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Contacts and Cosmetics

Contact lens wearers who wear cosmetics on a daily basis may be especially vulnerable to eye problems. Misuse of products and adverse reactions to ingredients used in cosmetic formulas cause lens deposits, eye irritation, allergy, dryness, injury and infection. Knowing which products to use and how to use them is important for long-term, problem-free contact lens wear.

Before handling lenses, wash your hands with a mild soap such as Neutrogena, Ivory or a clear glycerin soap. Or, use one of the specialty soaps for contact lens wearers such as AOSoap or Optisoap. Avoid soaps containing cream, deodorant, antiseptics, or heavy fragrances.

Contact lenses should be inserted before any cosmetics are applied to prevent contaminating the lens by makeup and disrupting makeup by tears. Mascara should be used sparingly and only on the outer half of the lashes. Besides being a potential irritant, mascara is frequently a source of infection. Even with the best of care, mascara and eyeliner should be replaced every three months. Use a light touch with eyeliners and shadows, as they may cause blepharitis, an infection of the eyelid that can lead to styes and chalazion. Don’t use eye liner pencils inside the lower eyelid. Color pigments can cause irritation, damage contact lenses, or lodge underneath the contact lens and scratch the cornea.

Prevent contamination of your makeup by keeping it dry and avoiding contact with fingers. Keep applicators clean and replace them after approximately three months. Hair spray, deodorant, cologne, mousse, nail polish and nail polish remover should be used before inserting your lenses. If one of these products gets into your eye it can cause permanent damage to the contact lens surface. If you must use hair spray while wearing contacts, close your eyes tightly while spraying and then leave the area quickly. Aerosol mist lingers in the air for some time after spraying.

Never wear contacts when using hair dyes, permanent wave lotions, or medicated shampoos.

Use cosmetics labeled “hypoallergenic,” “for contact lens wearers,” or “for sensitive eyes.” Approximately one in ten women have either a respiratory or skin allergy to perfume. Hypoallergenic brands are designed be free of irritants such as perfumes and lanolin. Lanolin may be used in cosmetics and soaps and is one of the most common allergens, causing redness, itching, and blotchy skin spots.

Wash your hands and remove contact lenses before removing make-up. Your fingers are less likely to be contaminated by pigments, creams and oils from cosmetic products when the lenses are removed first.

Eyeglasses & Contact Lenses

  • Extended-Wear Contact Lenses

    Some people do not consider wearing contact lenses because they think the required cleaning, disinfecting, storing, and inserting are too …read more »
  • Tinted Contacts

    Many types of tinted contact lenses are available. They can enhance and even change the color of one’s eyes for …read more »
  • Contact Lenses

    Over 24 million people choose contact lenses to correct vision. When used with care and proper supervision, contacts are a …read more »
  • Recycling Eyeglasses

    The World Health Organization estimates that corrective lenses can improve the eyesight of one-fourth of the world’s population. Unfortunately, for …read more »
  • Sunglasses

    Sunglasses are popular for comfort and fashion, but now there is medical evidence supporting the use of sunglasses to protect …read more »

Extended-Wear Contact Lenses

Some people do not consider wearing contact lenses because they think the required cleaning, disinfecting, storing, and inserting are too much trouble. They may also want the option of occasionally napping or sleeping with their contacts in their eyes.

Extended-wear contacts are designed to appeal to these people. They require less maintenance than daily wear lenses and because they are thinner and allow more oxygen to reach the eyes, they may be left in the eye overnight.

To use extended-wear contact lenses, you must be free of external eye disease, have normal tear function, and be motivated to take care of them.

Infection is the most significant complication of extended-wear contact lens use. They must be removed at least once a week and thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Many studies show the cornea is put at increased risk of infection by wearing contact lenses overnight. The risk of developing an infection in the cornea is 10-15 times greater for those who wear extended-wear contacts overnight than for those who use daily wear soft lenses. This risk increases with the number of consecutive days the contacts are worn overnight. Infections may range from simple conjunctivitis to blinding endophthalmitis, which is a serious infection that travels through all layers of the eye.

The decision to accept the risks and benefits of extended-wear contacts requires a process of evaluation between you and your doctor. Once you are carefully fit for your contact lenses, follow-up exams with your ophthalmologist to ensure continuing eye health is important. As with any contact lens, extended-wear contacts should be removed at the first sign of redness or discomfort.

Eyeglasses & Contact Lenses

  • Contacts and Cosmetics

    Contact lens wearers who wear cosmetics on a daily basis may be especially vulnerable to eye problems. Misuse of products …read more »
  • Tinted Contacts

    Many types of tinted contact lenses are available. They can enhance and even change the color of one’s eyes for …read more »
  • Contact Lenses

    Over 24 million people choose contact lenses to correct vision. When used with care and proper supervision, contacts are a …read more »
  • Recycling Eyeglasses

    The World Health Organization estimates that corrective lenses can improve the eyesight of one-fourth of the world’s population. Unfortunately, for …read more »
  • Sunglasses

    Sunglasses are popular for comfort and fashion, but now there is medical evidence supporting the use of sunglasses to protect …read more »

Tinted Contacts

Many types of tinted contact lenses are available. They can enhance and even change the color of one’s eyes for cosmetic purposes, for costumes, or provide special effects for the movie industry.

Tinted contacts can make light eyes more blue, green or hazel. They can alter the color of the eyes, such as making brown eyes blue.

Tinted lenses have been used in the movies since 1939. In the movie “Ghostbusters,” actors playing gargoyles wore red contact lenses. Reptile lenses were crafted for the commander in “Star Trek” and white contact lenses were used for the Hulk in “The Incredible Hulk.” Recently, these costume lenses have become available to the general public.

Tinted contacts may also be used to disguise or improve the appearance of an abnormal eye. They can be used to conceal corneal scars, irregular pupils and to hide shrunken, unsightly eyes. Sometimes tinting a lens can make the lens easier for a person with poor vision to handle. These tints are more subtle handling tints.

Contact lenses for the general public, including those with no correction, are considered medical devices. They must undergo clearance for safety by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Color additives used by the manufacturers of costume contact lenses must also be approved for use. Additives in unapproved lenses may be toxic.

Purchase only tinted contacts prescribed by an eye doctor, and never share lenses with someone else.

Eyeglasses & Contact Lenses

  • Contacts and Cosmetics

    Contact lens wearers who wear cosmetics on a daily basis may be especially vulnerable to eye problems. Misuse of products …read more »
  • Extended-Wear Contact Lenses

    Some people do not consider wearing contact lenses because they think the required cleaning, disinfecting, storing, and inserting are too …read more »
  • Contact Lenses

    Over 24 million people choose contact lenses to correct vision. When used with care and proper supervision, contacts are a …read more »
  • Recycling Eyeglasses

    The World Health Organization estimates that corrective lenses can improve the eyesight of one-fourth of the world’s population. Unfortunately, for …read more »
  • Sunglasses

    Sunglasses are popular for comfort and fashion, but now there is medical evidence supporting the use of sunglasses to protect …read more »

Contact Lenses

Over 24 million people choose contact lenses to correct vision. When used with care and proper supervision, contacts are a safe and effective alternative to eyeglasses. And with today’s new lens technology, many people who wear eyeglasses can also successfully wear contacts.

Contacts are thin, clear discs that float on the tear film that coats the cornea, the curved front surface of the eye. Contacts correct the same refractive conditions eyeglasses correct: myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism (an oval- rather than round-shaped cornea).

Contact lenses can be made from a number of different plastics. The main distinction among them is whether they are hard or soft. Most contact lens wearers in the United States wear soft lenses. These may be daily wear soft lenses, extended wear lenses or disposable lenses. Toric soft lenses provide a soft lens alternative for people with slight to moderate astigmatism.

Hard lenses are usually not as comfortable as soft lenses and are not as widely used. However, rigid gas permeable lenses provide sharper vision for people with higher refractive errors or larger degrees of astigmatism.

The majority of people can tolerate contact lenses, but there are some exceptions. Conditions that might prevent an individual from successfully wearing contact lenses include dry eye, severe allergies, frequent eye infections, or a dusty and dirty work environment.

Individuals who wear any type of contact lens overnight have a greater chance of developing infections in the cornea. These infections are often due to poor cleaning and lens care.

In order to obtain a contact lens prescription you will need to have a Comprehensive Eye Exam and a Contact Lens Fitting.

Eyeglasses & Contact Lenses

  • Contacts and Cosmetics

    Contact lens wearers who wear cosmetics on a daily basis may be especially vulnerable to eye problems. Misuse of products …read more »
  • Extended-Wear Contact Lenses

    Some people do not consider wearing contact lenses because they think the required cleaning, disinfecting, storing, and inserting are too …read more »
  • Tinted Contacts

    Many types of tinted contact lenses are available. They can enhance and even change the color of one’s eyes for …read more »
  • Recycling Eyeglasses

    The World Health Organization estimates that corrective lenses can improve the eyesight of one-fourth of the world’s population. Unfortunately, for …read more »
  • Sunglasses

    Sunglasses are popular for comfort and fashion, but now there is medical evidence supporting the use of sunglasses to protect …read more »

Recycling Eyeglasses

The World Health Organization estimates that corrective lenses can improve the eyesight of one-fourth of the world’s population. Unfortunately, for many people a pair of glasses is both unaffordable and unobtainable. The donation of old but useful eyeglasses to the needy in the US and abroad can help solve this problem.

The Lions International and local Lions Clubs conduct eyeglass-recycling programs. Used glasses are cleaned, repaired and classified by prescription, then distributed free to needy people in developing countries around the world.

Contact a local Lions Club or call Lions Club International at (630) 571-5466 to find a local recycling center. Chapters collect the used prescription eyeglasses, reading glasses, and even sunglasses, and then package and ship them to the centers.

Community services for the visually impaired often have names of those needing glasses. Many ophthalmologists and optometrists accept donations.  Donating your glasses to any charitable organization will improve the eyesight of those in need.

Eyeglasses & Contact Lenses

  • Contacts and Cosmetics

    Contact lens wearers who wear cosmetics on a daily basis may be especially vulnerable to eye problems. Misuse of products …read more »
  • Extended-Wear Contact Lenses

    Some people do not consider wearing contact lenses because they think the required cleaning, disinfecting, storing, and inserting are too …read more »
  • Tinted Contacts

    Many types of tinted contact lenses are available. They can enhance and even change the color of one’s eyes for …read more »
  • Contact Lenses

    Over 24 million people choose contact lenses to correct vision. When used with care and proper supervision, contacts are a …read more »
  • Sunglasses

    Sunglasses are popular for comfort and fashion, but now there is medical evidence supporting the use of sunglasses to protect …read more »

Sunglasses

Sunglasses are popular for comfort and fashion, but now there is medical evidence supporting the use of sunglasses to protect the long-term health of the eyes.

More than a dozen studies have shown that spending hours in the sun without proper eye protection can increase the chances of developing age-related eye diseases like cataracts and macular degeneration. Ophthalmologists now recommend wearing UV-absorbent sunglasses and brimmed hats when in the sun long enough to get a suntan or sunburn.

People mistakenly confuse the ability of sunglasses to block UV light with the color and darkness of the lenses. In truth, UV protection comes from a chemical coating applied to the surface of the lens. Shop for sunglasses that absorb 99 or 100% of all ultraviolet (UV) light. Some lens manufacturers’ labels say “UV absorption up to 400 nm.” This is the same thing as 100% UV absorption.

In addition to UV light, sunlight also has low levels of infrared rays. Infrared wavelengths are invisible and produce heat. The eye seems to tolerate infrared well. Research has not shown a connection between eye disease and infrared light ray exposure.

Polarized lenses cut reflected glare, like sunlight bouncing off water, pavement, or snow. Sunglasses with polarized lenses are popular and useful for fishing, driving, and skiing. Polarization has nothing to do with UV light absorption, but many polarized lenses are now made with a UV-blocking substance.

Wraparound glasses are shaped to keep light from shining around the frames and into the eyes. Studies have shown that enough UV rays enter around ordinary eyeglass frames to reduce the benefits of protective lenses. Large-framed, close-fitting wraparound sunglasses protect the eyes from all angles. Wraparound sunglasses should be considered by commercial fishermen, mountain climbers, skiers, or anyone who spends time at high altitudes or on the water.

Eyeglasses & Contact Lenses

  • Contacts and Cosmetics

    Contact lens wearers who wear cosmetics on a daily basis may be especially vulnerable to eye problems. Misuse of products …read more »
  • Extended-Wear Contact Lenses

    Some people do not consider wearing contact lenses because they think the required cleaning, disinfecting, storing, and inserting are too …read more »
  • Tinted Contacts

    Many types of tinted contact lenses are available. They can enhance and even change the color of one’s eyes for …read more »
  • Contact Lenses

    Over 24 million people choose contact lenses to correct vision. When used with care and proper supervision, contacts are a …read more »
  • Recycling Eyeglasses

    The World Health Organization estimates that corrective lenses can improve the eyesight of one-fourth of the world’s population. Unfortunately, for …read more »