One of the most common questions pediatric optometrist Alexandra Williamson, O.D. of Children’s Eye Care fields on a daily basis is, “When is my child ready for contact lenses?” Her answer? It depends on the child or teenager.
“I remind parents that they know their child better than anyone,” she explains. “I ask them to consider whether their child’s general hygiene practices are sound. For example, do they consistently wash their hands? The other piece is responsibility. Is the child doing his or her homework and household chores without being asked? If the answer is yes, the child may be ready.”
Dr. Williamson stresses the importance among kids and teens of establishing and maintaining good contact lens care habits, including cleaning the lenses, storing them properly and replacing them on time. “They also need to know what they shouldn’t do with their lenses, like sleep in them,” she adds. “I use a lot of daily disposable lenses with kids, which really helps cut down on infection.”
At Children’s Eye Care, kids and teenagers interested in contact lenses will undergo two eye exams: their annual eye exam and a contact lens fitting.
“The patient will train with our staff to understand how to put the lens in, how to take it out, etc.,” explains Dr. Williamson, who practices at Children’s Eye Cares’ Clinton Township and West Bloomfield locations. Dr. Williamson recommends kids and teens build up a tolerance by wearing their lenses a few hours at first, then adding hours each day. A week after the child’s initial fitting, he or she will return to the office, so Dr. Williamson can assess the fit and finalize the prescription.
“We don’t take that responsibility lightly,” Dr. Williamson notes. “We spend a lot of time with each patient, answering questions and making sure they’re comfortable.”
To make an appointment with Dr. Alexandra Williamson, call the Clinton Township location at
586-532-3380 or the West Bloomfield location at 248-538-7400.