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Are Coloured Contacts Safe?

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A young woman holding her right eyelid with her left hand, as she prepares to put a contact lens on her right eye.

Your eye colour never changes as an adult, and sometimes, you may wish you had something different. 

You may prefer to have blue or green eyes or even something unusual like purple or red in your daily life. This is when many people begin to consider coloured contact lenses—but are these safe to use?

This depends on your unique situation. The health of your eyes, whether you have any existing optical or medical conditions, and what type of lenses you are interested in buying all play a big part in answering this question. 

However, if you have healthy eyes and purchased coloured lenses from an eye care professional, your eyes should be safe.

It is always important to visit an optometrist when considering changing forms of vision correction. 

What Are Coloured Contact Lenses?

Coloured contact lenses are a form of contact lens that utilizes certain shades, colours, and pigments to change the look of your eyes. These lenses are specially designed to provide several customizations, like:

  • Changing the colour of your eye 
  • Changing the shape of the iris
  • Hiding visible injuries on the eye or blemishes

They can be an excellent option for individuals looking to change their appearance. However, just like other forms of vision correction, not every coloured contact lens is the same. 

It is essential to speak with an optometrist and schedule a comprehensive eye exam so they can determine if these lenses are a safe option for you.

Are There Different Types of Coloured Contacts?

Simply put, there are two primary types of coloured contact lenses.

On the one hand, there are prescription options available through most optometry practices. These work similarly to standard prescription lenses, helping provide clear vision while avoiding the cumbersome look or feel of standard eyeglasses. 

Meanwhile, prescription coloured contact lenses change the colour or shape of your iris, allowing you to customize your look.

On the other hand, there are coloured contacts that come in non-prescription form. These are often considered similar to costume jewellery, as they do not provide any form of vision correct. Rather, these are focused entirely on style, with no benefits to your eyes other than a change in aesthetic. 

A female optometrist using a medical device to examine the eyes of a female patient and look for potential eye problems.

Can Coloured Contacts Harm Your Eyes?

Due to their ability to change your aesthetic by adding a different lens to your eye, coloured contacts have become much more popular, especially at Halloween. 

This has led to many illegitimate or illegal companies selling coloured contacts through poorly monitored channels. Usually, these products’ most significant selling point is that they are a cheap and effective way to alter your appearance.

However, this is not quite the whole truth. Contact lenses are classified as medical devices in Canada, meaning many licenses and restrictions are in play to prioritize your safety. However, some online retailers may skirt these restrictions, selling them through channels that some governments cannot regulate or even sell them illegally through costume shops.

These restrictions are in effect because contact lenses make direct contact with your eye. Your eyes are a sensitive part of the body essential for daily life, and a compromised contact lens can cause many problems ranging from eye infections to total vision loss.

However, when purchased through an optometrist, you can have more peace of mind knowing the contacts meet all the standards required to be sold in Canada. The chances of developing eye problems are significantly lower, and you can always speak with the optometrist about proper contact lens care and hygiene so you can avoid potentially negative situations.

How to Lower the Risk of Damaging Your Eyes with Contacts

Contact lenses can cause several problems if used carelessly, making it essential to speak with your optometrist and develop a contact lens care routine to avoid these issues. It helps to:

  • Wash your hands before and after handling your contact lenses
  • Follow expiry dates to avoid contamination or bacterial infection
  • Regularly clean and sterilize your contacts
  • Always store them in a clean, contaminant-free environment
  • Avoid using out-of-date contact lenses 

Along with these steps, it can be beneficial to regularly visit your optometrist to receive up-to-date information about taking care of your lenses. This also allows you to order a new pair when yours expires.

Coloured Contact Lenses in Edmonton

Coloured contact lenses, while an excellent option for changing your aesthetic appearance, require proper care to be effective. And our team at Eye Care Group in Edmonton is here to help provide you with advice and information about contact lenses and the best ways to take care of them. Book an appointment with us today for a proper contact lens fitting, or feel free to browse our online selection of contact lenses.

Written by Kristiena Bobocel

Kristiena joined the Eye Care Group family business shortly after graduation while working on a degree in ophthalmics from NAIT. Over the years, Kristiena has worked in every aspect of the family business, from dispensing glasses and instructing contacts, to cutting and edging glasses and eventually taking on administrative duties.
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