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Vision Safety: Tips For Teens With Contact Lenses

July 5, 2012

Make sure your teen understands the importance of contact lens safety.

When it comes to the topic of vision correction, there is really no perfect age to start wearing contacts―babies can wear them, and so can seniors. However, because our teenage years are a prime time for the development of nearsightedness, many kids may find that they need to start wearing prescription eyewear somewhere around their teens. And while some teenagers may opt for standard prescription glasses, more and more are beginning to lean towards contact lens wear as they reach the age of 12 and up.

One of the largest reasons that teenagers are more comfortable wearing contacts as opposed to prescription glasses is due to their image. Teens can be very self-conscious, and many claim that they feel more attractive and accepted without a pair of eyeglasses in front of their line of vision. However, image is not the only benefit of contacts for teens.

Because most teens are active in different sports and activities, both in and out of school, contact lenses may be the safer alternative when it comes to vision correction. Unlike glasses, contacts are unlikely to be damaged during basketball, football and other contact sports. Plus, modern contacts are very comfortable and are made out of a soft material that is hardly noticeable, if at all.

However, when it comes to deciding if your teen is ready for contacts, the issue is more about whether or not they are responsible enough to wear and care for their lenses properly. Contact lenses are one of the safest forms of visual correction. However, when not used as directed, there can be serious consequences. Therefore, if your teen is thinking about getting contacts, make sure that they follow these important contact lens safety tips:

Never Share Contact Lenses With Friends

Even if your friends happen to have contact lenses with the same amount of vision correction in them, you should never ever share contact lenses with someone. Doing so could result in the passing of dangerous microorganisms that cause serious eye infections in the long run.

Use Proper Contact Solution for Cleaning

You should always make sure to use proper contact lens solutions that are FDA-approved when cleaning your lenses. Never use tap water in any area of your lens care, including rinsing the lenses and lens care. This type of water contains micro-organisms which can lead to serious eye infections and loss of vision. Also, always be sure your contact lens solution is up to date. Manufacturers label their solution bottles with a discard date on their products, in addition to the usual expiration date.

Don’t Sleep In Your Lenses

Not all contacts are designed for overnight wear. In fact, most are not. Overnight wear of daily lenses can create an increased health risk and can create multiple problems for your vision. Therefore, the healthiest way to wear contacts is to remove and discard them each night.

Be Wary of Special Effect Contact Lenses

While fun and crazy contact lenses can be exciting, it is important that you always purchase them from a certified eye doctor and obtain a prescription. Never buy them at a beauty parlor, swap meet, or at any store or online without a prescription. Any retailer who tries to sell you lenses in that way is operating outside of the law and doesn’t care about the safety of your eyes.

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