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Are Contact Lenses Safe For Young Children?

Here’s a question we often get at our practice: ‘Is my child too young for contact lenses?’ This is an important question, and the answer may surprise you.

For children with myopia (nearsightedness), contact lenses can be a convenient method of vision correction. It allows kids to go about their day without having to worry about breaking or misplacing their glasses, and enables them to freely participate in sports and other physical activities.

Some children and young teens may ask their parents for contact lenses because they feel self-conscious wearing glasses. Contact lenses may even provide children with the confidence boost they need to come out of their shell. Moreover, these days, it is very popular for children to wear single-use one-day disposable soft contacts, since there is no cleaning or maintenance involved.

Some parents may deny their child’s request for contacts due to concerns about eye health and safety. There’s no reason to worry: contact lenses are just as safe for children as they are for anyone else.

At Eye Trends, we provide children, teens, and patients of all ages with a wide variety of contact lenses. If you’re concerned about the safety of contacts for your child, we’ll be happy to explain and explore ways to ensure maximum safety, optimal eye health and comfort. To learn more or to schedule a pediatric eye exam for contact lenses, contact us today.

What Are the Risks of Having My Child Wear Contact Lenses?

A study published in the January 2021 issue of The Journal of Ophthalmic & Physiological Optics found that kids aren’t at a higher risk of experiencing contact lens complications.

The study followed nearly 1000 children aged 8-16 over the course of 1.5-3 years to determine how contact lenses affected their eye health.

The results indicate that age doesn’t have an effect on contact lens safety. In fact, the researchers found that the risk of developing infections or other adverse reactions was less than 1% per year of wear — which is comparable to contact lens wearers of other ages.

But before you decide that contact lenses are right for your child, you may want to consider whether your child is ready to wear them. During his or her eye doctor’s appointment, the optometrist may ask about your child’s level of maturity, responsibility, and personal hygiene. Since many children are highly motivated to wear contacts, they tend to display real maturity in caring for their lenses. That said, in the initial stages, parents may need to play an active role, as their child gets used to inserting and removing the new contact lenses.

It’s important to note that just as with any other medical device, contact lenses are not risk-free. Anyone who wears contact lenses has a chance of developing eye infections or other complications with contact lenses. However, when worn and cared for according to your eye doctor’s instructions, contact lenses are low-risk and perfectly safe for children and teenagers.

So, go ahead and bring your child in for a contact lens consultation! We’ll help determine if your child is ready for contacts and answer any questions you or your child may have. To schedule your child’s contact lens fitting or eye exam, contact Eye Trends in Conroe today.

Optometrist or Ophthalmologist?

What’s the difference between types of eye doctors?

There are many reasons to visit an eye doctor. You may be having trouble seeing, you may have reached age 40 and want to get an annual eye health exam, or maybe you just want to update your look with a new pair of glasses? However, even when you’re certain of your reason for scheduling a visit to an eye care clinic, you may be uncertain about which type of eye doctor you need. Should you visit an optometrist or ophthalmologist?

Our optometrists in Conroe and The Woodlands, Texas, help to clarify the differences between these two types of eye doctors, as well as give an explanation of the services they provide.

How does someone qualify as an ophthalmologist?

Ophthalmologists study in medical school for four years and then complete a four-year residency. Afterwards, many ophthalmologists continue their education with a one or two-year fellowship to specialize in a particular area, such as pediatrics, retinal disease, or glaucoma. You can identify an ophthalmologist by the MD (Medical Doctor) after their name.

How does someone qualify as an optometrist?

Optometrists study in optometry school for four years and may continue for an extra year of residency to specialize in treatments such as myopia control or vision therapy. They have an OD (Doctor of Optometry) after their name.

What are the primary differences between eye care services provided by an optometrist and ophthalmologist?

Both optometrists and ophthalmologists can prescribe medicines, issue vision prescriptions, and diagnose and treat ocular diseases. However, a major difference is whether the eye doctor performs surgery or not. Optometrists can provide expert eye care services for nearly all the medical parts of ophthalmology, but they do not perform surgery. While optometrists are licensed to provide pre and postoperative care for eye surgery, ophthalmologists are also eye surgeons.

Which type of eye doctor should I visit?

That depends on what you need! For a comprehensive eye exam, both types of eye doctors are professionally qualified to do the job. If you need a new vision prescription, both types of eye doctors are also trained to test vision and prescribe glasses or contact lenses. As for the rest of the eye care services you may require, the most appropriate eye doctor can vary. For example:

  • Fittings for specialty contact lenses should generally be done by an optometrist. Optometrists often have specialized training in hard-to-fit contact lens fittings.
  • Laser surgeries, such as LASIK or PRK, cataract removal, and other surgical procedures are done by an ophthalmologist.
  • Eye disease in serious condition (not the early stage), such as severe diabetic retinopathy or macular degeneration often requires medical care by an ophthalmologist, but screening and early-stage ocular disease management are carried out by optometrists.
  • Eye problems, such as blurred vision, floaters, or eye pain can be treated well by either type of eye doctor. If your optometrist diagnoses a complex medical condition, such as medically unmanageable glaucoma or serious retinal problems, he or she will direct you towards the most suitable ophthalmologist to provide treatment.
  • Vision therapy is generally provided by an optometrist.
  • Myopia control is an area of eye care handled by optometrists.

If you’re not sure which type of eye doctor you need, contact Eye Trends and ask! Our optometrists offer eye exams and a wide range of eye care services in Conroe and The Woodlands, Texas.

At Eye Trends, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 936-206-7366 or book an appointment online to see one of our Conroe eye doctors.

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