How Safe Is It To Wear Colored Contacts All The Time?

Photo: Marion Curtis/Starpix/REX/Shutterstock.
This week a few eagle-eyed internet goers spotted something a little weird with Ivanka Trump's peepers: They seem to change color — from dark brown to hazel to bright green — possibly through the use of colored contact lenses. Although these suspicions haven't been confirmed (yet), we'd like to offer some advice should you be considering incorporating colored contacts into your beauty routine.
How safe is it to wear colored contact frequently? It depends on what kind of contacts we're talking about. If it's a pair of cheap, non-prescription cat eyes left over from Halloween, you probably want to toss 'em.
Instead, you should opt for FDA-approved lenses. Because the lenses are in contact (ha) with your eyes for such a long period of time and each manufacturer uses its own unique mix of materials, they all go through intense safety testing before hitting shelves, explains Bradley Smith, OD, an optometrist at Tigard Vision Center and advisor to vision care startup Sightbox. "That is why it is so important — and actually a legal requirement — to consult with a doctor to receive a valid prescription before purchasing contacts," says Dr. Smith.
Yep, even if your vision is perfect and you just want to add "a little flavor" to your life, as Dr. Smith says, you're going to want to get checked out by a doctor before buying a new pair of baby blues.
Once you have your lenses, "colored contact lenses are safe to wear every day, as long as your contacts are properly prescribed, used and cared for," says Dr. Smith. Keeping your colored contacts clean and safe is basically the same process as with clear lenses. Your doctor will give you specific instructions for how long you can safely wear them and how often to clean them depending on the specific type of contacts she prescribes.
That said, no matter what kind of contacts you end up with, you should call your doctor ASAP if you develop sore, red, irritated eyes because that might signal an infection, Dr. Smith says. And if your lenses simply aren't comfortable, that's worth a call too. No matter what color eyes you end up with, you want them to fit you.
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