Colored contact lenses are used for cosmetic purposes’ – to enhance and change your appearance with a more glamorous look – but the bottom line is they are still medical devices and need to be treated as such.
They cannot be bought at a salon, flea market or store without a prescription. The dye or paint on colored lenses can be very dangerous to eyes as they are very sensitive. When you wear lenses not prescribed for you they can cause permanent damage to your cornea.
Keratitis is a corneal infection which occurs when a person uses colored contact lenses without proper care. Sometimes the lenses are not cleaned properly or kept for a long period. Swimming with lenses will damage them and cause eye infection as they are exposed to bacteria in the water. Tap water is also harmful. You can also lose a lens in water. Corneal infections can be of many types – viral, bacterial, fungal or parasitic.
When you wear colored lenses, it would be wise to see an ophthalmologist or optometrist at the slightest sign of discomfort or redness and irritation, blurriness or pain as keratitis increases very quickly. At times the infection or scratches from the lens or nails while wearing them can cause corneal ulcers which are extremely painful.
The density of nerves on the surface of the eye is higher than any other part of the body, so an abrasion or scratch on the surface of the cornea opens the barrier to bacteria and infection which can multiply speedily. When the scratch heals it sometimes forms a scar which can block vision and the person will require a corneal transplant.
Don’t sleep without removing your colored lenses as the eyes don’t receive enough oxygen - or even keep them on for more than 7-8 hours at a stretch as the corneas can get inflamed.
Always keep lens in the case dipped in lens solution. Don’t rub colored lenses as the color will get damaged. Use a solution that needs no rubbing.