Glasses or Contacts? What to Know About Vision Correction for Kids

Most parents dread having to convince their child that contacts or glasses might be necessary. However, today modern technology and new trends mean glasses and contacts are more durable, stylish, and more comfortable than ever before. Below explains everything you need to know about how to make decisions about vision correction for your children and what the newest technologies are to help make the process easier.

The Main Issues with Glasses

Vision correction for kids brings up four basic issues: durability, convenience, protection, and comfort. Children are very active and will need durable eyewear materials, such as impact-resistant frames. A cheaper pair of glasses will cost less up-front, but might end up costing more in the long run. Glasses will better protect the eyes if made of resistant polycarbonate.

Keep in mind that a child with severe vision problems may be exposed to dangerous situations if they forget their eyewear, and the level of necessary vision correction must be balanced with the comfort and ease of wear.

The Right Fit
Parents that decide their children need glasses should consider the following tips. First, the frames should be aesthetically pleasing so kids want to wear them, and photochromic lenses that tint outside can be an added benefit. Both metal and plastic frames have different advantages and disadvantages. Plastic used to be favored because it is lightweight and durable, but newer metal frame models are now equally popular. Metal frames will usually have adjustable nose pads, but many plastic models do not. A poor fit or growth spurt can result in the glasses sliding or pinching the nose. For toddlers, consider cable temples that fit onto the frame ends and wrap around the ears.

Contacts Lenses
Most parents might not think about it, but children of all ages can wear contact lenses. Most children and teens won’t have any trouble applying or removing their own contacts by themselves. Contacts are generally better for sports or physical activities because they provide better peripheral vision and stability, such as when jumping or running, while glasses and frames can be broken and possibly cause an eye injury. Consider getting contact lenses for a more active kid.

Corrective Benefits of Contacts
It is believed that specially designed orthokeratology contacts can actually slow down eye growth that results in nearsightedness in children. Orthokeratology, or ortho-k, is a unique process that uses a special GP, or gas permeable contact to slightly reshape the cornea in order to reduce the development of myopia. GP contacts are worn during at night and removed in the morning.

Why Children and Teens Prefer Contacts
Many children and teens are self-conscious about their image and as a result, contacts are preferred over glasses in most cases. Interestingly enough, because children and teens are more self-conscious, they tend to take better care of their contacts. But it is important they clearly demonstrate they are responsible enough to care for their own contacts, and there are also daily disposable contacts available.

Lasik Eye Surgery
According to Davis Vision, Lasik eye surgery increases in safety as the age of the child increases. Lasik is a proven way of painlessly correcting both common and complex vision problems. For example, it can easily cure nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatisms. The results are permanent and there is no need for any follow-up procedures. In fact, it takes only a few days for the eyes to recover from the surgery. After Lasik eye surgery, no more expensive contacts or glasses are needed.

There are benefits to wearing both glasses and contacts, but most teens prefer contacts. Parents should discuss with their kids and eye health care professional what might be the better choice for them.



~ Brooke Chaplan ~

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