How about matching your eye colour to your favourite dress you recently bought? Sounds fun! isn’t it? But are you well informed about those fancy coloured contact lenses? Here’s everything you need to know.
Coloured contact lenses are used to enhance or alter the appearance of the eye. They are available in both vision correcting and non-vision correcting types. Vision correcting lenses besides enhancing the eye colour also correct the refractive error. It’s important to understand that these are medical devices and should not be bought over-the-counter without a prescription from the ophthalmologist.
Who should wear coloured contact lenses?1. Coloured contact lenses are mostly worn by people to cosmetically enhance the colour of the normal eye. These lenses are clear and transparent over the pupil with or without power, as per the refractive status. 2. Patients with scarred/disfigured cornea can hide the scar using coloured lenses. 3. Patients diagnosed with vision disturbing conditions like albinism, aniridia, iris colobomas and patients with double vision can significantly benefit from these lenses. 4. Children with amblyopia (lazy eye) may be prescribed coloured contact lenses with the black pupil for their normal eye as occlusion therapy.
From whom to buy coloured contact lenses?
As a beginner, you need to consult an ophthalmologist before buying these lenses to ensure you are a good candidate for such lenses. Once you have the prescription, these lenses should be bought from a reputable retailer. Always wear FDA approved contact lenses. Lenses should not be bought from cosmetic stores, street vendors and online stores that do not ask for prescriptions for selling these lenses.
Dos & don’ts of coloured contact lenses
- The coloured contact lenses are not “one size fits all”. Contact lens fitting should be obtained from an ophthalmologist or a trained optometrist.
- The duration of lens wear should be decided. Daily wear lenses are expensive but can be disposed of after a day’s use and have fewer chances of infection. Extended wear lenses may be replaced after 3-6 months of use. They are cheaper and should be used as directed.
- Contact lenses should never be shared with others.
- Hands should be washed before touching the lenses or the eyes.
- Instructions for cleaning and storage of lenses should be followed as directed. Manufacturer recommended contact solution should only be used for cleaning and storing the lenses.
- Contact lenses should be replaced at the scheduled times and worn only as directed.
What eye problems can occur due to coloured contact lenses?1. The dyes used for tinting the lenses may be toxic and can cause eye irritation and allergic reactions. 2. These lenses can often be thick, reducing oxygen transmission. Ill-fitting lenses can cause: — corneal abrasions — corneal infections — conjunctivitis — reduced vision — rarely, blindness
How to safely use coloured contact lenses?
- Get an eye examination done by an Ophthalmologist.
- Buy cosmetic lenses only with a valid prescription and from the seller who requires you to provide a valid prescription.
- Stringently follow the instructions for cleaning, disinfecting and wearing the lenses. The use of hydrogen peroxide or chlorine-releasing agents should be avoided.
- Consult the ophthalmologist immediately if you develop redness, eye pain or blurred vision.
MM Joshi Eye Hospital’s experienced specialists provide excellent ophthalmology services. You could book an appointment with us for your eye checks and get prescriptions for glasses and lenses.