Is Your Teen Ready For Contacts? What Parents Need To Know
If your teen is asking you about making the switch from glasses to contact lenses, it can be tough to decide whether they’re ready for the responsibility of contacts. It’s important to ensure that your teen understands all the nuances of contact lens care, as failure to take care of their eyes correctly when wearing contacts can lead to eye issues – or even loss of vision.
While you may have a specific age in mind when you think your child will be ready to wear contacts, remember that teens mature at different rates. Millions of middle and high school teens wear contact lenses and are fully capable of taking responsibility for their eye care.
Think about how well your teen handles responsibility right now, and whether they’re able to reliably follow directions. Does your teen tend to complete their homework assignments without needing your prompting? Do they put things away after they’re finished with them, or do you feel like you constantly have to remind them to take care of their belongings? Is your teen good about personal hygiene practices, such as washing their hands regularly, showering regularly, and staying on top of brushing and flossing?
If your teen is able to handle the majority of their personal care and school-related needs without having to be reminded to get things done, there’s a good chance that they’re ready to handle the responsibility of contacts.
If you’ve never worn contacts before, and none of your other children wear contacts, it’s important that you go to the eye doctor with your teen to learn about contact lens care. While your teen may be fully capable of taking care of their new contact lenses on their own, it’s important that you understand what they need to do to keep their eyes healthy. This way, you’ll be able to oversee their contact care for the first few weeks, ensuring that they’re following their eye doctor’s directions.
Encourage your teen to come to you if they’re struggling with their contacts, or if they’ve made a mistake in their contact care. Let them know that they won’t get in trouble if they make a mistake – you simply want to be able to help if there’s a problem with their eye health.
When your teen tells you that they’re ready for contacts, and you’re on board with their decision, make an appointment with your family eye doctor to learn more about whether contacts are a good fit for your teen’s eyes.