The idea of a shell that can be placed directly over the eyeball to correct vision without the need for frames has long been thought of even from Leonardo da Vinci’s time. From blown glass shells that could only be worn for only a couple of hours at a time to the current silicone hydrogels that can be worn overnight (extended), contact lenses have become another convenient option to people who have vision problems.

These days, coloured contact lenses are also an option. Apart from correcting vision problems, they can also temporarily change the colour of your eyes and in effect, your overall appearance. According to contact lens company Johnson and Johnson, approximately 125 million people wear contact lenses worldwide. The tinting on coloured contact lenses also make them easier to handle especially when the wearer is not wearing any other vision correction device while handling them.

However, there are still a few things to look into before getting contact lenses. If you are considering to switching to them whether for cosmetic or therapeutic reasons, read on the pros and cons listed below to see if the benefits of convenience outweigh the known cons of wearing them.

Pros:

  1. Easier handling — As mentioned earlier, the tinting on colored contact lenses make them easier to handle especially during the times when you have no other vision correction implements on. Clear contact lenses are almost indistinguishable making it hard to notice if they pop out or fall off from your finger.
  2. Range of movement – Contact lenses stick to the lesser sensitive part of your cornea and generally stay put unless you remove them. This makes it easier to move around and play sports where glasses would usually fall off and in worse cases, break.
  3. Peripheral vision – Contact lenses are designed to stick unto your cornea and cover the entire iris correcting your overall vision and not just straight vision like standard glasses.
  4. Fog-free – Glasses are prone to fogging, gathering dust, and vapour build-up. While they seem harmless, they can be dangerous in most situations as a fogged-up pair of glasses is the last you would need while driving, for example.

Cons:

  1. Cost – Contact lenses can only be worn for a prescribed period of time to avoid infections that may come with handling them. And certainly, unlike glasses, contact lenses are not designed to last a lifetime.
  2. Maintenance – As they come in contact directly with vital parts of your eyes, contact lenses require a more elaborate cleaning and disinfecting routine than glasses.
  3. Corneal infection – Mindlessly rubbing and the putting in and taking out of contact lenses may cause scrapes and scratches in the eyes which may lead to bacterial infection. This is why it is encouraged to lubricate them on top of the eye’s natural lubrication process.
  4. Easier to Lose or Damage – Contact lenses are made of soft material to allow oxygen into the eye while wearing them. This makes them easier to tear or lose when not handled correctly and if the tearing happens while wearing them, may cause discomfort and infection.

There is a flipside to everything including coloured contact lenses. Before getting them, make sure to have a prescription on hand and read as much as you can about them.