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How Old Is 'Old Enough' for Contacts?

Is your child ready for contact lens wear? How old is "old enough"?

These are among the most frequently asked questions when it comes to contact lenses, says the Contact Lens Council (CLC), a non-profit organization.

So much depends on the responsibility level of the child, as there are no hard and fast rules with children and lenses. Children as young as 8 may do well with contact lenses, but there are some older teens who may be too immature to handle the responsibility.

Experts say that it's important to have an eye-care professional assess what a child needs in the way of vision correction and to discuss the child's capabilities and maturity level when considering contacts. Personal wear and care regimens may depend upon the type of contact prescribed, the nature of the vision problem being corrected, and the child's unique eye chemistry.

Regardless of the type of lens one wears, lens care is now easier and more convenient than ever before, and has become a possibility for many children. Basic lens care includes cleaning, rinsing, disinfecting, and storing with a special solution to keep lenses clean, comfortable and free from bacteria. Both parents and children should follow the specific instructions given them by their eye-care professional.