Colored Contact Lenses
Colored contact lenses can be used to subtly enhance the color of your eyes, or completely change the way you look! Colored contacts come in dozens of tints and are available in most prescriptions.
So how does the lens change the color of your eye, without impeding your vision? Most colored contact lenses are designed to imitate the natural color of your iris, while the center of the lens remains clear. This change complements the color of your eye, leaving the middle of your eye (your pupil) with a clear view for your best vision.
There are currently three types of tint available for colored contact lenses:
Visibility Tint- This is typically a light color tint present on the lens for the sole purpose of ease of use – seeing the lens itself during insertion and removal or if the lens is dropped. These do not enhance your eye color, and are function only.
Enhancement Tint- The tint on enhancement lenses is darker and intended to augment your current lens color. If you have lighter eyes to begin with and are looking for a small adjustment in lens color these are the lenses for you.
Opaque tint- These colored contact lenses can drastically change the color of your iris. If you have a naturally dark eye color such as hazel or brown you may require an opaque tint to see a true difference in your eye color.
But are they safe?
Colored contact lenses are just as safe to wear daily as regular contact lenses. Caring for these lenses is similar to soft contact lenses. It is still important to visit your eye doctor annually to ensure the proper fit and prescription for your lenses. Your optometrist can also help you address common issues experienced with color contact lenses. If you are wearing the wrong size lens, for instance, your lenses can tend to slide over your pupil, creating an unnatural look and potentially affecting your vision. The fluctuating size of your pupils may also have an affect on vision, growing larger than normal at night to let in more light, and overlapping with the colored portion of the lens. These are all questions your eye doctor can answer at your annual eye exam.
Do I need a prescription?
Colored contact lenses do require an annual prescription, even if you’re simply using lenses without a prescriptive power. The FDA classifies contact lenses – including colored contact lenses – as medical devices, and there are strict laws surrounding their purchase. If you’ve ever seen similar lenses sold at novelty shops for Halloween, or anywhere other than an optometrist’s office stay away! You do not want to interfere with the health of your eyes … after all, they’re the only ones you have!
If you’re interested in colored contact lens options simply ask your eye doctor at your next visit.