Have fun with coloured contact lenses – but do it safely

From a subtle enhancement to a bold change, coloured contact lenses are fun and face-changing. With inferior, purely cosmetic coloured contact lenses becoming freely available and quite affordable, Ruahan Naude, CEO at Dynamic Vision Optometrists, advises consumers to be careful about what they put into their eyes.

“Coloured contact lenses, like conventional lenses are medical devices. They should be fitted by an optometrist and treated like any other contact lenses. Make sure to replace contact lenses at the right time, some disposable lenses should be replaced monthly. Do not purchase cosmetic coloured lenses online or from flea markets. Using cheap, low grade coloured contact lenses can damage your eyes,” he says.

Naude explains that Colour contact lenses are available in prescription and plano forms. Prescription coloured contact lenses are for correcting nearsightedness, farsightedness. Plano coloured contact lenses have no vision-correcting capabilities and are worn purely to change eye colour and for fun.

“When considering coloured contact lenses, it is important to see an optometrist who will do an eye exam to determine what your vision needs are. This will ensure that the colour-contacts you choose are safe, properly fitted and comfortable. An optometrist will also be able to advise you on a suitable colour that enhances your eyes while looking natural.”

“Coloured contact lenses that are fitted properly by an optometrist will correct vision and won’t cause any harm to the eyes, but take in mind that Polarised sunglasses is still a must to reduce glare and to protect the eyes from harmful UV rays.”

As with conventional contact lenses, coloured contact lenses should be cared for properly. They should be cleaned and stored in the correct cleaning solutions. Contact lenses also need to be replaced according to your optometrist’s instructions. Prescription contact lenses may also need to change as vision needs change.

Naude warns that coloured contact lenses should never be swapped or shared with friends.

“It might seem like fun to share coloured lenses with your friends to change your eye colour but this comes with a serious risk of infection as you will not only be sharing colours but bacteria too, and not even to mention the damage of a wrong fit.”

He offers these tips for using coloured contact lenses safely:

  • Wash, rinse and dry your hands before handling contact lenses.
  • Use soap that is free of oils, lotions and perfumes.
  • Don’t use sharp objects like tweezers to handle your contact lenses – fingertips only!
  • Never put a damaged contact lens into your eye.
  • Only use the cleaning solution recommended by your optometrist.
  • Replace your contact lenses according to your optometrist’s instructions.
  • Never use saliva or tap water to wet or lubricate your contact lenses.
  • If your eyes become red or irritated or if you feel like your vision is impaired, contact your optometrist immediately.
  • Never reuse your cleaning solution. Always use fresh solution to clean and store your contact lenses.
  • Insert contact lenses before applying makeup and remove them before washing off your makeup.
  • Do not sleep with your contact lenses, unless they are extended wear lenses and your optometrist has advised that it is safe to sleep with them in.

Customised contact lenses should be fitted for each patient individually, after this process patients can choose the colour of the lenses.  Patients should be instructed on how to insert, remove and clean contact lenses to prevent damage to the eyes, concludes Naude.


Issued on behalf of Dynamic Vision by Echo Square PR. For more information please call Vickie Slabbert on 082 411 7602 or e-mail vickie@echosquare.co.za

For more information on eye care, please visit the Dynamic Vision website, http://dynamicvisionsa.co.za

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