Eye Matters
August 28, 2009
Coloured contact lenses

Coloured contact lenses can enhance the natural colour of one’s eyes. They can change your eye’s appearance for example from brown to hazel or from brown to green. They come in three different types of tints: 1) opaque colours 2) enhancements 3) visibility tints.{{more}}

Opaque colours can change your eye colour completely, because they are made of solid colour patterns. In countries where most people have dark eyes this is the lens colour of choice. The popular lens colours are usually brown, hazel, green, violet, gray, amethyst and blue. Most coloured contact lenses mimic the natural look of the iris of the eye, leaving the center (where the pupil is) clear.

On occasion the contact lens may slide off the center of the eye causing a blur. This is rare however. Also it must be noted that the pupil changes in size according to the amount of light that enters it. Usually at night the pupil is larger and this can affect vision in some patients because they then see the coloured portion of the contact lens. If this is a persistent problem, it is recommended that you see your eye doctor.

Enhancement tints are solid tints although one can still see through them. They are meant to enhance the existing colour of one’s eyes and are usually best for people with light coloured eyes who are looking to make them more intense.

Visibility tints are usually just mild tints that are added to the lens to help people, especially those with high prescriptions see better when removing or inserting their contact lens. This allows people to find their lenses more easily. They have no effect on the eye colour.

Nearly all of these lenses described are available in nonprescription form as well as for people who need prescriptions.

Just like clear contact lenses, coloured contact lenses (even those without a prescription) are a medical device and are to be fitted according to specification by an eye specialist. And just like clear contacts, they must be properly disinfected and cleaned with the right type of cleaning products. Ask your eye doctor what products are best for you.

One should never ever share contact lenses with anyone. Sharing contact lenses can lead to the transmittal of harmful bacteria. This can lead to serious eye infections.

Remember that contact lenses are a medical device. Do not take them for granted! If you experience eye pain, redness or any other unusual symptom, you are advised to see your eye doctor immediately

Talk soon.

Dr Kenneth Onu is a resident Consultant Ophthalmologist at the Beachmont Eye Institute/Eyes R Us. Send questions to: [email protected]

Tel: 784 456-1210