Color-Changing Contact Lenses

Color-changing contact lenses are popular accessories that allow people to change or enhance the natural color of their eyes. Under U.S. law, it is necessary to have a contact lens prescription to purchase colored contact lenses, even if the lenses are not corrective. It is important to remember that while color-changing contact lenses are used for fun, they must still fit correctly and should always be properly maintained.

What are color-changing contact lenses?

Color-changing contact lenses (also referred to as colored contacts and color-enhancing contact lenses) are available in designs for people with nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, or in plano form (without a lens correction).

There are three kinds of colored contact lenses: 

  • Visibility tints are added to contact lenses simply to make them easier to see during application and removal. This type of tint is very light and will not alter the color of the eye. 
  • Enhancement tints are translucent tints that enhance the existing color of the eyes. These tints help make lighter colored eyes more intense in appearance. 
  • Colored tints are used to alter the color of dark eyes. They come in a variety of colors, from hazel to blue, green, violet, and gray.

Why are color-changing contact lenses used?

Color-changing contact lenses are used to alter the color of the eye. They can enhance the existing colors found in the eye or completely change the appearance of the eyes. These lenses are meant to be a fun fashion accessory and they are commonly used in television and movies. Some colored contact lenses are designed purely for novelty use and can transform eyes for a theater production or Halloween costume.

Benefits of color-changing contact lenses

Colored contact lenses provide a quick and easy way to alter the appearance. Most people use them just for fun. The benefit of color-changing lenses is that they can be used by anyone, even people without a corrective lens prescription.

Problems associated with color-changing contact lenses

There is a reason a law was passed in the U.S. requiring people to undergo an eye exam before obtaining colored contact lenses. There is a serious risk of eye injury associated with using colored contact lenses without a prescription or proper fitting by an eye care professional. The FDA has received numerous reports of eye infections and corneal damage caused by wearing colored lenses that do not fit properly.

Color-changing contact lenses are completely safe when they are fitted by an eye care professional. If you end up purchasing a pair of colored contact lenses, make sure to follow instructions on how to care for them properly.


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