This summer we had a new addition to the back to school process. ?We made a stop at the optometrist’s office for my oldest.
Luke, 12-years-old, ?admitted that his eyesight wasn’t quite up to par. ?He admitted this after failing a sports physical for school. ?Because, yes, in the doctor’s office on the last day of exams is the perfect time to let me know that he’s having problems.
Kids! I tell ya…
But I digress.
Hearing this news shouldn’t have been a surprise. ?Both his parents are life long contact lens wearers. ?I started wearing contacts when I was in 8th grade and my husband started wearing them?about a year later. ?We knew this was most likely happening, and thankfully, we knew the drill!
According to the American Optometric Association, nearly 41 million adults in the U.S. (more than one in ten people) and 125 million people worldwide wear contact lenses. ?Optometrists agree that most children between the ages of 10-12 are mature enough to wear and care for contact lenses, in some cases, children even younger than age 10 are ready for independent contact lens wear.
The first thing the optometrist asked us was about his age and if we thought he was old enough to handle the responsibility of contacts.
Luke’s a pretty good kid. ?He makes straight A’s, manages his time well, and, for the most part, listens to his mom. I was confident this would go smoothly. ?And it did.
It took about 45 minutes for him to get the contacts in the first time.
Understandable. ?It’s weird, right?
Add 50 minutes to take them out.
What I learned: it’s a process, guys. ?Be patient!
We had a few ups and downs over the first week getting used to the new lenses. ?And being a kid, he did manage to lose one. ?Groan.
But after a few days, he got the drill down, and he’s doing well with them.
He’s confidently and safely wearing his lenses. ?He reports that he can read from the back of the room (Huzzah!), and I can tell a big difference in his baseball skills.
Apparently you can’t catch the ball well when you can’t see it!
If you are considering contact lenses for your tween or teen, here are a few tips I picked up from my experience with Luke.
- ?Be honest about their maturity level. ?If they can’t keep their room clean or keep track of school work, they may not be ready for the responsibility of contact lenses.
- Be patient. ?Putting lenses in takes some practice. ?Give your child some time to make their best attempts. ? Standing over them yelling to hurry up doesn’t help. ?Ask me how I know. ?Ahem.
- Discuss healthy habits. ?Your child needs to be conscientious about cleaning their hands and keeping their lenses clean.
- Visit an American Optometric Association optometrist for exams and lenses. ?This is something you don’t want to mess around with: ?go with the pros! ?Optometrists are the guardians of family eye and vision health, who take a leading role in an individual?s overall eye care, health and well-being; performing nearly 70 percent of first-time eye examinations for Americans. Optometrists are on the frontline of medical eye and vision care and provide a range of services including:
- Performing comprehensive eye exams;
- Diagnosing and treating eye diseases; and
- Recognizing symptoms of systemic diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure.
Are you a contact lens wearer? ?Do you have experience with a child wearing them for the first time?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.