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Don't be too surprised if your eye doctor suggests contact lenses as an appropriate form of vision correction for your child. Contact lenses can be a great choice for kids with myopia and other refractive errors -- and your Montpelier, Lancaster or St. Johnsbury optometrist here at Shippee Family Eye Care can provide the necessary exams, fittings and instruction to help your kids enjoy school, sports and other activities with clear, eyeglass-free vision.
Modern contact lenses are quite easy to for many younger wearers to insert and maintain -- especially after a little guidance from your St. Johnsbury, Lancaster or Montpelier optometrist. They also have some distinct advantages over eyeglasses in the rough-and-tumble world of recess and school sports, which can leave your child with multiple sets of damaged frames and possible facial injuries to show for all the activity. Contact lenses are also a smart option for children who perform in school plays and don't want to wear their glasses onstage.
Children with myopia (nearsightedness) can benefit tremendously from one particular type of contact lens that isn't worn during school hours at all. Ortho-K lenses, which are worn only during sleep and reshape the corneas to create clear lens-free vision at daytime, have actually been shown to slow the progression of myopia in school-age wearers. Using these lenses in childhood could mean that your child enjoys less severe nearsightedness throughout adulthood.
Some parents have qualms about fitting their children for contact lenses, but the process is essentially the same for kids as it is for adults. There are no specific age limits for wearing contacts, and we typically encourage kids to switch from glasses to contacts around age 13. In some respects, kids are even better candidates for contact lenses than their parents because they don't face the problems with dry eye, presbyopia and other "grownup" eye complications that make contacts harder to fit.
The main concerns with fitting contact lenses involve the child's lifestyle, personal hygiene and maturity level. Kids need to understand how to clean their contact lenses, and importance of using clean lenses to avoid eye infection. (Your St. Johnsbury, Lancaster or Montpelier optometrist may even prescribe single-use disposable lenses, if possible, to eliminate this issue.) Kids must also agree never to use someone else's contact lenses, and to wear their lenses no longer than the lenses are designed to be worn. Your eye doctor can instruct your children in these and other areas.
Shippee Family Eye Care's three offices make it easier than ever for concerned parents like you to obtain top-quality pediatric eye care, including contact lenses for their kids. Call your St. Johnsbury, Montpelier or Lancaster Optometrist to set up vision testing and (if necessary) contact lens exams for your little ones!