Helping Your Pre-Teen Adjust To Contact Lenses


Making the switch from glasses to contact lenses can be difficult for anyone, but for pre-teens the switch can be particularly difficult. A pre-teen's emotional maturity can be tested by the daily care required by most contact lenses and the initial frustration they may feel adapting to the change. As a parent, you want sure that your pre-teen can make the switch to contact lenses as seamlessly as possible.

Here are some tips to help you help your pre-teen adjust to contact lenses:

In and Out

Simply getting a contact lenses in and out of your eye properly requires a learning curve. For pre-teens who may lack the emotional maturity needed to acquire the basic mechanics of getting the lenses in and out of their eyes safely, this process can be particularly daunting.

Trust an Expert: even if you may have worn contact lenses for decades and have a great relationship with your pre-teen, their desire to assert autonomy can making teaching them virtually impossible. Furthermore, it can increase their anger, distracting them from the task at hand.  Thus, you should trust an expert either provided by or recommended by the eye doctor you're working with. You can also look to the internet for video tutorials on platforms that your pre-teen likely trusts and has a familiarity with.

Test Drive

Not all contact lenses are created equally. Some are designed to last a week, while others are designed to last few months. Some are designed to be taken out each night, while others designed to be left in for over a week. Some are breathable and flexible, while others are more rigid and possess little permeability. Ultimately, one type of contact lenses is likely to work best for you pre-teen. Finding these superiorly suited lenses will make the process of switching more likely to succeed.  

Try Before Committing: before committing to purchasing multiple boxes of contact lenses, ask your eye doctor for a sample of several lenses that meet the needs of your pre-teen. These trials are more valuable when your pre-teen has a chance to try lenses with varying degrees of permeability (sometimes labeled "breathability") and/or disparate durations of wearability. Although many pre-teens enjoy the convenience of lenses with multiple weeks of wearability, some find them uncomfortable to wear without a thorough soaking each night. Similarly, contacts with high degrees of permeability can heighten the impact of allergies for some pre-teens.

Four-Eyed Facade

Although some pre-teens are eager to ditch the hassle and the sheer aesthetic of glasses, others develop a self-identity connected to their four-eyed facade. For pre-teens, who can be more self-conscious about the way they are perceived by others, the fear of leaving their glasses behind can prevent them from transitioning to contact lenses. Failing to recognize this desire to maintain a particular look or style may prevent you from helping your pre-teen successfully adapt to wearing contact lenses. 

Looky Lenses: if your pre-teen expresses a desire to keep their glasses, you may want to consider purchasing a pair of non-prescription glasses. Because these glasses don't require a prescription, serving purely aesthetic purposes, they are far cheaper than prescription glasses. Your pre-teen can don these faux spectacles with their new contact lenses, maintaining their outward appearance to their peers. Eventually, your pre-teen will likely transition away from the glasses, but during the interim, buying "fake" glasses can be a cost-effective solution.

Over 30 million Americans wear contact lenses. Contact lenses can allow your pre-teen to see more clearly, which can provide a host of beneficial outcomes. From seeing the board more clearly in school to seeing a baseball more clearly on the field, contact lenses can be a great option for your pre-teen. Talk to an optometrist for more information.


12 January 2017

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