Tips for Teens and Contact Lenses

teen girl wearin contact lenses
Creative Commons License photo credit: Oneras

Teenage life can be a time of trauma – raging hormones, peer pressure and the constant feeling that no-one has EVER felt the way they feel right now.

Throw into the mix that your teen has to wear a pair of glasses and most parents would be forgiven for taking cover in the basement – for a year.

Wearing glasses is a fact of life for millions of us but for self-conscious teenagers, desperate not to stand out from the crowd (until they’re desperate to be noticed), or appear different from their peers, being prescribed glasses can be a real blow to their fledgling self-confidence.

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Creative Commons License photo credit: Malkav

One solution is to encourage your teen to try contact lenses. Contact lenses are perfectly suitable for children of all ages to wear and, depending on the individual, can be a much better proposition than glasses.

For example, glasses are a pain for young athletes because they tend to slip down the nose or fog up while playing sports. Students also may find it hard to focus on a computer screen wearing glasses, unless they have glasses prescribed for computer, piano, or other close up reading.

There are excellent advantages to switching from glasses to lenses, although it’s important to do your homework before helping your teen make the change.

Is Your Teen Ready for Contacts?

It’s essential that your teenager is mature enough to deal with the responsibility that comes with contact lens wearing. Proper hygiene is vital because failing to clean and store lenses properly can lead to eye infections and serious health complications. That means impressing upon your teen that sharing contact lenses is absolutely forbidden under any circumstances.

Think about your teen – do you have to force him into the shower on a regular basis? Does his bedroom resemble the fallout of a nuclear explosion – and smell worse? Does she take care of her own things or is casual and offhand about her possessions?

All good questions. Not every teen is ready for contacts. But if they are responsible when it comes to personal care and motivated to lose the glasses, either because of sports or social pressures, contact lenses might be an excellent opportunity to give them a greater degree of responsibility and trust.

What are the Pros and Cons of Contact Lenses for Teens?

On the plus side, contact lenses are:

  • Better for all-round vision; unlike glasses, lenses provide peripheral vision so there are no awkward blind spots to deal with.
  • Ideal for sports and physical activities; for athletes, this is a huge motivator.
  • No pressure behind the ears caused by glasses.
  • Convenient, especially daily disposable brands for which no cleaning or storing is required; you wear a new pair every day
  • Confidence booster when it comes to appearance.

On the downside, contact lenses are:

  • More expensive than glasses in the long run; a year’s supply of daily disposables can cost more than one pair glasses.
  • Not a total replacement for glasses; you should still have at least one pair of glasses handy for those times when you remove your contacts.
  • A risk for eye infections if proper hygiene isn’t observed.

Along with your eye doctor, have a thorough conversation about the pros and cons of contact lenses with your teen. Provide the information to help them make an informed choice about their vision and then why not let them decide? If they are ready to accept the responsibility that comes with wearing and caring for contact lenses, it may be one of the first adult decisions they make about their well-being.

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