Doctors Say Children As Young As Six Can Wear Contact Lenses - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Doctors Say Children As Young As Six Can Wear Contact Lenses

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    When is Your Child Old Enough for Contacts?

    Children as young as six years old are wearing contact lenses, and doctors say they can offer several benefits over other forms of vision correction for kids.

    (Published Friday, Jan. 11, 2019)

    Children as young as six years old are wearing contact lenses. 

    Doctors say contact lenses can offer several benefits over other forms of vision correction for kids, but a common question many parents have is: "When is my child old enough to wear contact lenses?"

    Dr. Albert Pang, an optometrist at Trinity Eye Care in Plano, says physically, your child's eyes can tolerate contact lenses at a very young age. 

    "Kids are really resilient. If they are determined to do something, they can do it much faster than adults," he said.

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    He says 80-percent of his young patients wear gas permeable lenses called orthokeratology, or "ortho-k," which can reverse myopia temporarily. 

    Children put their ortho-K lenses in at night and wear them while they're sleeping. 

    In the morning, when the lenses are removed, nearsighted kids should be able to see clearly without lenses of any kind.

    Selene, 8, made the switch to overnight contact lenses six months ago.

    "I can see far away and putting on my glasses," she said.

    She also said she doesn't have to worry about her glasses falling off during basketball or the frames hindering her peripheral vision.

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    Pang said it's important for parents to ask themselves whether their child is mature enough to insert, remove and take care of their contact lenses. 

    "If they are conscientious and handle these things well, they may be excellent candidates for contact lens wear, regardless of their age," said Pang.

    Take 12-year-old Emerson, for example, who's now in her third year of wearing contact lenses.

    "Whenever I first got them, it was kind of hard, but then I got used to it over the years and now it's like really easy," she said.

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