kinds of contact lenses.
Soft contact lenses
Soft lenses are made of material that absorbs fluid, and are very flexible. They are usually more comfortable than GP lenses, and your child can adjust to wearing them more easily. They are also less likely to fall out than GP lenses.
The disadvantages of soft contact lenses include:
Gas permeable contact lenses
Gas permeable (GP) lenses are made from a harder plastic than disposable or soft lenses. GP lenses have the following advantages over soft lenses:
The main disadvantage to GP lenses is that they are harder to get used to than soft lenses.
Your child needs a thorough eye exam by an eye doctor who will: