As more and more people get diagnosed with myopia every day, and require corrective eyewear for perfect vision, contact lenses have been increasing in popularity due to their convenience and ease of use in everyday life. No more fogging up of your glasses as you attempt to breathe through your mask!
You may have even bought some contact lenses for your children to try out. However, are they wearing them properly? Wearing contact lenses can be tricky at first because it can put you at risk of several serious conditions including eye infections and corneal ulcers. However, this does not mean that contact lenses should be avoided at all costs. It just means that contact lens wearers should be extra careful when handling their lenses and follow the best hygiene and safety tips. In that case, how can you, as a parent, ensure that your child enjoys clear vision while getting all the benefits that wearing contact lenses has to offer?
Healthy Vision, Healthy Child
(Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich from Pexels)
Fortunately, Health Hub Singapore has provided some tips on the best kind of practices your child can adopt when they are wearing their contact lenses.
1. Handle Your Contact Lenses Correctly
Your child should learn how to manage their contact lenses in a hygienic manner so that their eyes would not run into any risk of infection while they are wearing them. This is where their optometrist comes in. When buying their first pair of lenses from them, bring your kids along! It is important to make sure that they learn how to handle their contact lenses correctly, and what better way than to learn directly from the experts?
2. Wash Your Hands Before Handling Your Contact Lenses
(Photo by Polina Tankilevitch from Pexels)
Before your child touches their contact lenses, they should always wash their hands first to make sure that their hands do not contaminate their contact lenses and to make sure that they don’t expose their eyes to undesirable contamination while trying to put on their contact lenses.
3. Clean Your Contact Lenses Daily
In order to ensure that your child’s vision stays healthy, their contact lenses should be cleaned daily before use. Clean and disinfect your lenses properly according to the labeling instructions or according to what your optometrist informed you.
When cleaning, make sure that you are picky about your cleaning solution – although tap water in Singapore is safe to drink, it is not sterile. Contact lenses can only be cleaned with solution or saline specifically designed for cleaning contact lenses. This can be picked up at pharmacies or from your optometrist directly.
4. Only Wear Your Contact Lenses If Your Eyes Are Comfortable
If you notice that your child’s eyes are red, or they express any form of discomfort in their eyes, they should not wear their contact lenses to prevent any potential further strain to their eyes, or possible infection.
5. Keep a Spare Pair of Spectacles
If they are unable to continue wearing their contact lenses, they should always keep a spare pair of spectacles with them in case they need to use them.
6. No swimming with lenses in
Although the idea of being able to see perfectly underwater may be extremely appealing, contact lenses should be removed before swimming (even if eye goggles are worn!) because swimming pool water has bacteria that could lead to an eye infection. Instead, try using prescription swimming goggles – they are like spectacles, but less accurate (although the prescription will be a close match to your own, it may not be as precise as that in the glasses or contact lenses you use every day because they are usually not custom made).
At the end of the day, educating children on the importance of healthy eye care behaviours from a young age will go a long way to ensure that they keep practicing these behaviours later in their lives. This includes following the best hygiene and safety tips when taking care of their eyes.