Are colored contact lenses just for show, or can there be medical benefit to them?

Colored contact lenses can serve a variety of funtions, both cosmetic and medical. Read on to learn more about how you can benefit from colored contact lenses.

Are colored contact lenses just for show, or can there be medical benefit to them? in Bellflower

What Are Colored Contact Lenses?

Colored contact lenses are lenses which are designed to mimic the natural look of the iris (the colored part of the eye). Since the iris is, in fact, made up of colorful shapes and lines, some colored contact lenses mimic this to give an even more authentic look. Of course, the center of the lens, which covers the pupil, is clear so the wearer can actually see through them.

Colored contact lenses can be used for several reasons, from wanting to enhance one’s natural eye color to changing it completely.

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Why Use Colored Contact Lenses?

When people think of colored contact lenses, cosmetic uses often come to mind first. This includes lenses for costumes or for simply enhancing one’s appearance.
There are medical uses for colored contact lenses as well. People who have eye injuries or scars can opt for colored contacts to cover up the damage. There is also some evidence that colored contact lenses can help people with dyschromatopsia (color blindness). One study found that wearing red contact lenses let participants better identify the color green in tests.
Additionally, colored contacts that correct astigmatism are also available.

Tints

There are a few different types of tints that can be included in color contacts (in addition to the base color).

  • Visibility Tint: Visibility tints are usually light blue or green, and primarily present to help you see the lenses better when they are inserted and removed (as well as if they are dropped.) Because they are so faint, this tiny will not affect your eye color.
  • Enhancement Tint: This type of tint is solid but see-through, and somewhat darker than visibility tints. Their primary purpose is to enhance the natural color of the wearer’s eyes. Contacts with an enhancement tint tend to be best for those with light colored eyes that want them to be more vibrant.
  • Blending Tint: Lenses with color blending tints are meant to gradually become more opaque from the outside edges of the lenses inward, which gives the wearer a more natural looking new eye color.
  • Opaque Tint: As the name implies, opaque tints are non-transparent, and can completely change the wearer’s eye color. In particular, those with naturally dark eyes will need this sort of lens to change their eye color. Contact lenses with opaque tints come in a very wide variety of colors, and costume or theatrical lenses fall into this category.

Because of their use in costuming, this type of lens is now available for novelty use, and are available without prescriptions in them.

Tints
Are Colored Contact Lenses Safe?

Are Colored Contact Lenses Safe?

Colored contacts are perfectly safe for your eyes, if you buy quality lenses from retailers who comply with FDA guidelines.
It is important to note that even if you don’t need or want a prescription in them (such lenses are often referred to as “plano” contacts), you still have to have an eyecare professional write a prescription for colored contacts.

This is because all contact lenses are regulated by the FDA as Class II or Class III medical devices. When seeking to purchase this type of contact lens, beware of sites allowing you to purchase them without a prescription. It may mean that the health and safety of the wearer’s eyes is not a priority to the retailer, and that their lenses are of a lower quality. It is also illegal. Saving a bit on cheaper lenses for a costume isn’t worth potentially damaging your eyes.

When you properly purchase colored contact lenses, you will also be able to better ensure a proper fit.
If you purchase quality lenses through an eye doctor’s office (and with a contact lens exam, if needed), they are perfectly safe for your eyes.

When used improperly or made of low quality materials, however, colored contact lenses (as with any sort of contact lens) can lead to temporary or permanent eye damage.
If you experience symptoms such as redness, eye pain, eye irritation, light sensitivity, or vision issues, remove your contact lenses immediately and consult our eye care professional.

Are Colored Contact Lenses Safe?

Consult a Professional Before Use

As with anything relating to your eyes, it is best if you consult with our eye care professionals before purchasing and using colored contact lenses. They can advise you on what brands are best for you, and alert you of any risks to your eyes.

Common Questions

Blue light protection is a coating that is applied to a lens to filter out "harmful" light. There are studies that say too much blue light is harmful to retinal cells and cell health. The jury is still out on the subject but in any event the coating could protect from potentially harmful blue light exposure.
At what age can I start wearing contact lenses? Answer: Instead of using age to determine if a patient can start wearing contact lenses, it is best determined by their maturity level. Children as young as 8 years old can safely wear contact lenses. (In fact studies have shown that kids practice better contact lens hygiene than some teenagers!). There are several different factors that are taken into consideration when determining who is a good contact lens wearer candidate so be sure to visit your eye doctor today for a proper contact lens evaluation.
Yes. Color contacts can be used for various reasons such as for theatrical/costume purposes, to provide a more subtle and natural look to enhance your eyes, or for medical purposes. Color contact lenses are a FDA medical device where an eye care provider must prescribe the lenses for you. Even if you have perfect 20/20 vision doesn’t mean you can get your color contacts from anywhere like randomly from online or from a beauty supply store (it’s actually illegal to do so!). It’s important to get a proper contact lens evaluation by an eye doctor because every eye surface is unique and each contact lens comes in different parameters, so we have to assess which lens is the best fit on your eye and the healthiest option. Color contacts can cause serious blinding infections if it’s not the proper fit, so be sure to get a proper contact lens evaluation from your eye doctor before purchasing color contact lenses.
Typically when determining whether kids are a good contact lens candidate, it doesn't really have to do so much with age, but more so with their maturity levels. In fact studies have shown that younger kids are actually less prone to contact lens associated problems than teenagers. There can be various types of contact lenses that are great for younger kids. If a child is part of the myopia management program, they typically do well in the hard ortho-keratology lenses or soft daily disposable multifocal lenses. What’s great about the daily disposable contacts is that it allows the child to wear a brand new pair of contacts every morning, so this minimizes the risk of infections and other problems that may be associated with wearing contact lenses. Soft contact lenses are also more comfortable on the eyes. However, each eye is different so it’s important to have a proper contact lens evaluation to see which contact lens is best for the child’s eye.Typically when determining whether kids are a good contact lens candidate, it doesn't really have to do so much with age, but more so with their maturity levels. In fact studies have shown that younger kids are actually less prone to contact lens associated problems than teenagers. There can be various types of contact lenses that are great for younger kids. If a child is part of the myopia management program, they typically do well in the hard ortho-keratology lenses or soft daily disposable multifocal lenses. What’s great about the daily disposable contacts is that it allows the child to wear a brand new pair of contacts every morning, so this minimizes the risk of infections and other problems that may be associated with wearing contact lenses. Soft contact lenses are also more comfortable on the eyes. However, each eye is different so it’s important to have a proper contact lens evaluation to see which contact lens is best for the child’s eye.
The short answer is any lens material that's rated for impact resistance. Given the nature of children we don't want anything that can possibly chip or fracture and cause damage to a child's eyes. This eliminates CR-39 and Hi-index given their brittle nature. Polycarbonate and Trivex are the most impact resistant and therefore the safest for children.
When determining whether kids are a good contact lens candidate, typically it doesn't really have to do so much with age, but more so with their maturity levels. In fact studies have shown that younger kids are actually less prone to contact lens associated problems than teenagers. There can be various types of contact lenses that are great for younger kids. If a child is part of the myopia management program, they typically do well in the hard ortho-keratology lenses or soft daily disposable multifocal lenses. Children who are active and play sports would benefit from ortho-K lenses. Ortho-K lenses are hard lenses that are worn at night when the child is asleep and it gently reshapes the front part of the eye. When the child removes the lenses in the morning, they're able to see clearly without needing any glasses/contact lens correction throughout the day. In regards to soft daily disposable lenses, what’s great about them is that it allows the child to wear a brand new pair of contacts every morning, so this minimizes the risk of infections and other problems that may be associated with wearing contact lenses. Soft contact lenses are also more comfortable on the eyes. However each eye is different so it’s important to have a proper contact lens evaluation to see which contact lens is best for the child’s eye.
These are daily disposable contact lenses. Daily disposable contact lenses are single-use contacts that are discarded after one day’s use. With this design you open up a fresh new pack every day. There are several advantages of daily disposable contact lenses. For example, daily disposable contacts are more convenient because there is no lens cleaning required and they do not need to be stored in a solution or case. So although daily disposables may appear to be more expensive, you are actually saving money on not needing any contact lens solutions/cleaning agents or cases. Also, daily disposable contact lenses are healthier on the eyes since they are less prone to lens deposits accumulating and less of a chance to develop contact lens related eye infections. Daily disposable contacts are also sometimes found to feel more comfortable due to the thinner nature of the lens. Additionally, depending on the brand of contact lenses, they vary in prices and can be less expensive than some biweekly or monthly lenses. So, be sure to have a proper contact lens evaluation with your eye doctor so they can discuss which option is best for you.
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Summary

Colored contact lenses may be most often worn for cosmetic purposes, but they can provide some medical benefits at times. As with any other eyewear, you are best off purchasing colored contact lenses--whether for a medical reason or for recreational use--from trained professionals, to ensure you get safe, quality lenses.

Testimonials


  • I haven't actually used the optometrist side, so my review is limited to the vision therapy offered.  This office was recommended by my occupational therapist for the treatment of my double vision following a stroke.


    Claire A.

  • Love this location. I had a brain injury accident from day one one. All the team make you feel you still important and hope in the horizon after when the medical system fell you miserably. Dr. Ikeda very professional and very understanding about your issue. Two tombs up.


    Jim K.

  • My husband and I were immediately impressed with Dr Ikeda. I was hit by a car while cycling which caused broken bones and three brain injuries. The brain injuries caused double vision. Dr. Ikeda examined my eyes and got me started on vision therapy with his occupational therapist who specializes in vision therapy.  She (Chris) is absolutely great.  I am impressed with the array of tools used to help recover my binocular vision.  I am doing things I never thought were possible (balance boards etc).  Chris pushes me and keeps me motivated. I really enjoy my sessions with her.  The office staff is always friendly and they have a wonderful appointment reminder tool that makes it easy to keep my calendar up to date. I am happy the rehab center at Little Co. of Mary recommended them!!


    Teresa S.

  • The Vision Therapy is handled in a separate office through a different door from the shared waiting room. Chris, the vision therapist, has a wide and varied assortment of tools, equipment and resources to best evaluate and treat most vision issues. After just a few visits, my double vision became easier to control, using exercises developed during the therapy process. It was time well-spent.


    Joe M.

  • I have been coming here since I can remember. I love it here. The staff is so amazing and nice. They explain everything they gonna do and never make you feel rushed. Dr. Ikeda has always been my doctor and I would never want another one. He is the doctor for my whole family and is always asking how everyone is doing. I am also so crazy about picking out my frames and have to try so many and each person who helps me take the time and lets me try them all on. I would never want to go anywhere else! I definitely would recommend this office to anyone looking for a great eye doctor.


    Kayla W.

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