Contact lenses can be started as soon as the wearer is responsible and mature enough to comply with the hygienic and replacement scheduling needs of their lenses. With the advent of newer contact lens designs and cleaning and replacement regimens, many young teens successfully wear contacts. In some situations, children as young as 7 can wear contacts as well and in other cases even infants can wear them.
The Risks of Contact Lenses
From a health perspective (the risks of eye infections or complications related to contact lens wear), glasses are better than contact lenses. From a vision perspective (unrestricted peripheral vision and less visual distortion), contact lenses may be better.
Sports & Contact Lenses
Some sports activities require protective eyewear, while others do not. For those that do, many sport-specific prescription frames are available, as is non-prescription eyewear. On the other hand, peripheral vision is extremely important in some sports, and for those, contact lenses are often preferred.
Swimming With Contact Lenses
You can even swim in your contact lenses, but it is recommended to use a good pair of goggles to prevent chlorine and other irritants from getting absorbed into the lenses. Those can cause significant issues even after leaving the pool.
Colored Contact Lenses
Recently-released lenses come in color-changing and color-enhancing varieties, and some fit the same way as certain lenses in the non-colored options. There are also breathable.
A competent, licensed eye care provider who specialized in the fitting and management of contact lenses and their care would be the best place to get not just your first pair, but to manage all aspects of your contact lens and eye care.
Contact Lens Exam
A contact lens examination includes taking certain measurements of the eye, choosing the most appropriate lens for the eyes and for the lifestyle needs of the patient, and evaluating the actual fit of the lens on the eyes. That is followed by a discussion of risks, hygiene, wearing time, lens replacement, insertion and removal of the lenses and the importance of exam and lens compliance.
The past few years has seen significant advancement in contact lenses, especially for more complicated eye conditions. There are even daily-replacement lenses designed for people with dry eyes, astigmatism (odd-shaped eyes) and presbyopia (age-related decrease in near vision).
Although the FDA has approved certain contact lenses for continuous wear (i.e. sleeping in the lenses), there is an increased risk of eye infection with that modality. There are lenses that are approved for weekly or monthly continuous wear replacement. Every lens is designed in a way that it should not significantly increase the risk of complications if one keeps to its approved schedule. Over wearing contact lenses, either too many hours or too many days, is one of the most common causes for contact lens-related eye infections.
Clean Fingers & Contact Lenses
Worried about putting your finger in your eye when putting in your contacts? As long as your hands are cleaned properly, and that the lens is appropriately cared for, sticking your finger in your eye is not something to be worried about. Like many other things in life, with proper motivation people get used to what they need to get used to.
Bifocal and multifocal lenses are also available in contact lenses in both soft and Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) varieties.