Text◆Chen Wenbin, Liu Jianxi (registered optometrist of the Hong Kong Society of Optometrists), “Ming Pao”
It is common to see in optometry centers that many middle school students request contact lens fittings because they want to facilitate exercise or dress up for beauty.
Is it suitable for teenagers or children to wear contact lenses? At what age can I wear it? Is there anything I should pay attention to?
(Hong Kong News) Recently, a friend came to me with his son who is in junior high school. He was not worried about his son’s myopia getting worse, but because his son started to “love beauty” after he entered middle school, and his friends started wearing contact lenses (con for short). , just ready to try it.
And this friend has the habit of ordering contact lenses online. I asked him: “What are you worried about?”
Contact lenses control myopia progression
“I’m worried that he is too young and doesn’t know how to handle contact lenses, and I don’t know what kind of contact lenses are suitable, and I don’t know whether wearing contact lenses is good for the eyes…” My friend’s answer made me angry and funny, so I asked He: “Then do you think that as parents are adults, they know how to deal with the above situations? Can they buy con online?”
Most of the reasons why children want to wear contact lenses are inseparable from aesthetics and ease of movement. In recent years, there are also contact lenses that can control the progression of myopia. Parents’ worries mainly come from the following issues:
◆Eye safety issues, such as whether it will easily become inflamed?
◆Worried about children’s ability to take care of themselves.
◆Some parents think that contact lenses are “adult products” and are not suitable for children’s eyes because they have not yet been determined.
However, in my daily work, I found that even adults may not handle contact lenses correctly.
Parents lack proper nursing knowledge
Contact lenses are different from general consumer goods and have been included in medical equipment in many countries and regions. However, Hong Kong has not yet been subject to mandatory legal regulation. Indiscriminate purchase and improper use will increase the risk of eye injury, corneal inflammation, etc.
I once met a young woman in her 20s. She likes to wear colored contact lenses, but she has never seen a registered optometrist (Part 1) (hereinafter referred to as the optometrist) for an eye examination, and she has “repeated wearing”. Give up bad habits like contact lenses.
During the examination, it was found that in addition to corneal damage, her tear gland function had also deteriorated, which shows the importance of finding a qualified optometrist for a fitting. In fact, the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, and even Taiwan have legislated to regulate the sale of contact lenses, and you must hold a valid prescription to purchase them.
The current loopholes in Hong Kong’s laws and the ubiquitous sales points make it easy for people to mistakenly think that contact lenses are a commodity that can be purchased according to one’s own preferences.
In fact, many parents have experience wearing contact lenses, but many lack correct care knowledge, and have not even done appropriate fittings and regular care after wearing them. As a result, there is a fear between knowing and not understanding. In addition, some people have stopped wearing contact lenses for a period of time, and their understanding of contact lenses is still in the past. For example, many years ago, soft contact lenses were replaced every year (commonly known as annual contact lenses), but now most people choose to throw them away every day ( day con).
Technology is changing rapidly,
Contact lenses have experienced many generations of material improvements.
For example, the oxygen permeability used to be very low,
Only about 5 to 9dk/t (oxygen permeability unit),
Nowadays, high oxygen permeability materials can reach 120dk/t.
But it is worth noting that
The advancement of contact lens materials does not mean that they can be worn casually.
For people who have never used contact lenses, it is even more necessary to have correct knowledge of fitting and care. The shape of the cornea is different for each person. The oxygen permeability, material, and curvature of the contact lens will all affect the comfort of wearing it. The stability of the wearer’s vision and eye health must also be considered. Even if it is the same brand and the same prescription, it does not mean that it is suitable for everyone, so you cannot rely solely on friends’ recommendations, otherwise it may have long-term effects on your eyes.
There is no age limit for contact lenses
Many parents are worried that children’s eyes have not yet fully developed (such as the size or curvature of the cornea, etc.) and are not suitable for wearing contact lenses.
In fact, around the age of 4, the size and curvature of the cornea of the eye are very close to that of an adult. In addition, the technological advancement of contact lens materials in recent years has increased the oxygen permeability, and there is no age limit for contact lenses. For example, some people aged 2 to 3 years old have congenital diseases. Young children with cataracts need to see an optometrist for fitting special contact lenses to supplement the lens power after the lens is removed, so as to improve vision and meet the needs of visual development.
Wear it when exercising or when necessary
Compared with age restrictions, children’s eye habits and needs are important considerations. In recent years, research on children or teenagers wearing contact lenses has found that children who wear contact lenses can increase their mobility and self-confidence after taking off their rimmed glasses; for example, children who like sports can become more active after wearing contact lenses than without them. Wearing glasses or rimmed glasses can improve your vision and safety during sports.
Of course, children can wear contact lenses as needed. For example, they can only wear contact lenses when exercising or when necessary, and wear rimmed glasses at other times. Coupled with regular eye examinations and maintaining good care awareness, the risk of improper wearing of contact lenses can be reduced, and children can also Enjoy the convenience of contact lenses.
Different brands have different degrees of suitability Do not shop online and check regularly
When fitting contact lenses, the optometrist (Part 1) will first conduct a series of detailed examinations, including eye health, power, curvature, etc.
Then, according to the wearer’s needs, such as frequency of use, time and other factors, select the most suitable contact lenses. After putting on the trial lenses, the optometrist will immediately check whether the power needs to be corrected through “on-chip refraction”. It should be noted that the appropriate power of different contact lenses may be different, because the materials of different brands have different tightness on the eyes. different.
It is recommended to check every 6 months
The optometrist will re-confirm whether the contact lenses fit properly, including whether there is sufficient tear exchange, whether they are too loose or too tight, etc. Preliminary data and the wearer’s subjective feeling are obtained through slit lamp examination to determine whether the trial can continue to be used. Usually the optometrist will try on 1 to 2 contact lenses. After wearing them for several days to observe the clarity of vision and comfort, they will first check and then decide which contact lenses are suitable for wearing. At this point, the fitting process is complete.
Optometrists will instruct first-time contact lens wearers on how to put on and take off contact lenses, care and cleaning procedures, wear time, and teach the important concepts of regular check-ups. Because everyone reacts differently to wearing contact lenses, and prolonged wear may affect corneal health, regular checkups are important.
It is recommended to go to the original optometrist for check-ups every 6 to 12 months, because he knows the fitting data better. If necessary, the optometrist will recommend reducing the wearing days or daily use time.
Online shopping products are not regulated
As for contact lenses purchased online, there are many risks involved since product storage and transportation may not be strictly supervised, and users may not know whether the contact lenses purchased online are best for them. Children like to imitate adults and follow their parents’ habits. Therefore, parents should set an example and establish a correct concept of contact lens fitting.
All in all, contact lenses are not general consumer goods and need to be fitted by an optometrist and checked regularly.
Contact lens fitting (con) process
◆Comprehensive eye examination, including measurements, checking the health of the cornea, conjunctiva, tears, etc. to ensure that the eyes are suitable for wearing cones
◆Communicate with the optometrist to understand your vision needs and the purpose of wearing a con, so as to choose the appropriate type of con.
◆Check the degree after wearing the con, and use a slit lamp to check the tightness of the curvature of the con. If it is not suitable, try another con.
◆Learn to wear con
◆Start wearing con on daily basis
◆Revisit once every 2 to 4 weeks to check if there are any potential problems such as corneal damage after wearing cones for a long time.
◆Regular inspection every 6 months or as needed
Regular examinations and follow-up visits can ensure that contact lenses are worn safely, conveniently and comfortably. If you have any questions, you can always contact your optometrist.