Can My Child Wear Contact Lenses?

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With the large-family culture of Utah County, it is no surprise that we see more children as patients at Utah Valley Eye, a leader of Provo LASIK surgery. In fact, some families ask about the safety and wisdom of doing LASIK on their children while they are young to ease the burden of lenses for their child’s busy extra-curricular lifestyle. While we don’t perform LASIK on children or teenagers, often contact lenses can be used quite successfully.

What is a profile of an average young contact lens wearer?

In order to be successful contact lens wearers, children need to be careful with their things, able to follow directions, and have good hygiene habits. Some parents use the “carrot” of getting contacts to motivate their children to improve these skills. It’s very important that children can properly care for, insert, and remove their lenses. We typically recommend that young contact lens wearers use single-day soft disposable lenses.

My child is hard to fit, now what?

One of our patients, a 16-year-old girl, came in for a routine exam to monitor her prescription. She shared a few things about her hobbies, and we learned that she loved drama, especially performing in the well-known Utah Shakespeare Competition each fall. She shared that she felt uncomfortable during some of her scenes, since she usually performed without her glasses, making it difficult to see and relate to her thespian cohorts during scenes. She’d failed an earlier attempt to wear contact lenses because she was squeamish and the shape and size of her eye (smaller and slightly almond-shaped) had made it difficult for her to open her eyelid enough to insert the lenses. With some one-on-one coaching, we were able to help her become successful just in time for the competition. Patience and encouragement go a long way.

What about gas permeable (hard) lenses?

There are certain situations that make this the lens of choice, and they have come a long way over the last several decades. One thing about gas permeable lenses is that they offer their wearers very crisp vision and work well for astigmatism. However, they require consistent use for full acceptance. These lenses are typically not the best options for children and teens.

If you’re looking for the best options for your child in time for the school year, please visit us at Utah Valley Eye, leader in LASIK in Provo.

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