If you want contact lenses then modern lens materials, prescription strengths, and wearing options mean that people of all ages can choose to wear contact lenses. You may want to wear your contact lenses full-time (to replace your spectacles completely), or just occasionally (for more flexibility) so you can choose whether it is a glasses occasion or not.
However you should always make sure that you have an up-to-date wearable pair of glasses, just in case you can not wear your contact lenses.
Children can be fitted with contact lenses as soon as they can understand the importance of hand hygiene and are able to insert and remove lenses themselves. Contact lenses are not available through the NHS (except in very exceptional circumstances), so parents and children need to be aware that there are charges for after-care appointments, the contact lenses and solutions. However these eyecare costs are relative when compared to the costs of designer clothing, trainers and computer games. The age at which a child commences contact lens wear is something that needs to be discussed by the child, the parent and an eye care specialist.
Between the ages of 15 and 50 there very few eyes that cannot have the option of wearing contact lenses for sport or leisure. With the alternative of spectacles for those occasions when contact lenses are not the first choice for everyday eyes,
The over 40’s have to start making a few decisions about what matters to them. Up to this point contact lenses will have given comfortable vision at all distances, but over 40 print starts getting smaller and arms get shorter. Ametropes (people who need corrective eyewear)who are over 40 do have several choices;
- Give up contact lens wear and start to wear spectacles with Varifocal lenses (fashionable frames with nearly invisible lenses)
- Keep pretending you have normal distance vision (by keeping your current contact lenses) and just top up your near vision by popping on some reading glasses – just like others in your age group who have never been seen wearing spectacles.
- Avoid glasses by having one eye corrected for reading whilst leaving the other corrected for distance (sounds odd but does work for many people).
- Or try a multifocal contact lenses (for those for whom it works this is great, but is not for everyone).
Because life is never that simple most contact lens wearers end up with a combination of the above. Only you and your contact lens specialist can decide what is the best solution for you.