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Getting Started with Contact Lenses for Your Teen

 Getting Started with Contact Lenses for Your Teen

About 3 million teens, including student athletes, wear contact lenses, a long popular alternative to eyeglasses. But while contact lenses can definitely be a great choice for many teens, there’s more to wearing them than simply “popping” them in.

ABC Children's Eye Specialists is a leading provider of contact lenses for teens in Phoenix, Avondale, and Mesa, Arizona. Here, our team offers some simple tips to help your teen get the most from their lenses while protecting their vision and health, too. 

First, schedule a contact lens exam

Similar to eyeglasses, contact lenses require a prescription, and that means having a contact lens exam. 

During the exam, our team carefully evaluates your child’s corneas, the part of the eye that supports the contact lens. We also measure the corneal curvature and evaluate your child’s vision to provide us with the detailed information we need to write your child’s prescription.

In addition to the eye exam, we discuss the ins and outs of contact lenses with your teen to help them understand what’s involved, both in wearing and caring for their lenses. The exam is a great time for your teen (and you) to ask questions and discuss concerns about contact lenses.

Learn about lens options

Today, lots of contact lens options are available, including rigid gas permeable lenses, soft lenses, extended-wear lenses, and daily disposables. Most teens prefer soft lenses for their comfort and ease of use, but depending on your child’s vision, rigid gas permeable lenses may be the better choice.

During your teen’s visit, our team reviews the options that are appropriate for them, so they can feel confident in their choice, their vision, and their comfort.

Expect a learning curve

Once your child makes the decision to have contact lenses, the next step is learning how to put them in and remove them. These processes are pretty simple, but there can definitely be a learning curve.

It’s natural to blink when your finger nears your eye, and your teen might be a bit squeamish about inserting their lenses when they first receive them. Our team helps them learn the proper technique for inserting and removing lenses using “hands-on” training during their lens fitting appointment.

Understand the importance of proper care

In addition to learning the proper way to use their lenses, your teen also needs to learn how to care for their lenses and their eyes. That includes thorough hand-washing before putting lenses in or taking them out. 

Your teen also needs to be 100% committed to their lens cleaning routine, taking care to clean and disinfect their lenses as directed using fresh, sterile solution, as well as learning to use their lens case properly. 

Daily disposables may be a good option for teens who aren’t ready to handle the requirements of daily cleaning and storage.

We can’t overstate the importance of properly cleaning and caring for lenses. Improper cleaning allows germs to build up, increasing the risk of serious infections that can even cause permanent vision loss.

Talk about the adjustment period

Just as it can take some time to get used to wearing eyeglasses, contact lens wear comes with an adjustment period. Let your child know that it’s not uncommon to have some minor irritation or dryness toward the end of the day. 

Make sure they understand that it’s OK to switch back to glasses if their eyes feel irritated, but also let them know that if discomfort persists, they’ll probably need to visit our team for a follow-up visit.

Commit to regular eye doctor visits

Speaking of office visits, let your teen know they’ll need to come in for a visit at least once a year, and maybe more frequently during the first year or two. That’s because their vision needs can change as they grow, and that means their lens prescription will need to be updated, too. 

Annual exams allow our team to examine your child’s corneas to make sure they stay healthy.

Learn more about contact lenses for kids

Contact lenses can be a game-changer for many teens, especially those who feel self-conscious about their glasses or who want to participate in sports without worrying about their glasses breaking or falling off. 

If your teen is ready for contact lenses, we can help. Call our offices to book an appointment with the team at ABC Children’s Eye Specialists today.

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