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CONTACT LENSES FOR YOUNG CHILDREN

Parents of children who need to wear glasses because of bad focusing or poor visual development will sometimes ask about switching to contact lenses. These should also be considered in children who have difficulty in wearing glasses. Recent changes in contact lenses (especially daily disposables and a new type of extended wear lens) mean that today's situation is different to that of a few years ago.

To be successful with contact lenses, we need to have the following:

1. A motivated parent.

It helps if the parent wears contact lenses but this is not necessary. The parent has to take responsibility because a child cannot.

The parent needs to be available in the rare situation where the child suddenly develops a red or sore eye - the parent needs to be able to drop everything and come to the school or kindergarten to urgently remove the contact lens in such situations.

Sometimes a parent will want to, say, try a contact lens just for reading or try a contact lens that changes the colour of the eyes just for a one or two month trial to become really expert at contact lens handling. Your local optometrist can help you arrange that.

It helps if there is a teacher somewhere in the school who also wears contact lenses who can be called on by the child (or another teacher) if there is ever a problem.

2. Enthusiastic Optometrist.

The parent and child needs an optometrist who is enthusiastic and wants this to succeed. Most of the day to day work of a 'regular' suburban optometrist involves reading glasses for middle age people, and distance glasses for younger short-sighted people. To break the routine to start spending a lot of time educating parents and children how to use contact lenses is not something that "fits" into the daily life of many optometrists.

If your regular optometrist is not enthusiastic about helping you get your child into contact lenses, ask him/her if he/she can recommend one who is (and ask me if there is no good response).

3. A child who wants it to some degree.

If the child has become embarrassed from wearing strong glasses then this is easier.

© Copyright 2008 www.privateeyeclinic.com

This letter is protected by the laws of Copyright and must not be reprinted, copied or otherwise disclosed in whole or in part to any person without the written consent of Dr. Lionel Kowal.

© Copyright 2008 www.privateeyeclinic.com

This letter is protected by the laws of Copyright and must not be reprinted, copied or otherwise disclosed in whole or in part to any person without the written consent of Dr. Lionel Kowal.