Beginner’s guide on wearing coloured contacts

Medically reviewed by Tina Patel, Contact Lens Optician at Feel Good Contacts.

Wearing coloured contacts for the first time can be daunting. However, with the right set of instructions and advice from your optician you will be able to put in coloured contact lenses like a professional. Coloured lenses are available as prescription lenses and as plano (0.00 zero power) lenses. Plano lenses are fashionable lenses that do not adjust or correct your vision but are just for cosmetic purposes. Whether you require prescription lenses or not, you will still need to seek advice from your optician to make sure your lenses fit correctly. They will guide you practically, how to put in coloured contacts for the first time. It is also important for coloured contact lens wearers to attend aftercare appointments regularly to ensure good eye health.

In this article, we'll walk you through on how to put in coloured contacts for the first time.

How do I prepare myself for contact lenses?

We understand how tempting it is to put on a new pair of coloured contact lenses straight away. However, it is important to follow a few simple steps before wearing them.

  • Begin by thoroughly washing your hands with antibacterial soap and water
  • Dry your hands with a lint-free towel, making sure no water is left on your hands
  • Remember, clean hands mean a clean lens
  • Find a well-lit space with ample lighting, the right environment makes it easier to feel relaxed and sit comfortably, this will help you focus on putting in the contact lenses

How do you put contacts in step by step?

To make things easier, we’ve put together a graphic to show you how to put in lenses:

Step by step process to put in coloured contact lenses

1. Take the lens out of the blister pack.

  • Holding the blister pack firmly in one hand, peel back the foil carefully and gently take out your contact lens
  • Before applying the lens to your eye, ensure the lens is still wet. Dry lenses can be harmful if put directly on to the eyes

2. Hold the lens on your index finger.

  • Ensure that the lens rests in the middle of your finger, with the external side (the coloured/printed side) facing downward
  • If the edge of the lens is folding downward, delicately use your other index finger to guide it back into position
  • To confirm that the lens is oriented correctly, closely observe its edges. If the edges curve upward, resembling a bowl, it's in the correct orientation. If the top edges extend outward, it's inside-out. Examine the lens closely to make sure it is not damaged

3. Keep your eyelids fully extended using your fingers.

  • It is essential to keep your eyelids wide open to put in contact lenses. The most effective technique is to utilise your non-dominant hand's middle finger to hold up the upper eyelid with a firm grip
  • With the lens placed on the forefinger of your dominant hand, use the middle finger to hold the lower lid down.

4. Put the coloured contacts in your eye.

  • Placing the coloured contact lens on your eye is an important step in this process. Once you've positioned the lens on the coloured part of the eye (or the lower white part of the eye and look into the lens), gently release your lower lid. At this point, the lens should naturally centre itself in your eye. Its wet surface and concave shape help it adjust in your eyes
  • Keep your eye closed for a few seconds and then slowly blink to ensure a perfect fit, this will help adjust and centre the lens. If you find it challenging to keep looking straight while inserting the lens (for example, if you tend to flinch when your finger approaches your eye), try looking up or to the side and place the lens on the white of the eye and look into it.
  • Regardless of where you're initially looking, always ensure that the lens is correctly centred before and after you blink. This practice ensures a comfortable and effective wearing experience

5. Repeat the same steps with the other eye.

Some people like to use the same method, others like to switch hands over and do the opposite. See what works best for you.

Common concerns while putting in coloured contacts

It is your first time wearing coloured lenses and we understand, it isn’t a smooth or easy process for many people. Here are some frequent issues faced while wearing coloured contact lenses for the first time.

Why won't my coloured contacts stick to my eye?

Dry eyes can be the reason your contacts won’t stick to your eyes. If your finger and lens is more wet than your actual eye, it will be difficult for your lenses to stick. Make sure your finger is dry before placing the lens on your fingertip. Use eye drops to alleviate dryness and to introduce moisture back into your eyes.

Why is it blurry when I wear coloured contacts?

You may experience blurry vision while you wear coloured contacts for a few reasons:

  • If the coloured part of the lens interferes with the pupil, the light will not refract directly into the eye and could result in blurry vision
  • There may be a fingerprint or smudge on the lenses, causing blurry vision. You will need to remove the lenses and clean them with a contact lens solution
  • Some lenses may take a little time to adjust, however, if you experience any discomfort, irritation or redness, it is best to remove the lenses and consult your optician

How long does it take for your eyes to adjust to coloured contacts?

If you are wearing coloured contact lenses for the first time, it can take anything between a few hours to 10-12 days for your eyes to completely adjust. If you are unsure, ask your optician for advice.

How many times can you reuse coloured contact lenses?

There are different types of coloured contact lenses available based on your requirements. You can go for monthly coloured contact lenses and reuse them for 30 days from opening as a daily wear lens (they must be cleaned and stored in solution overnight) or you can opt for daily coloured contact lenses which must be disposed of and the end of the day.

How do you remove coloured contact lenses?

  • Once again, it's important to wash your hands with soap and dry with a lint-free towel
  • Ensure that your fingers are completely dry. It is essential to avoid any contact between water and your lenses. This not only maintains lens hygiene but also makes the process easier by not letting air bubbles percolate when you removing the lenses
  • Again, gently hold your upper eyelid open with your non-dominant hand
  • Look upwards and carefully pull down your lower eyelid with the middle finger of your dominant hand
  • Using your index finger, gently glide the lens onto the lower white part of your eye
  • To remove the lens, delicately pinch it between your thumb and index finger, then gently lift it off your eye

Step by step process of removing contact lenses

For daily disposable lenses, it's important to dispose them properly. Never reuse daily disposable contact lenses as they are designed for single use only. However, if you're using two-weekly or monthly lenses, you need to clean and store the contact lenses correctly.

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