Teens! They’re rowdy, unpredictable, and use strange slang. They also sometimes need contact lenses. While contact lenses can be a great (potentially less intrusive) alternative to wearing glasses daily, they also require a level of care that is too often overlooked. If your teen’s vision requires glasses or contacts and they have insisted on the latter, we have some tips for them to follow as they care for their first pair.
Teach your teen these tips for their first contact lenses:
1. Take Them Out Before Bed
This one sounds easy, but for teens, it’s easy to forget. Unless your teen’s contacts are ‘extended wear’ and deliberately intended to be worn through the night, remind them frequently to take out and carefully store their contacts. When eyes are closed, contacts don’t have adequate access to oxygen and can become irritated. Waking up with aggravated eyes is certainly not the goal when it comes to corrective vision care.
2. Be Careful When Storing
Storing contacts correctly is an important part of caring for them. For example, instruct your teen to wash his or her hands before removing their contacts for the evening. Any tiny particle of dirt, oil, or other debris can latch onto a lens and harm it. Also, recommend to them that they wash out and disinfect their contact case frequently. These are the types of things that go ignored when it comes to caring for contacts.
3. Use Only What’s Recommended
Each pair of contacts will come with explicit instructions about acceptable cleaning solutions, storage solutions, and other accessories. Make clear to your teen that only the approved materials should be used with or on their contacts. Tell them not to, for example, try to clean their lenses with tap water or any other makeshift means of “sanitizing” them. Contacts are delicate, eyes are delicate, and both need to be treated with caution.
4. Don’t Share
Usually, sharing is caring. Teens tend to have that attitude and share clothes, makeup, drinks, and more. But, you should never share contacts with another person. That’s a quick way to spread infection and ruin your contact lenses. Make sure your teen knows that eyewear is not a community item and that they and they alone should wear the contact lenses (and glasses) prescribed to them by their optometrist.
Contacts can be a wonderful way to correct vision and not have to account for glasses every day. But, they are also a big responsibility and there are many ways in which to care for them poorly. If your teen has contacts, please share this information with them and make sure that they are caring for their contacts and protecting their eyes.