How old do you have to be to wear contact lenses?
There is no age limit: babies can wear them, and so can seniors. Many eye care professionals begin to encourage contact lens wear at age 11 to 14.
The real issue for teens is not age, but whether they are responsible enough to wear and care for contact lenses properly. Parents, teens, and their eye care practitioner must make this decision together.
Do you need a prescription to get contacts?
Yes. The FDA classifies contact lenses as a medical device. Contacts must fit properly on the eye — if they don’t, serious eye health issues can result. That’s why they must be fitted by an eye care practitioner, who will write a prescription for the proper size, shape, power, and brand of lenses.
By law, you need a prescription in order to purchase contact lenses. This is true even if your contacts have no vision correction in them, such as some color contacts or special-effect contacts.
A contact lens fitting is painless and takes very little time. It can be done in conjunction with a regular eye exam.
Are contacts comfortable?
Modern contact lenses are designed to be very comfortable. Most are made of a soft material that is hardly noticeable, if at all, once the lenses are placed on the eyes. Eye care practitioners have very sophisticated tools for measuring the eyes and making sure the lenses fit well.
Contacts can become uncomfortable over time if they accumulate dirt or allergens that stick to the them. Proper care and cleaning normally prevents this. Of course, this is not a concern with daily disposables such as clariti 1 day because any accumulated allergens or other lens deposits are discarded with the lens each night.
Is it difficult to put contact lenses on?
Some people wonder if it will hurt to apply contact lenses to their eyes for the first time. The fear is understandable, and it’s related to the reluctance they may have to touch their eyes. But after learning how to insert and remove their lenses, most people find it completely painless, and quite easy to do.
Can a contact lens get stuck behind the eye?
A natural membrane barrier exists between the front and the back of the eye. That could never, ever happen.
Is it OK try on a friend’s contact lenses?
No, not even if the lenses have no vision correction in them. Dangerous microorganisms that cause serious eye infections can be passed along that way. Most doctors will provide a free trial pair so your teen can see how lenses feel or look.
Is it okay to sleep in contacts?
Not all contact lenses are designed for overnight wear. Further, not everyone’s eyes can adapt to this, even when using the proper lenses. Only an eye care practitioner can judge whether someone is a candidate to sleep in contacts, and no one should sleep with their lenses in unless their eye care practitioner says it’s okay.
In addition, overnight wear also creates a small degree of increased health risk. The healthiest way to wear contacts is to remove and discard them each night.