If you’ve ever wanted to give yourself seductive emerald eyes for a special night, or to put the finishing touches on a Halloween costume with crazy yellow eyes, you may have thought you could buy decorative contact lenses online or at a beauty supply store. It’s not a good idea. Even non-corrective contacts are a medical device and must be treated with a healthy respect of the dangers involved.


There are three types of colored contacts. The first is a visibility tint, which is a hint of color added to contacts to make them easier to see during handling. This kind doesn’t change your eye color.

An enhancement tint won’t change your eye color, but it will darken your existing color. These are generally used by people with very light-colored eyes who want their eye color to stand out more.

Color tints give you a completely different eye color. They can be used by people who want a change to another natural-looking eye color. They can also be used for theatrical or costume purposes to create special effects.


Many people believe they can buy decorative contact lenses without a prescription. However, in 2005, a new section of Public Law 109-96 made contact lenses a medical device rather than a cosmetic product. This means even non-corrective contact lenses require a prescription. It also means all contact lenses, even decorative-only, require Food and Drug Administration approval before they are marketed.


Any contact lens, whether or not it changes your vision, has risks associated with use. You should always be seen by an eye doctor before starting to wear contacts. An eye doctor measures your eyes to ensure your contacts fit properly. Without that, you may end up abrading your eyes. Poorly fitting contacts could compromise your vision, leading to danger in driving.

Another common side effect of contact lens wear is infection. This is why you should see an eye doctor periodically while wearing contacts, whether or not they’re correcting your vision. If an infection is left untreated, it could lead to corneal scarring or ulcers, ultimately even leading to serious vision loss or possible blindness.

Other possible side effects are conjunctivitis, swelling of the eye or an allergic reaction.


It may seem like going to an eye doctor and getting a prescription is too much trouble for the privilege of temporarily changing your eye color. There’s a reason for that. Wearing contacts introduces a foreign object into your body and shouldn’t be done frivolously. If you’re not willing to take proper precautions about wearing and caring for contact lenses, you should rethink how badly you want to change your eye color. The increased time now involved in getting decorative contacts helps to ensure you’re willing to take the responsibility seriously.


It’s sometimes possible to find cheap, non-prescription contact lenses at novelty shops, some beauty supply stores or flea markets. These sales are illegal and dangerous. Please think carefully before you compromise your eyesight to save a few dollars.

In addition, you should never borrow or share non-corrective contact lenses. By doing this, you run a major risk of infection or eye injury.

References and Resources

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