Is it dangerous for children to wear contact lenses?
Studies have shown that there are only small differences between a child’s cornea and that of an adult. They require similar levels of oxygen and so the contact lenses we are already using provide an excellent choice for children. Contact lenses are invasive so there are some risks involved (the same as for adults) but frequent replacement of the lenses and a thorough cleaning regime will help keep these risks to a minimum.
Will this process mean my child never has to wear spectacles?
No I am afraid there is no guarantee of that. It is known that the constant lengthening of the eye during childhood contributes to an increase in myopia (short sightedness). This technique is aiming to reduce how much the myopia (short sightedness) increases over this period. On average studies have shown that the rate of increase can be reduced by as much as 50% but it is not able to eliminate your child’s prescription.
What age do we need to start this kind of treatment?
Once your child has been diagnosed as myopic (short sighted) and you really want to try and limit how myopic (short sighted) they might become, then the sooner they are fitted with contact lenses the better. It is of course important that they can responsibly handle and look after their contact lenses.
I really want my child to have contact lenses but they are not keen?
Ultimately the decision lies with you but in our experience trying to make a child wear lenses is usually unsuccessful. I believe everyone needs to be comfortable, parent, child and eye care practitioner. You and your child should discuss the subject with your optician.
Do contact lenses hurt?
The contact lenses are very soft and so are much more comfortable than lenses have been in the past. Patients often describe an “awareness” of them when they are first inserted but adaptation is normally very quick.
Are contact lenses difficult to put in?
It can be more challenging to teach younger children to insert and remove lenses but once this has been mastered the system itself is straight forward. It is important to find a practice where they have the time and patience to take your child through the process at their own speed.
Can contact lenses disappear behind the eye?
No. The furthest that a contact lens can travel is underneath your top eyelid and fortunately from there the lens is easily removed by a contact lens practitioner.
Do contact lenses come in all prescriptions?
Don’t forget at the moment we are talking about myopic (short sighted) prescriptions, if your child is long sighted these lenses are not appropriate. Most myopic (short sighted) children can be helped however the contact lenses do have some prescription limitations so although unusual, there are some patients who fall outside the normal prescription range. Often a pair of spectacles over the top of the lenses can boost the vision up to a sensible level whilst the contact lenses help to slow the myopic (short sighted) progression..