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Have you asked yourself recently, are non-prescription contacts safe to wear? Maybe you’re considering giving them a try? Read more below to find out if non-prescription colored contacts are right for you.

According to the CDC, around 45 million people wear contacts on a regular basis in the United States. Approximately two thirds of all contact wearers are female. 

Contact lenses are one of the most popular, commonplace medical devices. People use them to correct their vision. However, contact lenses are sometimes also worn to change the user’s appearance, even if they have perfect vision.

Non-Prescription Colored Contacts are a great, subtle way to change the appearance of your eyes. They can change the entire look of your face and make your eyes pop.

What are Non-prescription Contact Lenses?

Initially, contact lenses only came with prescriptions. Contact lenses hit the market in 1938. They used to be made of a hard, rigid material. In 1971, manufacturers began to produce contact lenses that are soft and pliable. In the past few decades, contact lenses have become available to the public without vision-improving prescriptions. 

Contact Lenses are small plastic discs that sit over the cornea. Prescription contacts are completely transparent. They correct for vision problems like myopia or hyperopia. If you have one of these conditions, it means that your eye doesn’t focus light properly on the retina. This causes blurry vision. Just like glasses, contact lenses correct these issues in order for your vision to be less blurry. 

Because contact lenses physically touch the eye, they are much closer to your retinas than glasses. This means that the strength of the prescription tends to be different for glasses and contacts. They adhere to your eyes by attaching to a layer of tear fluid on the surface of your corneas. Tear fluid runs over your eyes at all times. Tear fluid, in combination with the pressure of your eyelids, help make the contact lenses stick to your eyes with lubrication. Every time you blink, your eye lubricates and flushes away any debris that might get stuck to the lens. 

Contact lenses move with your eye. They make your field of vision more natural than glasses do. This means contact lenses won’t interfere with your line of sight in the same way that glasses do. Depending on the types of contact lenses you have, you can wear them all day, or even longer periods of time. 

How do Contact Lenses Work?

Contact lenses work in a similar way to eyeglasses. They move with your eye. Just like glasses, they correct refractive errors in the eye such as myopia or hyperopia. They refocus light in order to accommodate imperfections of the retina. 

In order to fit between the eyelid and cornea, they must be considerably smaller and thinner than regular glasses. Because they sit right on your eyes, the optic zone does not have to be as large. 

Although many people blame their dry eye symptoms on their contact lenses, a wide variety of causes might be to blame for dry eyes. Speak with an experienced eye doctor about possible solutions before you get rid of your contacts completely. 

What Types of Regular Contact Lenses Are There?

Regular contact lenses, or prescription contact lenses, are different from colored contact lenses. Learn more about all of your options before deciding on non-prescription contacts.

Hard Contact Lenses

Rigid, hard contact lenses were the first type of contact lenses to hit the market. They used to be very popular, but soft contacts have taken over. Hard contact lenses can be uncomfortable for many people. Although they are rigid, they do allow air and gas to permeate through to the eye. Manufacturers fabricate them from a combination of firm plastic and other materials. 

They hold their shape quite well, yet still allow oxygen to flow through. Hard contact lenses are often most helpful for people that have keratoconus or astigmatism. 

Soft Contact Lenses

These are the most popular types of contact lenses. They are much more comfortable, flexible and breathable than hard contact lenses. There are many different options for consumers based on their preferences. Some of those options include:

  • Daily contact lenses
    • These are intended to be worn for one day at a time, and then disposed of
  • Extended wear contacts (EW)
    • These are made of silicone hydrogel materials.
    • It is not recommended to ever sleep while wearing contacts. However, some extended wear contacts can be reused for any period of time ranging from one week to a whole month.
    • Extended wear contacts tend to be thinner than daily contact lenses.
  • Toric Contacts
    • This type of contact lens is specifically designed for patients with astigmatism. 
    • Astigmatism results from a curvature of the cornea. 
    • People with astigmatism cannot see clearly with standard contact lenses.
  • Colored contacts with prescription 
    • Most type of prescription contact lenses are also available in colored lens form
  • Cosmetic contacts
    • You cannot get contact lenses in the U.S. legally without a prescription. This is because the FDA classifies contact lenses as medical devices. 
    • Even if you don’t need any type of vision correction, you still need to see a certified eye doctor to make sure your eyes are healthy and able to wear contacts.

Why Do People Wear Non-Prescription Contacts?

We often see an increase of non-prescription contacts sales around Halloween. This is because many would like to take their Halloween costumes to the next level. Some non-prescription contacts are meant to be scary or creepy, while others enhance someone’s look to be glamorous.

However, some people want the aesthetic benefits of non-prescription contacts year round. With a slight change of tint or color, your look could be completely changed. Although colored contact lenses cost more than regular contact lenses, many people swear by them and agree that the price is worth it.

How Do Non-prescription Colored Contacts Work?

Colored contacts contain tinting that align with your iris. The iris is the part of the eye with color. Colored contacts have clusters of colored dots or lines that circle around the pupil. The center part remains clear so you can see through it with your pupil.

There are three types of tints for colored contacts. 

Visibility Tint

Adding a bit of color to the lens makes it easier to remove from the case. This is usually for people with poor vision that have trouble seeing translucent lenses.

Enhancement Tint

An enhancement tint tends to be slightly darker than the wearer’s iris color. It enhances the natural color of your eyes.

Opaque Tint

Opaque colored contacts completely block light from getting through the lens. This hides your natural eye color and makes it seem as if your iris is a completely different color.  If you have dark eyes, you will most likely need opaque tinted lenses in order to successfully change the color of your eyes. 

Most costume or halloween lenses are opaque tint contact lenses. Your creativity is the only limit for these types of contacts- you can look like a vampire, alien, or monster with these contacts! They can be prescription or non-prescription contacts. If you don’t want to invest in extended wear colored contacts, it’s possible to get daily disposable non-prescription contacts. These can be easy to insert and remove.

Are Non-Prescription Contacts Safe?

Yes. Colored contacts are completely safe, as long as you care for them and your eyes properly. It’s important to use them exactly as the manufacturer and your doctor instruct you. Non-prescription contacts are just as safe as prescription contacts. 

The first step in ensuring your safety is to be fitted by an eye doctor. Discuss with your doctor your desire for colored contacts and make sure he or she explains to you all of the ways to care for them. 

Ready to enhance your look with non-prescription colored contacts? Schedule an appointment with us by filling out our online form, or calling us at 318-703-5655.