VEW 2022: Guess again, your child is NOT too young for contact lenses

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Vitto Mena, Jr., OD, MS, shares highlights from his VEW 2022 presentation, "My child is not old enough for contact lenses: guess again."

Vitto Mena, Jr., OD, MS, advanced clinical director with Special Olympics, and international sports vision association member, as well as the sports vision director with Optical Academy, sat down with Optometry Times® editor Kassi Jackson to share highlights from his presentation, "My child is not old enough for contact lenses: guess again," which he presented during this year's Vision Expo West in Las Vegas.

This transcript has been lightly edited for clarity:

Jackson:

Hi everyone. I'm joined today by Dr. Vitto Mena, advanced clinical director with Special Olympics and international sports division association member, as well as the sports division director with Optical Academy.

He's here to share highlights from his discussion titled, "My child is not old enough for contact lenses: guess again," which he's presenting during this year's Vision Expo West in Las Vegas.

Thank you for being here, Dr. Mena. Would you please just share with us the key takeaways from your presentation?

Mena:

With this course, what I want to pretty much take home is that age is nothing but a number. Right?

We always think that in order for a kid to have contact lenses, they need to be at a certain age. And that's not really the case. The reason why is because—at least for me, I practice in the state of New Jersey—what happens is when a child gets their glasses for the very first time, either they don't like they don't like to wear them because they just don't like glasses on their face, or maybe mom and dad might have picked a pair of glasses that the child didn't like but the insurance covered so that's we're gonna wear.

So what happens is if you have contact lenses, not only are they going to be able to perform better in the classroom, they're also going to be able to perform better in the sports world in the sport that they played.

So the youngest that I've ever put a contact lenses on, the child was actually 5 years old. Now 5 is pretty young, so I would usually have mom do insertion and removal. But I have plenty of 6 year olds that do it by themselves.

So the take home is that if we're able to get these these kids in contacts, they're not only going to learn better in school, but they're going to be able to play better and minimize injuries that occur when it comes to sports.