By Sangita 

Senior Optometrist at  ERC Lens

Colored contact lenses may help correct a person’s vision or have a cosmetic purpose, changing the color of the eyes.

People may choose to purchase colored contact lenses with a natural look, opt for lenses with very bright, striking colors, or select lenses to suit different outfits and styles.

Prescription colored contact lenses

Once a person has a prescription, they can purchase colored contacts from reputable online eyewear companies.

 Complications of using colored contact lenses:

Types of colored contact lenses 

There are several types of contact lenses, including:

  • Transparent-tinted lenses: These uniform-colored lenses can change the color of the iris.
  • Computer-generated opaque contacts: Opaque lenses cover up an individual’s natural eye color. They are available in a single color or blended colors that can mimic natural iris colors. They feature different patterns, colors, and pupil sizes on the lens surface.
  • Hand-painted custom contacts: These lenses can closely match an individual’s natural eye color and help cover any injuries. These contact lenses tend to be more expensive to purchase
  • Who uses colored contact lenses?
  • A person may want colored contact lenses for several reasons, including changing their eye color to suit their personal style or match an outfit or costume.
  • Colored contact lenses also have medical uses. People who have eye injuries, such as a ruptured iris or an irregular pupil, may use colored contact lenses.
  • Some evidence shows that colored contact lenses can help people who have dyschromatopsia, or color blindness.

Are they safe? 

People should only purchase and wear colored contact lenses if they receive a prescription.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology states that using colored contact lenses without a prescription can cause permanent damage to the eyes.

Colored contacts sold without a prescription, such as costume contacts, can let less oxygen into the eye. The pigment that manufacturers use may be thicker than the pigment in prescription lenses, leading to thicker and less breathable contacts.

Individuals should also make an appointment with an eye doctor to make sure they use contact lenses that are the right size and type for their eyes.

Lenses that do not fit properly can cause:

  • scratches to the cornea
  • open sores on the surface of the eye
  • eye infection
  • blindness

People need to care for their colored contact lenses just as they would care for vision-correcting contacts. 

  • only using contact lens disinfecting solution to clean and store contact lenses
  • cleaning and storing contact lenses in fresh solution once a week
  • never storing contacts in water or top-off old solution – always use new solution
  • replacing the contact lens case at least every 3 months
  • following an eye doctor’s recommendations regarding replacing contact lenses

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