Disposable Color Contacts - Are They Any Good?
The days when color contacts were unbelievably expensive are long gone. As the manufacturing costs go down, disposable color contact lenses appear. These days you can find monthly, weekly and even daily disposable color contact lenses. But how do disposable color contacts compare with traditional color lenses, in terms of quality and health issues?
Disposable color contacts are a recent development, and they become progressively more popular. Sometimes it is not obvious whether the lenses are disposable or traditional (annual replacement schedule). The easiest way to spot the difference is to look at the package - if they are sold in a box (usually 6 lenses per box), then the lenses are disposable; if they are in a phial and the price is indicated per lens, then they are traditional color contact lenses.
Advantages of disposable color contacts
- The more often you replace your contact lenses, the healthier your eyes will be. So disposable color contacts are better, from the health point of view - they are thinner, more comfortable, and proteins don't have enough time to build up on them.
- Trying different colors is easier, too, since you can buy 3 or 4 boxes of different disposable color contacts for the price of a pair of traditional color lenses.
- If you lose or break a disposable lens, no worries! Just take another one out of the box
However, the main difference between disposable color contacts and annual replacement (traditional) lenses is that high quality traditional lenses are hand painted. Hand painted color lenses like Illusions by CibaVision create a more natural look than digitally printed lenses. None of the disposable color lenses is hand painted - it simply is not cost effective for the manufacturer.
Best disposable color contacts
Freshlook is one of the more popular brands in disposable color contacts. Freshlook offers you three collections: Freshlook Colorblends - opaque color contacts for people with dark eyes; Freshlook Impressions, which are partially transparent enhancement lenses designed to brighten naturally blue or green eyes; and Freshlook Dimensions, the unique designs of which make your eyes appear larger and deeper. All Freshlook color lenses are monthly disposable.
Acuvue 2 Colors by Johnson and Johnson is also a good choice. Acuvue 2 Colors offers opaque color lenses, for people with dark eyes, as well as enhancement lenses, for light eyes. Acuvue 2 Colors are 1-2 week disposable color contact lenses. They are also FDA approved to be worn for a week continuously, which means that you can sleep in them.
Recently released 1 Day Acuvue Colors are the first daily disposable color contact lenses. They look the same as Acuvue 2 Colors opaque color lenses, but you don't have to worry about cleaning, disinfecting and storing them. 1 Day Acuvue Colors are ideal for people who only want to wear color contacts for special occasions; this way, you can wear fresh lenses every time.
Expression Colors by Cooper Vision also comes as opaque colors, for dark eyes, and enhancement colors, for light eyes. Expression lenses are monthly disposable color contacts.
Prescriptions for color contact lenses
Most disposable color contact lenses come in plano (no correction) as well as with corrective powers. Sometime people think that if they have a perfect vision and want color contacts purely for cosmetic effect, they can just order a box online without consulting an optometrist. This is not true, though: all contact lenses - including plano color lenses - are medical devices, so you can't buy color contact lenses without doctor's prescription.
However, after getting your prescription, you don't have to buy your color contacts from your optometrist. Many reputable contact lens retailers sell color contacts online and ordering your color lenses through the Internet can save you a lot of money.