Women love to change their look. It’s fun, and there are so many ways to switch things up. From hair dye, makeup, outfits and accessories, a woman can change her entire appearance with a subtle piece. Women even go so far as to wear contact lenses solely for cosmetic reasons.
But is this fashion statement going too far?
What You Should Know About Colored Contact Lenses
Colored contact lenses go by many names: fashion contact lenses, cosmetic lenses and even decorative lenses. They’re all designed to change your eye color but if you’re not careful, they can change more than just the color of your iris.
Most consumers are unaware of this, and they unknowingly purchase colored contact lenses just as they would buy makeup or clothing. But when selecting your lenses, it’s important to be very careful. Your eye health depends on it.
Contact Lenses Are Not Just Fashion Statements
Contact lenses are an easy way to have those baby blue eyes you always wanted. Or, you can serious up your Halloween game by adding them to your costume.
But like prescription contact lenses, these medical devices can lead to trouble if they’re not used properly.
Ophthalmologist, Steven Shanbom, MD, says that “you should be considering your colored contact a medical device, not a toy.” It might seem strange to think of colored lenses as anything other than a fun accessory, but you should.
Risks Involved with Wearing Colored Contact Lenses
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) advises people to be careful when it comes to changing their look with colored lenses. They may seem like harmless beauty accessories, but they can wreak havoc on your beautiful eyes.
Here are just some of the potential risks involved with them:
- They can scratch or cut your eye. This is especially true if the lenses don’t fit your eye correctly.
- Contact lenses can impair your vision.
- Lenses can cause allergic reactions and infection.
- Worst of all, colored contacts can lead to blindness in some cases.
As you can see, when contact lenses cause trouble, they’re not just annoying. These risks are quite serious and we shouldn’t take them too lightly.
How to Wear Colored Contact Lenses Safely
Up until now, it might seem like cosmetic lenses are only dangerous and risky. And if you’re not careful, they can be. But if you’ve always wanted to try them out, you probably want to know how you can wear them safely, right? Here’s what you need to know.
Get a Prescription for Your Colored Lenses
Contact lenses are actually regulated by the FDA, so they’re not just a fun fashion statement, they’re a medical device. And being able to purchase lenses without a prescription is illegal.
So, even if you don’t wear them for medical reasons, you should still obtain a prescription from your eye care professional. Without one, you can easily increase your risk for eye infections, damage and even blindness.
Besides a visit to your medical care provider will benefit you in many ways. You can assess the health, condition and shape of your eyes, and together with your doctor, decide if contact lenses are a good option for you.
Not only will a prescription ensure that your lenses properly fit, but you can also receive instructions and recommendations on correct use and appropriate contact lens brands.
Give Your Eyes a Break
Whether you wear contact lenses to improve your sight, or to change your eye color, there’s one universal issue: contacts decrease the amount of oxygen to your eyes.
And it’s very important for your eye health to get enough oxygen to the cornea. So, if your colored contacts are simply a fashion statement, try to limit how frequently you wear them.
They’re great to wear every other day, or for a night out, or for a special event, but try to avoid wearing them all day and every day. Your eyes need a break!
Look Out For These Warning Signs
Even if you obtain a prescription from your doctor, your eyes might not love your new colored contacts as much as you do.
So, try to pay close attention to how your eyes feel once you start wearing them.
If there’s any redness, eye pain, or if your vision gets worse, remove your contacts immediately, and contact your doctor straight away. These reactions can indicate an eye infection, and that can lead to more serious eye problems.
Only Use FDA Approved Colored Lenses
Maybe it seems like a hassle to schedule a doctor’s appointment for a prescription. You’re just wearing them to change your eye color, right? Who wants all that hoopla if you can purchase colored contact lenses without a prescription?
Beauty brands and costume brands have their own line of cosmetic contact lenses, but they do not meet the standards set by the FDA.
These illegal accessories can be poorly made, use low quality materials and be ill fitted to your eyes. Instead, look for FDA approved lenses, like Acuves 1-Day Define Lenses, or Alcon Air Optix Colors Lenses.
Treat Your Cosmetic Lenses Like Real Contacts
While caring for your lenses, be sure to follow the same guidelines that you would for regular, prescription lenses. Otherwise, you can increase your chance for eye infections. This means you should clean them in a solution made specifically for contact lenses. Never use water, and always make sure you apply and remove them after you’ve thoroughly washed your hands.
It’s common to swap out sunglasses or non-prescription fashion glasses with your friends. But when it comes to colored contact lenses, it’s okay to be selfish. Sharing contact lenses can introduce bacteria to your eye, and this can increase your chance for an eye infection.
Your eyes are a precious organ, but it’s easy to forget about them! So, always make sure you take out your contact lenses before you sleep. And always remove them before playing water sports, and taking off your makeup.
Colored contact lenses are a subtle way to make a big, beauty statement. Just be sure that you see a doctor, get a prescription and wear FDA approved lenses. This way, you’ll look beautiful and have healthy eyes for years to come.