What You Need to Know About Colored Contact Lenses

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It has been some time since Leonardo da Vinci first envisioned the concept of contact lenses in 1508, but today, his dream has become a practical reality for millions of people around the world. Safe, comfortable, vision-correcting or color-altering contacts are now readily available for people of all ages, needs and budgets.

Contact lenses are the ideal solution for people with astigmatisms, presbyopia, dry eyes, and other similar eye conditions. Athletes enjoy the convenience of having a wider field of vision, less opportunity for slippage during physical activity, and reduced potential harm from glass-related injuries. However, many people are also purchasing contacts for purely cosmetic reasons. Enhancing or changing eye colors can create an entirely new look or make a dramatic fashion statement. Special theatrical effects are also possible simply by adding striking contacts. Colored contacts are available as visibility tints, enhancements, opaques and special-effect lenses:

  • VISIBILITY TINTS are light colors that allow easier detection and handling of the contacts. They are not designed to change the eye color in any significant or noticeable manner.
  • ENHANCEMENT colors do just as their name implies. They deepen light-colored eyes creating brilliant blues, emerald greens and smoky grays. When layered over a different natural eye color, they create interesting, unique shades. Enhancements have little effect on those who already have dark-colored eyes.
  • OPAQUE contact lenses totally change the color of the eye. They can successfully cover any natural eye color and produce a dramatic, new look.
  • SPECIAL-EFFECTS contacts are the perfect choice for that costume party or theatre performance. They can capture the romantic danger of the vampire, the creepiness of the zombie, or the automation of a robot. Special-effects lenses add the finishing touch to creating an extraordinary fashion statement.

Colored contact lenses are no more difficult to wear or maintain than regular contacts. They are available for a variety of vision problems and in both long-wearing and disposable styles. While the daily disposable lenses are usually the most expensive, they are also less apt to become contaminated and cause infections. GP lenses are more durable and can be worn safely for years. They are initially more expensive to purchase, but cheaper over time both to own and to maintain.

POPULAR MANUFACTURERS AND BRANDS

  • Bausch & Lomb makes the "Pure Vision" brand that is known for comfort and clarity of vision.
  • CIBA Vision, a subsidiary of Novartis AG, offers "Air Optix" and "Focus" contacts. This company produces a complete line of daily contact lenses as well as colored, cosmetic lenses.
  • Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Inc. offers "Acuvue Brand" disposable lenses for vision correction and color alteration. Johnson & Johnson ships to more than 70 countries worldwide.
  • Cooper Vision manufactures "Biofinity," "Biomedics" and "Proclear" contacts. These lenses are noted for their stability.
  • Wesley Jessen VisionCare Inc. offers "Freshlook" contact lenses in colors and made to prescription specifications.

Buying colored contacts is a simple process. Visit your ophthalmologist or optometrist for an eye exam and a prescription. Then purchase directly from your eye doctor or order online. Colored lenses are an easy way to express your personality and style. They can be practical, fun and affordable. Maybe it's your time to consider viewing the world through different-colored lenses.

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