While the history of contact lenses is claimed to stretch back as far as the 1504 with sketches made by Leonardo Da Vinci, coloured contact lenses are something of a newer invention and were launched on the market in the late 1980s. However, their popularity has grown exponentially over the years partly due to newer designs and a wider choice of lenses ranging from daily disposable coloured contacts to ones that can also correct astigmatism, but also in part due to their infiltration into mainstream entertainment.
Many hit films, such as Avatar and the Twilight Saga, wouldn’t be the smash hits they are without the contribution made by the humble contact lens. Coloured contact lenses basically fall into three separate categories: enhancer contact lenses, opaque contact lenses and speciality/theatrical lenses. All three categories have a slightly different purpose and enhancer and opaque lenses are meant for different types of eye colour as is explained below.
Enhancer Coloured Contact Lenses
As their name implies, enhancer contacts are designed to highlight the natural beauty of your eye colour and these are particularly meant for people who have light coloured eyes and who want to highlight or enhance their natural look rather than actually change the colour of the eye. Enhancer lenses use a special design to give the eye a greater sense of depth and dimension. The top selling brands of enhancer contact lenses include Acuvue and Ciba Vision’s Freshlook brand.
Opaque Coloured Contact Lenses
Opaque lenses are better for those with dark eyes and if you want to to totally change the colour of your eye. This type of contact lens comes in a range of colours ranging from a more natural look something more striking such as bright greens and violet. As with enhancer lenses, both Acuvue and Ciba Vision have a variety of colours that you can have fun with.
Theatrical lenses are ones that have special or crazy designs over the lens too and there is any number of weird and crazy designs available on the market.
Prescription and non-prescription
Coloured contact lenses come in both prescription and non-prescription lenses. It is important to remember, however, that if you intend to wear coloured contacts for a special occasion and have not worn contact lenses before that you see an optician for a fitting first. This is because your optician needs to measure your eye to determine what lens will be correct for you even if you do not need vision correction.
Research has also linked the use of cosmetic/crazy lenses with an increased risk of eye infections as a result of people not being aware of the need to follow hygiene guidelines. So make sure you follow the rules and have some fun!