Popular for correcting vision, contacts are increasingly being used as an accessory to enhance appearance by altering eye color to provide an entirely different look.  Different colored contact styles are available depending on the amount of change you want and the purpose for which you are using them.

Styles of Colored Contacts

There are several different styles of colored lenses from which to choose depending upon the reasons you are wearing them.

  • Subtle Color Enhancers – These lenses intensify your natural eye color, adding vibrancy to lighter eyes and deepening the color of darker eyes.
  • Color Altering Lenses – This style completely changes the color of your iris.  They are available in natural eye colors and can change the color of even very dark eyes.
  • Color Filters – While this style of lens can alter eye color somewhat, they are designed to filter certain wavelengths to improve color vision.  The resulting brightening effects make these lenses popular with athletes, increasing visual acuity.
  • Party Lenses – These lenses provide a starting effect as they’re produced in unnatural eye colors such as red, gold, florescent colors or even patterns.   As these lenses are no cheaper than other versions, they are generally used predominantly for movies or theatrical purposes, however they are becoming increasingly popular with college students who wear them at parties.

Safety Issues

While previously considered a cosmetic product, Federal legislation passed in 2005 declared that colored contact lenses are medical products.  The associated regulations made it illegal to sell colored lenses without a prescription.

If you are considering buying colored contact lenses, there are several factors to be aware of to ensure the lenses you purchase are safe for your eyes.  In addition to obtaining a proper prescription, make sure the lenses you buy are FDA approved.

It’s important to have your eyes measured and a complete eye exam conducted to ensure you are a good candidate for wearing colored lenses.  Your new lenses should be fitted by a trained professional and you should  have follow-up examinations to ensure you aren’t experiencing problems from your contacts.

Make sure to follow the recommended schedule for wear to avoid eye irritation.  To protect your eyes from damage it’s also critical to follow care recommendations for cleaning/sterilizing your lenses and basic hygiene practices when putting them on or taking them off.

With proper fitting and care, colored contact lenses can give you a fun and different look within minutes.