Colored Contact Lenses: Safety, Risks, and Proper Care for Your Vision

Published on
April 24, 2023

Colored contact lenses have gained popularity in recent years as a way to change or enhance one's eye color. While they can be a fun way to experiment with different looks, some people may have concerns about the potential risks to their vision. In this blog, we will explore whether colored contact lenses can harm your vision and discuss the necessary precautions.

How do colored contact lenses work?

Colored contact lenses function similarly to regular contact lenses but include an added layer of tinting. The tinting can range from a subtle enhancement of the natural eye color to a completely different color. Tinting can also create various effects, such as making the eyes look bigger or brighter.

Are colored contact lenses safe?

Colored contact lenses are safe when prescribed by your eye doctor after a contact lens exam and when properly worn and cared for. Contact lenses, including colored ones, are medical devices that can cause harm if misused. A contact lens that is not fit to the shape of your eye can in extreme cases lead to permanent vision loss, always visit an eye doctor before buying contact lenses. In the US contact lenses are regulated medical devices and are illegal to purchase without a prescription. 

Getting colored contact lenses at our optometry clinic is easy!

When you visit your eye doctor for a colored contacts prescription, they will perform a comprehensive contact lens exam to ensure your eyes are healthy and suitable for contact lens wear. We will also measure the curvature of your eyes and take other measurements to ensure a proper fit.

Following your eye doctor's instructions on caring for your colored contact lenses is crucial. This includes properly cleaning and disinfecting the lenses and avoiding prolonged wear. Neglecting these instructions can lead to eye infections, corneal ulcers, and other serious eye problems.

Can colored contact lenses harm your vision?

Generally, colored contact lenses do not harm your vision when worn and cared for properly. However, there are risks associated with wearing any contact lenses, including colored ones.

One potential risk is an eye infection, which can occur if lenses are not cleaned and disinfected properly or worn for too long. Symptoms include redness, pain, discharge, and blurry vision. If you experience any of these symptoms, remove your contact lenses immediately and contact your eye doctor.

Another risk associated with colored contact lenses is corneal ulcers, open sores on the cornea (the clear front part of the eye). Caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi, corneal ulcers can lead to vision loss if untreated. To avoid them, follow proper contact lens care instructions and refrain from sleeping in your contacts.

Lastly, wearing contact lenses, including colored ones, can cause dry eye. This occurs when the eyes do not produce enough tears for lubrication. Symptoms include itching, burning, and redness. To prevent dry eye, use lubricating eye drops and take breaks from wearing contact lenses.

Protect Your Vision with Proper Contact Lens Care

If considering colored contact lenses, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor for a comprehensive contact lens exam and prescription. Once you have your lenses, follow the provided instructions for proper care.

By taking these steps, you can enjoy the benefits of wearing colored contact lenses without compromising your vision. Prioritize your eye health and seek medical attention promptly if you experience any problems with your contact lenses or vision in general. With proper care, you can enjoy the creativity colored contact lenses offer without compromising eye health.

Remember not to share colored contact lenses with others, as this can increase the risk of eye infections and other problems. Only wear your lenses and avoid swapping them with friends or family members.

Additionally, always wash your hands thoroughly before handling your contact lenses and avoid exposing them to water or other liquids that could contaminate them.

Always visit an eye doctor before buying colored contact lenses

In conclusion, colored contact lenses can be a safe and enjoyable way to enhance or change your eye color when used correctly. By following the advice of your eye doctor and taking proper care of your lenses, you can minimize the risks associated with contact lens wear. Don't forget to schedule regular check-ups with your optometrist to ensure the ongoing health of your eyes and the suitability of your contact lenses.

Experiment with confidence, knowing that with proper care and attention, you can maintain your eye health while enjoying the fun and creativity that colored contact lenses offer.

Interesting Facts About Colored Contacts 

  • Colored contact lenses were first patented in the United States in 1987.
  • They are available in three types: visibility tint, enhancement tint, and opaque tint.
  • Visibility tints are only lightly colored to make the lenses easier to handle.
  • Enhancement tints are designed to enhance the natural color of your eyes.
  • Opaque tints can completely change the color of your eyes.
  • Prescription colored lenses can correct vision problems like myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism.
  • Colored contacts can also be purchased as plano lenses, which don't provide vision correction.
  • Some colored lenses have UV protection built-in.
  • They are available in a variety of colors, including blue, green, hazel, gray, violet, and even unnatural colors like pink.
  • The FDA classifies colored contact lenses as medical devices.
  • Some lenses are designed to mimic the natural pattern of the iris for a more realistic look.
  • There are also custom hand-painted lenses for unique colors and patterns.
  • Lenses with a limbal ring can create the illusion of a larger, more defined eye.
  • Halloween and costume lenses can feature designs like cat eyes, zombie eyes, and more.
  • Wearing colored lenses can impact a person's perceived attractiveness and personality.
  • Celebrities often use colored lenses to change their appearance for roles or events.
  • In certain cultures, colored lenses are popular for achieving a desired aesthetic.
  • Soft lenses are the most popular type of colored contacts.
  • Rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses can also be tinted, but they're less common.
  • The first colored lenses were made from glass and were very uncomfortable to wear.
  • Modern lenses are made from hydrogel, silicone hydrogel, or hybrid materials.
  • Colored lenses can be daily, weekly, or monthly disposables.
  • Extended wear lenses allow users to wear them overnight for up to 30 days.
  • Circle lenses are popular in Asia and create the appearance of larger, doll-like eyes.
  • The cost of colored lenses can vary widely depending on the brand and type.
  • Proper care and cleaning are essential for maintaining eye health while wearing colored lenses.
  • Over-wearing colored lenses can lead to eye infections and other complications.
  • Sharing colored lenses is strongly discouraged due to the risk of infection.
  • People with certain eye conditions may not be suitable candidates for colored lenses.
  • Optometrists and ophthalmologists can prescribe and fit colored contact lenses.
  • An eye exam and prescription are legally required in the United States to purchase colored lenses.
  • In some countries, colored lenses can be purchased without a prescription.
  • Online retailers offer a wide variety of colored lenses at competitive prices.
  • Some people may experience an initial period of discomfort while adjusting to colored lenses.
  • Wearing lenses with an incorrect prescription can cause eye strain and headaches.
  • Colored lenses can be more challenging to wear for people with dry eyes.
  • They can also be made as bifocal or multifocal lenses for people with presbyopia.
  • Toric colored lenses are available for individuals with astigmatism.
  • Some lenses have a special coating to help reduce glare and enhance contrast.
  • Athletes sometimes use colored lenses to improve their performance in certain sports.
  • Some lenses have a moisture-retaining technology to improve comfort.
  • People with light-colored eyes may find that enhancement tints give the most natural-looking results.
  • Individuals with dark eyes may need opaque tints to achieve a noticeable color change.
  • The popularity of colored lenses has led to a rise in counterfeit and unsafe products.
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