A Parent’s Guide to Contact Lenses

Contact Lenses

This guide is intended to answer questions regarding children and contact lens use.

There is really no set age to begin wearing contact lenses. If you feel your child will be able to follow simple hygiene and wearing instructions given by Dr. Sciberras, they may be ready for contact lenses. Dr. Sciberras believes most teens with good hygiene and ocular health will be able to successfully wear contact lenses. Contact lenses may actually be a better alternative to wearing spectacles when: high or unequal prescriptions are encountered; vision correction is needed for sporting activities; or when the child has social pressures making it difficult to comply with spectacle wear.

Today’s lens materials and cleaning solutions make contact lens care simple and safe. Disposable lenses are the best choice for today’s busy teens. They eliminate complicated cleaning schedules, improve ocular comfort and are better for long-term eye health. Daily disposable lenses are recommended for children with allergies, infrequent use and those seeking added convenience. Our staff will train and educate both the child and parent on the correct wearing and replacement schedule, how to properly maintain the lenses and specific rules to follow that promote healthy eyes and stable vision.

After a complete vision and eye health exam, Dr. Sciberras will recommend the best combination of lenses and care regimen for your child.

Studies show contact lenses can actually improve athletic performance by 25%. Soft disposable contact lenses are ideal for playing sports.  They provide better depth perception, improved field of view and reaction time compared to glasses, and are not easily dislodged while participating in sports activities.

Contact lens costs vary depending on the replacement schedule, prescription type and material used, but are generally similar to the cost of glasses. Most vision insurance plans cover contact lenses to the same extent that eyeglasses are covered under your plan. Our contact lens training and fitting fee for first time contact lens wearers is $65 and up, which includes the associated initial fitting and training session(s), diagnostic trial lenses, contact lens case and a 1 month supply of contact lens solution.

It is important to remember that contact lenses are medical devices and should never be thought of as simply a cosmetic item. When contact lenses are properly fit, worn and cared for, they are very safe. The odds of a serious eye infection from wearing contact lenses on a daily basis are about 1.5 in two million. Still, it is essential that your child follow Dr. Sciberras’ directions for proper use and care of contact lenses.

Recent studies have shown that contact lenses are both safe and well tolerated in young children. The risk of a serious negative outcome with contact lens wear is on the order of 1 in 10,000. Younger children were found to have even better hygiene compliance when compared to teens. Daily disposable lenses and hand washing, along with proper fitting and follow up are key determinants in overall success. Seek professional advice and maintain routine follow-up with your eye care provider.

Parents/children should follow the instructions below to promote eye health and comfort:

  • Always wash hands with a mild soap and dry them with a lint-free towel before handling your lenses.
  • Handle the same lens first each time to avoid confusing the right and left lenses.
  • Clean, rinse, and disinfect your lenses each time you remove them.
  • Be aware of expiration dates on both solutions and contact lenses.
  • Replace your lens case every 3 months. Clean your case by rinsing in hot water and allow to air dry by storing case upside down with the lids off.
  • Never use tap water on your lenses for rinsing or storage purposes.
  • Saline solution should never be used for attempting to disinfect or store your lenses.
  • Never swim in a pool or hot tub while wearing contact lenses without swim goggles.
  • Never put a contact lens onto an eye that is red and/or if you are experiencing discharge.
  • Avoid sleeping in your lenses.
  • Maintain regularly scheduled follow-up appointments.
  • Contact lens wearers should have yearly eye health and vision assessments.
Want to learn more about children’s vision and its importance to learning?  Click here.

Myopia Control Therapy

Myopia Control Therapy aims to slow or halt the progression of myopia or nearsightedness in children. With increased screen time at the expense of outdoor activities, myopia is growing at epidemic proportions. Myopia is often the result of a growing eye, that focuses light in front of, rather than on the retina. The retina is the photographic film at the back of the eye. Higher amounts of nearsightedness are correlated with an increased risk of the following: cataracts (6 x greater), macular degeneration (41 x greater), glaucoma, and retinal detachment (22 x greater). A number of treatment options exist, including contact lenses, that have been found to effectively slow the eye’s axial length growth and the corresponding myopia progression. Arrange a consult to determine which modality of myopia control is best suited for your child.

How To Insert and Remove Contact Lenses

Get your child started with contact lenses by having them learn how to properly apply and remove them. Watch the short instructional video below.