Benefits of Contact Lenses for Teens

Dr. Russel Lazarus, August 15, 2021

Almost 15% of all teen agers wear contact lenses (American Optometric Association)

Parents are often asked by their teen-aged eyeglass-wearing children, “When can I wear contacts?”. 

Pre-teens and teen-agers see their friends enjoying life without the hassles of eyeglasses, wearing the latest sunglasses styles and want to enjoy that same quality of life.

Parents are usually unaware that children can wear contact lenses from quite a young age, even as young as 8 years old.

Even infants can be prescribed and fitted with soft contact lenses in certain cases.

Find out how your child can benefit from wearing contact lenses. There are many benefits to having your child wear contact lenses, including, but not limited to, these below.

Increased confidence and self-esteem

It’s a reality of life that a teen ager’s self-esteem is linked to their self-image.

If your child requires glasses, they may not like how they appear while wearing them. This can have a negative impact on their self-esteem, as well as their social lives and academic achievement.

In a clinical study, published by Optom and Vis Sci (2007), 80% of parents agreed that contact lenses dramatically improved the confidence and quality of life of their children.

Contact lenses can significantly improve how a child feels about their appearance and boosts their confidence.

No lost or broken glasses

Children’s glasses are regularly lost or broken – sometimes numerous sets in the same year!

This is especially true if a child engages in a lot of physical activity.

If this happens, parents may not be able to buy a replacement pair due to lack of coverage on their vision insurance plan. Children may be left without the glasses they require to view the blackboard or participate in sports in this situation.

Luckily, contact lenses can’t get broken or lost as easily as glasses, making them a perfect replacement for glasses.


Another good reason to get contact lenses for your child is safety.

Contact lenses provide good peripheral vision which may improve your child’s safety, especially when crossing roads, participating in crowded situations, or playing sports.

School performance

Surprisingly, your child’s attitude toward wearing glasses may affect how well they integrate and learn at school. Wearing contact lenses can help improve your child’s performance in school.

Many children require eyeglasses to support their reading, learning and other academic pursuits, but refuse to wear them. Contact lenses could be the solution for these children.

Sports performance 

For many children, not having to worry about breaking their eyewear gives children more confidence on the playing field.

If your child plays sports or is involved in frequent physical activities, contact lenses work better than glasses. They can also help kids stay focused on the court, in both their central and peripheral vision.

Contact an eye doctor near you, to find out more about contact lenses for your teen.

SEE RELATED: Contact Lenses for Children: FAQs

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Which types of contact lenses are used by teens?

Each type of contact lens has its pros and cons depending on the individual child’s requirements.

  1. Disposable Contacts

Children and teens are most commonly prescribed disposable contact lenses.

There are two types of disposable lenses – monthly disposable lenses and daily disposable lenses.

People who wear daily disposables don’t need to store their lenses because they throw them away at the end of the day. Traditional soft contacts are less comfortable to wear and care for. This makes them a fantastic alternative for sports-oriented children.

  1. Soft Contacts

Standard soft contact lenses are more flexible, easy to clean and sterilize, and generally more comfortable for children than gas permeable contact lenses.

  1. Gas permeable Contacts

Gas permeable contact lenses are made of a more rigid material than disposable or soft lenses.

These lenses may correct vision better than soft contact lenses, such as if a child’s cornea is misshapen.

  1. Ortho-k Contacts

Orthokeratology, or ortho-k, contact lenses are lenses that are worn at night and removed in the morning.

During the night, the lenses gently and temporarily reshape the cornea, allowing patients to avoid using glasses or contacts during the day.

Still unsure if your child is ready for contact lenses?

Schedule an eye exam with an eye doctor near you to find out which kind of contact lenses will best fit your child.

LEARN MORE: Guide to Children’s Eye Exams

Over 1 in 7 teens wear contact lenses, as they offer tremendous benefits for self-esteem and confidence as well as on the sports field and engaging in social events.