Colored Contact Lenses: Safety, Risks, and Proper Care for Your Vision

Published on
April 24, 2023

Colored contact lenses have gained popularity in recent years as a way to change or enhance one's eye color. While they can be a fun way to experiment with different looks, some people may have concerns about the potential risks to their vision. In this blog, we will explore whether colored contact lenses can harm your vision and discuss the necessary precautions.

How do colored contact lenses work?

Colored contact lenses function similarly to regular contact lenses but include an added layer of tinting. The tinting can range from a subtle enhancement of the natural eye color to a completely different color. Tinting can also create various effects, such as making the eyes look bigger or brighter.

Are colored contact lenses safe?

Colored contact lenses are safe when prescribed by our eye doctor after a contact lens exam and when properly worn and cared for. Contact lenses, including colored ones, are medical devices that can cause harm if misused. A contact lens that is not fit to the shape of your eye can in extreme cases lead to permanent vision loss, always visit an eye doctor before buying contact lenses. In the US contact lenses are regulated medical devices and are illegal to purchase without a prescription. 

Getting colored contact lenses at our optometry clinic is easy!

When you visit our eye doctor for a colored contacts prescription, we will perform a comprehensive contact lens exam to ensure your eyes are healthy and suitable for contact lens wear. We will also measure the curvature of your eyes and take other measurements to ensure a proper fit.

Following our eye doctor's instructions on caring for your colored contact lenses is crucial. This includes properly cleaning and disinfecting the lenses and avoiding prolonged wear. Neglecting these instructions can lead to eye infections, corneal ulcers, and other serious eye problems.

Can colored contact lenses harm your vision?

Generally, colored contact lenses do not harm your vision when worn and cared for properly. However, there are risks associated with wearing any contact lenses, including colored ones.

One potential risk is an eye infection, which can occur if lenses are not cleaned and disinfected properly or worn for too long. Symptoms include redness, pain, discharge, and blurry vision. If you experience any of these symptoms, remove your contact lenses immediately and contact our eye doctor at (360) 491-2121.

Another risk associated with colored contact lenses is corneal ulcers, open sores on the cornea (the clear front part of the eye). Caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi, corneal ulcers can lead to vision loss if untreated. To avoid them, follow proper contact lens care instructions and refrain from sleeping in your contacts.

Lastly, wearing contact lenses, including colored ones, can cause dry eye. This occurs when the eyes do not produce enough tears for lubrication. Symptoms include itching, burning, and redness. To prevent dry eye, use lubricating eye drops and take breaks from wearing contact lenses.

Protect Your Vision with Proper Contact Lens Care

If considering colored contact lenses, schedule an appointment with our eye doctor for a comprehensive contact lens exam and prescription. Once you have your lenses, follow the provided instructions for proper care.

By taking these steps, you can enjoy the benefits of wearing colored contact lenses without compromising your vision. Prioritize your eye health and seek medical attention promptly if you experience any problems with your contact lenses or vision in general. With proper care, you can enjoy the creativity colored contact lenses offer without compromising eye health.

Remember not to share colored contact lenses with others, as this can increase the risk of eye infections and other problems. Only wear your lenses and avoid swapping them with friends or family members.

Additionally, always wash your hands thoroughly before handling your contact lenses and avoid exposing them to water or other liquids that could contaminate them.

Patients seeking a contact lens exam visit our clinic from all over Washington, and we are proud to be a leading contact lens practice for patients from Olympia, Lakewood, Tacoma, and Lacey.

Always visit an eye doctor before buying colored contact lenses

In conclusion, colored contact lenses can be a safe and enjoyable way to enhance or change your eye color when used correctly. By following the advice of our eye doctor and taking proper care of your lenses, you can minimize the risks associated with contact lens wear. Don't forget to schedule regular check-ups with your optometrist to ensure the ongoing health of your eyes and the suitability of your contact lenses.

Experiment with confidence, knowing that with proper care and attention, you can maintain your eye health while enjoying the fun and creativity that colored contact lenses offer.

Interesting Facts About Colored Contacts 

  • Colored contact lenses were first patented in the United States in 1987.
  • They are available in three types: visibility tint, enhancement tint, and opaque tint.
  • Visibility tints are only lightly colored to make the lenses easier to handle.
  • Enhancement tints are designed to enhance the natural color of your eyes.
  • Opaque tints can completely change the color of your eyes.
  • Prescription colored lenses can correct vision problems like myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism.
  • Colored contacts can also be purchased as plano lenses, which don't provide vision correction.
  • Some colored lenses have UV protection built-in.
  • They are available in a variety of colors, including blue, green, hazel, gray, violet, and even unnatural colors like pink.
  • The FDA classifies colored contact lenses as medical devices.
  • Some lenses are designed to mimic the natural pattern of the iris for a more realistic look.
  • There are also custom hand-painted lenses for unique colors and patterns.
  • Lenses with a limbal ring can create the illusion of a larger, more defined eye.
  • Halloween and costume lenses can feature designs like cat eyes, zombie eyes, and more.
  • Wearing colored lenses can impact a person's perceived attractiveness and personality.
  • Celebrities often use colored lenses to change their appearance for roles or events.
  • In certain cultures, colored lenses are popular for achieving a desired aesthetic.
  • Soft lenses are the most popular type of colored contacts.
  • Rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses can also be tinted, but they're less common.
  • The first colored lenses were made from glass and were very uncomfortable to wear.
  • Modern lenses are made from hydrogel, silicone hydrogel, or hybrid materials.
  • Colored lenses can be daily, weekly, or monthly disposables.
  • Extended wear lenses allow users to wear them overnight for up to 30 days.
  • Circle lenses are popular in Asia and create the appearance of larger, doll-like eyes.
  • The cost of colored lenses can vary widely depending on the brand and type.
  • Proper care and cleaning are essential for maintaining eye health while wearing colored lenses.
  • Over-wearing colored lenses can lead to eye infections and other complications.
  • Sharing colored lenses is strongly discouraged due to the risk of infection.
  • People with certain eye conditions may not be suitable candidates for colored lenses.
  • Optometrists and ophthalmologists can prescribe and fit colored contact lenses.
  • An eye exam and prescription are legally required in the United States to purchase colored lenses.
  • In some countries, colored lenses can be purchased without a prescription.
  • Online retailers offer a wide variety of colored lenses at competitive prices.
  • Some people may experience an initial period of discomfort while adjusting to colored lenses.
  • Wearing lenses with an incorrect prescription can cause eye strain and headaches.
  • Colored lenses can be more challenging to wear for people with dry eyes.
  • They can also be made as bifocal or multifocal lenses for people with presbyopia.
  • Toric colored lenses are available for individuals with astigmatism.
  • Some lenses have a special coating to help reduce glare and enhance contrast.
  • Athletes sometimes use colored lenses to improve their performance in certain sports.
  • Some lenses have a moisture-retaining technology to improve comfort.
  • People with light-colored eyes may find that enhancement tints give the most natural-looking results.
  • Individuals with dark eyes may need opaque tints to achieve a noticeable color change.
  • The popularity of colored lenses has led to a rise in counterfeit and unsafe products.


Such a nice optician. My grandson is only 4 and needs glasses. We were so sad, but he explained the issues, and we will follow up as he suggested.

Anna P.

I had such a good experience with the clinic. Very friendly staff and doctor, did not have to wait for long to be called, and was treated respectfully. Thanks, American Family.

June S.

Dr. Zurcher has gone above and beyond what any other eye doctor has ever done to figure out what is going on with my eyes. Very happy with American Family Vision.

Christine R.

Family Vision Clinic changed our lives! My daughter was frequently car sick, and she was getting headaches every day, often painful enough that they brought her to tears. We saw a string of doctors and therapists, but we made no progress. Finally, we found Dr. Levi Zurcher and his eye therapist Rain. After ten weeks of eye therapy my daughter no longer gets headaches, and she no longer gets car sick. Daily tears are a thing of the past. I really can’t say enough about this clinic. It was fascinating to watch Dr. Zurcher work. For the first time, someone who knew what they were doing was intently studying my daughter, really trying to figure out all of her eye issues, and his therapist Rain is one of the most patient and lovely people that I’ve ever had the good fortune to meet. We’re finished with eye therapy—yay!—and I have switched to American Family Vision Clinic for all of my family’s other eye health needs.

Lars Wulff

Very professional, yet kind and helpful. They do what they can to make the appointment comfortable. I was running a bit late, I made sure ti call. They were able to switch me with a patient who was already there, they treated me with respect, and helped my son have confidence by getting him the eye care he needed that day. Thank you so much! Would recommend to anyone. It's a blessing that they care enough to work with people who have all different types of insurance from work to state coverage.

Justin E.

The staff is friendly. The Doc is very knowledgeable. The office is family friendly and everyone is so patient with the little ones.

Amy Fagerness
1 2 3



Understanding Foggy vision

Is foggy vision troubling you? Let our experienced optometrist restore your sight – book an appointment today and see the […]

Read More

Vision Therapy for Nystagmus: Improving Visual Function and Quality of Life

According to the National Eye Institute, nystagmus affects approximately 0.24% of the general population in the United States. This means […]

Read More

Cleaning Your Eyelids With Hypochlorous Acid: The Ultimate Solution for Eyelid Infections and Inflammation From Blepharitis

Are you tired of dealing with eyelid inflammation? Well, there's good news for you! Hypochlorous acid, a natural bactericidal compound, […]

Read More
see all blogs

Contact Us To Amplify Your EyeCare

American Family Vision Clinic Logo

Working Hours




400 Yauger Way SW. Bldg 1, Ste A Olympia, WA 98502
(360) 459-1097
Website Accessibility Policy
Safety protocols page
privacy policy
For Patients
Call Us
eyefile-adduserphone-handsetcalendar-fullarrow-uparrow-right linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram