With safer and more comfortable contact lenses coming onto the market at a faster pace than ever before, many people are taking the opportunity to try out colored contact lenses. Eye color altering lenses have been around for several years now, but have been most commonly used for dramatic effect in theater and film until recently.
Kinds of Contact Lenses
Lenses that are designed to improve poor vision are known as corrective lenses while contacts that deliberately change the color of your eye are known as cosmetic lenses. Fortunately, the two types are not mutually exclusive – lenses that both change your appearance and correct your vision are available and perfectly safe.
Get an Exam
People who do not need corrective lenses may purchase and wear the cosmetic version, but must first have an eye exam. During the course of the exam, your optometrist will measure your eye, check for genetic problems such as astigmatism and, of course, test your vision capability.
Before you leave the exam, your eye doctor may offer a pair of temporary contact lenses to help you get used to the feel of them as well as practice putting them in and taking them out. The doctor or an assistant will also offer one on one instruction on the proper methods for inserting and removing contacts. If this help is not offered for some reason, let your doctor know that it’s your first time using contacts; the help is well worth it.
Whether you need vision correction or not, your eye doctor should supply you with a written prescription before you leave. This prescription will be necessary when purchasing or ordering colored contacts. Some patients may choose to purchase their contacts through their eye doctor. This is not a bad idea, since the doctor and his staff deal with contacts and glasses every day and may be able to suggest certain brands and styles.
Choosing Colored Contact Lenses
Once you’ve taken your eye exam and have your prescription in hand, you’re nearly ready to finally purchase cosmetic lenses. But before you make that final purchase, there are a few more things to consider.
Where to Buy
Colored contact lenses are available for purchase from a number of locations, including nearly any location that sells glasses and normal contacts and, of course, the internet. Before you make a purchase, be sure to consult your eye doctor, as well as trusted friends and family who wear contacts to learn more about specific brands.
When deciding which company to purchase your lenses from, it usually pays to stick with a name you are familiar with, or at least one which has been recommended to you. Although prices may be extremely low for certain brands, there may be a reason for such a discount. Sticking to a well known brand brings the good reputation that particular company has built over time.
What Style is for You?
Cosmetic contact lenses are available in a dizzying array of styles and colors. Your eye change can be as subtle or as drastic as you like. Some contact lens suppliers and manufacturers offer programs online where you can upload a picture of yourself and try out various styles and colors with the click of a button. Of course, this method must be taken with a grain of salt, but it can give you a roundabout idea of how you might look with a new eye color.
If you are purchasing cosmetic lenses with a more theatrical idea in mind, like adding a final touch to your Halloween costume or appearing in a movie, your options will be extremely varied. Popular theatrical lenses can give you zombie eyes, cat eyes or beady red eyes among many other creative effects.
Lenses that also cover a significant portion of the white part of the eye are called scleral lenses. This type of lens offers a truly striking or, if desired, shocking effect but comes with its own drawbacks. Since this type of lens does not fit snugly over your retina, they can be difficult to keep in place and may not move naturally with the eye.
One type of cosmetic lens that enjoys a fairly wide amount of popularity in Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong are called circle lenses. These contacts have coloration that extends to the very edge of the contact, giving a larger appearance to the iris.
In some cases, it’s possible for cosmetic lenses to give new wearers a certain amount of trouble. You may experience a certain degree of discomfort at first, but the irritation soon subsides. Additionally, cosmetic contacts may block or blur vision to a minor extent.
A fun new way to change your look on a temporary basis, colored contact lenses let you enhance your natural beauty safely.
Jennifer L Matthews is a freelance writer who writes about health, eye care and specific products such as colored contact lenses