How Old Do You Have to be to Wear Contacts?

How Old Do You Have to be to Wear Contacts?

How Old Do You Have to be to Wear Contacts?

As adults, we often take our choice to wear contact lenses or glasses for granted. However, an increasing number of kids are now also wanting to choose contacts for their prescription eyewear. While we most often think of children as wearing glasses, there are actually very few barriers to them reaping the same benefits of contact lenses.


Contact lenses for Kids?

There is a range of reasons why children may prefer to wear contact lenses rather than glasses. 



  • Kids can often feel self-conscious when wearing glasses and some have experienced unpleasant behavior from their peers as a result of their eyewear. Contact lenses offer the same correction, but without affecting their appearance. In fact, none of their classmates will even know that they are wearing vision-correcting eyewear. 

  • Removing glasses gives your child their full field of vision, without any frames to compromise it. 

  • People who wear contact lenses have much greater freedom to participate in sports, including contact activities and those with fast-moving equipment, such as baseball or ice hockey. 

  • Wearing glasses is also a big responsibility, but with contact lenses, children won’t have to remember to take their glasses with them, or worry about damaging, losing, or breaking them!


What Is the Right Age?

The freedoms and flexibility of contact lenses mean that many kids can’t wait to start wearing them instead of glasses. However, most optometrists think that children should not start wearing standard contact lenses until they are around 12 or 13 years of age. This is because wearing contact lenses requires a level of emotional maturity and the ability to look after their lenses properly. 


Lens hygiene and care are absolutely essential if your child’s eyes are to remain healthy as they get older. Not only will they need to wash their hands properly before and after inserting and removing their lenses, but depending on the type of lens they choose, they may also need to clean their contacts properly. While they will be given the information that they need to do this, your child needs to demonstrate the appropriate levels of commitment to this care. Your contact lens prescriber will want to see this commitment, as well as their ability to insert and remove their lenses successfully themselves, before issuing a prescription. 


Parents know their child best, so while this is a recommendation, it certainly isn’t a hard and fast rule. If you have a very capable and mature 10-year-old, there may be no reason why they can’t wear contact lenses too. Your contact lens prescriber will be looking to you for confirmation as to the ability of your child to handle wearing contact lenses. 


Contact Lens Exam

If your child would prefer to wear contact lenses, they will first need a contact lens exam. This is because the prescription needed for contact lenses is different from that for glasses. Your eye doctor will also need to assess the health and condition of your child’s eyes to determine which are the right type of contact lenses for them. 

For more information on contact lenses, visit West Texas Eyecare in Fort Stockton, Texas. Call (432) 336-3662 to schedule an appointment today.

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