Are contact lenses right for children?

Eye doctor in NH from NutfieldConsulting with your eye doctor with regard to whether or not children should wear contact lenses can be a challenging situation. Each situation is individual and unique. There can be times, however, when contact lenses might be right for young children.

  • Sometimes a young child, even a toddler, may have congenital cataracts. Cataracts cloud the lens of the eye which rests right behind the iris. The lens focuses light onto the retina area so that there is clear vision. The congenital cataracts tend to happen at birth. If severe enough a condition, an eye doctor may have to perform surgery to correct it. If the lens needs to be removed, the child may end up with a rather heavy and extreme prescription. A child will tend to take the glasses off quite often so contact lenses may be the most helpful solution for the child.
  • Another challenge for children can be amblyopia or what is commonly referred to as “lazy eye”. While the eye looks normal, information needed to correctly see is impaired at a neurological level. Your eye doctor will be of significant help in this case as the situation needs to be tended to before the child, generally, reaches the age of 7 or 8. Contact lenses, again, may be used in these cases. The lenses, however, need to be specifically made because a child’s eye structure is not the same as an adult and putting them in and removing them can be a huge challenge.
  • The first step will be your eye doctor deploying a procedure known as a retinoscopy. The retinoscope will shine light into the child’s eye so that the eye doctor can determine how light is refracting and determining the light reflex. It is quite painless and is extremely accurate in determining the health of an eye.
  • If you and your eye doctor decide that contacts are the best way to go for your child, your doctor will work with both you and your child with regard to how to properly put them in and take them out. This can be a rather traumatic situation for a young child so special care, as well as extra understanding and love, will be most helpful to the child. Once the child has become use to the lenses, however, you can rest easy that your child’s sight will be as normal as possible.