Many people who need contact lenses recently switched to color contacts with corrective powers. But you don't have to be shortsighted or longsighted to enjoy a new eye color. Find out how you can get non-prescription color lenses and what you need to know to make the right choice.
What non-prescription color contacts are available?
If you are looking for non-prescription (also called plano) color lenses, the choices are great - all well-known brands offer color contacts with no prescription as well as corrective lenses. Freshlook, Acuvue 2 Colors and Durasoft Colors are the leaders in the color lens market. When making your order, you just need to specify "0" where it says power. Also you can find hundreds of no-brand non-prescription color contact lenses online.
See photos of people wearing plano color contact lenses by different brands
However, it is recommended to go for a well-known brand produced by established contact lens manufacturer. The reason is that while most color contacts look great in your eyes, not all of them feel comfortable. Brand-name lenses are made from quality materials and are designed to be comfortable as well as gorgeous. On the other hand unknown color contacts can not only be uncomfortable, but plain dangerous. As you can imagine, some paints are quite toxic, so it is important to use a paint that is safe for your eyes.
Do you want to change or to enhance your natural color?
All non-prescription color contacts fall into two major groups - opaque and enhancement contact lenses. If you have light eyes, enhancement color lenses will add brightness to your natural color, making your eyes appear more interesting and stunning. To change your natural color, use opaque color lenses even if you have light eyes. For people with dark eyes, opaque color lenses are the only option.
To determine whether the lens is enhancement or opaque, look at its name. The name of the lens usually suggests whether it is opaque or enhancement contacts. Also opaque lenses might say "for dark eyes" while enhancers are often labeled "for light eyes".
The most popular color contacts, Acuvue 2 Colors Enhancers and Acuvue 2 Colors Opaques, leave you in no doubt as to which is which. From Freshlook collections, Freshlook Colors and Freshlook Colorblends are opaque lenses, while Freshlook Dimensions and Freshlook Radiance are enhancers.
Be careful not to buy lightly tinted lenses. It is difficult to see a clear contact lens in the solution, so for your convenience most corrective lenses have a light blue tint. This tint doesn't affect your eye color at all, its only purpose is to make the lens easier to find in its case.
For non prescription color lenses you need a doctor's prescription
If you never had vision problems, you might be surprised to find out that to buy plano color lenses a person needs a doctor's prescription. The reason is that contact lenses (including colored lenses) have more characteristics than just corrective power. It isn't a "one size fits all" proposition - you also have to know the base curve of your eye and the recommended diameter of the lens. Only a qualified eye care practitioner can measure your eyes.
Often, people ignore the need for a prescription and order color lenses they like from the Internet. This is really not a good idea. Of course, if you intend to wear your lenses for one special occasion, probably nothing horrible will happen. But continuous wear of contact lenses that are not properly fitted can damage your eyes, even if you never had vision problems before.
However, you should check what is sold online before visiting your eye doctor for a prescription. Find several brands that offer the right colors and suit your budget. This way, you can ask your doctor to recommend lenses from your list, rather than fully rely on his or her judgment.
Tanya Turner publishes Contact Lenses Consumer Guide where you can find tips on safe contact lens shopping, reviews and price comparison of non prescription color contact lenses The Guide also helps you select best color contact lenses providing you with photos and reviews of color contacts by different brands.