WEDNESDAY, Dec. 26 (HealthDay News) -- It came as no surprise to
Christina Daves from Gainesville, Va., when her daughter asked for
contact lenses at the age of 9.
Her daughter, Megan, had started wearing glasses in the second
grade, when she was 7, because she was nearsighted, which meant she
needed glasses to clearly see objects in the distance. She also had
astigmatism, an irregularly-shaped cornea, in one eye.
"Megan is a swimmer, so swim team was awful because she couldn't see," Daves said. "She didn't wear her glasses to meets, and she hated not being able to see well."
Daves said that Megan's eye doctor was hesitant to prescribe
contact lenses for someone so young, but she assured the doctor
that her daughter was quite responsible and would do the care
required for healthy contact lens use. If her teenage son had made
the same request, she said, her answer would have been "no way,"
but she said she was convinced that her daughter could handle the
responsibility that comes with wearing contacts.
She did worry that Megan might have trouble getting the contacts
in and out, but she said those concerns were quickly allayed. "The
first contact took about 5 to 10 minutes to put in, but after that
she was a pro," Daves said. "After one day, she was able to take
them in and out without using a mirror."
And the freedom from glasses has been something Megan's enjoyed,
her mother said. "Just for sports alone, it has made such a
difference in her life," she said. "She also plays lacrosse and
volleyball, and both are difficult to play with glasses."
As for taking care of her contacts, that hasn't been a problem,
either. Daves said the only issue they have is that both mother and
daughter have trouble remembering to take out a new pair of
contacts after two weeks, when the lenses expire.
Her advice to other parents? Whether a youngster is ready for
contacts "really depends on the personality of the child," Daves
said. "I knew Megan was very responsible and organized so I was
comfortable letting her try it at a young age. If it had been my
teenage son, who is notorious for losing things and leaving things
behind, I would not have let him at that age."
Experts offer up advice on kids' eye health
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