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Are Coloured Contacts Safe?

A pair of coloured contact lenses on a mirror.

When it comes to altering our appearance, whether for a special event or just for fun, many options are available, from temporary hair dye to snap-on veneers. However, one popular option that has been gaining traction over the years is coloured contacts. These lenses offer a quick and easy way to switch up your eye colour and add some pizzazz to your look. 

But with any cosmetic alteration, safety should always be a top priority. So, if you’re considering trying out coloured contacts, you may wonder: are they safe? 

Yes, coloured contact lenses are safe as long as your contacts are properly prescribed, used, and cared for. We’ll dive into everything you need to know about coloured contacts and their potential risks so that you can make an informed decision before getting a fitting completed and adding them to your beauty routine.

What are Coloured Contacts?

For cosplay, fashion, or fun, coloured contacts can give you a whole new look and boost your confidence. These contacts are available in various colours, from subtle shades to vivid hues, and can be worn by people with prescription lenses or without vision problems. 

It’s important to note that coloured contacts require a prescription from an optometrist, just like regular contact lenses. Furthermore, following proper hygiene practices when handling and wearing these lenses is crucial, as they can cause eye infections if not used correctly. With coloured contacts, you can express your personality and experiment with different looks, all while keeping your eyes safe and healthy.

Risks of Non-prescription Coloured Contacts

While these lenses can enhance your natural eye colour and offer a fun change, you should take precautions to prevent unwanted damage. 

The primary safety concerns with coloured contacts include corneal ulcers, infections, and other eye irritations that can lead to vision loss and even blindness. It’s essential to acquire the contacts from a licensed eyecare provider and use them according to the instructions provided. 

You should never buy coloured contacts if they are unlicensed. Only purchase from vendors that require a prescription and are accepted by governing laws in your area. 

It’s also important to clean and store them properly and to never share them with others. Remember, your eyes are precious, and taking safety measures with coloured contacts can help you enjoy them without sacrificing your health.

The Importance of Proper Fit & Material Quality

For those who wear coloured contacts or are considering trying them out, it is essential to understand the importance of proper fit and material quality. Wearing the wrong size or style of contact can result in discomfort, irritation, or even damage to your eyes. It is imperative to get measured by an eye care professional to determine a proper fit and avoid any issues. 

Additionally, choosing lenses made from quality materials can prevent adverse reactions or infections. Opting for cheaper, lower-quality lenses may be tempting, but investing in prescription lenses can mean a safer and more comfortable experience. 

If you need help deciding which lenses to choose, consult an eye care professional who can provide advice and guidance. 

How to Safely Wear Coloured Contacts

Like normal contact lenses, it is important to follow certain guidelines to maintain your eye health and well-being. Proper steps to care for your contact lenses may include:

  • Getting measured by an eye care professional: As mentioned before, this step is crucial in making sure there’s a proper fit for your contacts. 
  • Choosing lenses recommended by your optometrist: When it comes to decorative contacts, always choose lenses made from licensed quality materials
  • Following the recommended wear schedule: It’s important to follow the recommended wear schedule provided by the manufacturer or eye care professional. Wearing contacts for too long can increase the risk of eye infections and other issues.
  • Keeping them clean: Proper cleaning and disinfecting of contact lenses are essential in maintaining good eye health while wearing cosmetic contacts. Use a recommended contact lens solution and follow the instructions for cleaning and storing your lenses.
  • Avoiding sharing or borrowing contacts: It’s important not to share or borrow any contacts with others, as this can increase the risk of eye infections and complications.
  • Removing your contacts if you experience discomfort: If you experience any discomfort, redness, irritation, or vision problems while wearing coloured contacts, remove them immediately and consult an eye care professional.
  • Not sleeping in coloured contacts: It’s crucial to remove your coloured contacts, or any contact lenses, before sleeping to allow your eyes to rest and breathe. Sleeping with contacts can lead to dryness, redness, and irritation.
  • Regularly visiting your eye care professional: Regular check-ups with your eye care professional are important to monitor your eyes’ health and to make sure you are following the safe and proper use of coloured contacts.

Common Myths about Coloured Contacts

Myth: Coloured contacts are just for cosmetic purposes.

Fact: While coloured contacts have the added benefit of changing your eye colour, they also functionally correct vision like traditional contact lenses. They can also be designed to improve the appearance of a damaged iris or an irregularly shaped pupil. 

Myth: Coloured contacts are more expensive than regular ones.

Fact: This is only sometimes true. While some specialty or custom-made coloured contacts may be pricier, plenty of affordable options are available. 

Myth: Coloured contacts are uncomfortable to wear.

Fact: As long as you follow proper hygiene and care instructions, coloured contacts can be as comfortable as traditional ones. Some people may experience initial discomfort while getting used to wearing contacts, but this can quickly be resolved by consulting with an eye care professional.

Time for a Contact Lens Fitting

If you have decided that you would like to try coloured contacts, be sure to check with an eye care professional. They will help you determine the right brand and significantly reduce the risk of any complications. Remember, do not buy from unlicensed vendors. 

At Downtown Eye Care & The Contact Lens Department, we can help fit and choose the right contacts for you. Book an appointment today in Downtown Ottawa. 

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Written by Downtown Eye Care & The Contact Lens Department

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