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What Teens and Parents Need To Know About Contact Lenses

Do you want contact lenses but your parents need convincing? Most parents are skeptical about contact lenses because:

  • They have never worn them and know nothing about them,

  • Or they previously used contact lenses but don’t anymore. In this case they might have some out of date ideas. Contact lenses used to be less comfortable and much harder to take care of in the past.
  • Or your parents wear contacts now, but they may wonder if contacts are safe for a younger person.

What Teens and Parents Need To Know About Contact Lenses

Here are some common questions I get asked about contact lenses:

How old do you have to be to wear contact lenses?

There is no age limit. Babies can wear them, and so can seniors. Most optometrists will encourage contact lenses from the age of 8 years. You just need to be responsible enough to take care of them.

Why not just wear glasses?

Teen are self-conscious, and often feel more attractive and accepted if they don’t have a pair of glasses in front of their eyes. Contact lenses give you greater self-esteem and you feel more at ease around others. They also offer a great advantage with all types of sport.

How much care do contact lenses require?

All you need is one bottle of multipurpose solution and a case. Certain types of contacts like dailies don’t need to be cleaned because you will throw them away at the end of the day.

Do you need a prescription to get contact lenses?

Yes. A contact lens is a medical device and it must be fitted properly on the eye. If not, serious eye infections can occur. This is true even for colour or cosmetic contact lenses. This is why they must be fitted by an optometrist, who will measure the proper size, shape and power of the lenses.

If I have astigmatism or a strong prescription, do I have to wear glasses instead?

Not anymore. These days, contact lens designs are able to correct all types of vision problems including astigmatism.

Are contact lenses comfortable?

Modern lenses are very soft and you don’t even realize that they are in your eyes. Also, your optometrist has specialized equipment to measure your eyes and make sure the lenses fit comfortably.

What about colour contacts?

These colour contact lenses are fun and safe, just as long as they have been fitted and prescribed by an optometrist. Never buy them online or anywhere else without a prescription. And never share them with your friends. Serious eye infections can be passed along this way.

What if contact lenses just don’t work out?

Sometimes, your optometrist may feel that contact lenses are not the best option for you now, but it may be in a year or so. If this is the case, you can always go back to wearing glasses and re-try contacts later on.

So educate your parents today and they might want contact lenses for themselves and for you!

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    The Importance of an Eye Exam

    A good comprehensive eye test does more than just determine your prescription for glasses or contact lenses. Your optometrist will check your eyes for common eye diseases, assess how your eyes work together as a team and evaluate your eyes as an indicator of your overall health.

    The Importance of Eye Exams

    Your optometrist will check:

    1. Refractive Error. This will determine if you are short sighted, far sighted or have astigmatism.
    2. Amblyopia. Often called a “lazy eye”. If left untreated, a “lazy eye” can result in permanent vision impairment.
    3. Strabismus. This is a crossed eye or turned eye. Your optometrist will check the alignment of your eyes to make sure the two eyes work together.
    4. Eye Teaming Problems. Sometimes the eyes don’t work together as a team. This will result in headaches, eyestrain and can affect reading and other near vision tasks.
    5. Focusing Problems
    6. Eye Diseases

    Who Should Get Their Eyes Examined?

    Everyone. Adults need to get their eyes tested to get their current pairs of spectacles updated and to check for early signs of eye disease. Children need to get regular check ups to ensure normal visual development and for academic achievement.

    Vision is closely linked to the learning process. Children who have difficulty seeing or interpreting what they see will often have trouble with their schoolwork. Often, children will not complain of vision problems simply because they don’t know what “normal” vision looks like.

    If your child performs poorly at school or has a reading or learning disability, be sure to have his eyes examined to rule out an underlying visual cause.

    Treatment after your Eye Exam

    After your eye exam, your optometrist will either prescribe spectacles, contact lenses or vision therapy depending on the results.

    No matter who you are, regular eye exams are important for seeing more clearly, learning more easily and preserving your vision for life.

    Don’t delay. Schedule an appointment with your optometrist now!

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