Colored Contacts tips? specifically sclera lenses
Posted 29 December 2011 - 12:11 PM
Has anyone used Sclera lenses before and have any advice for putting them in and removal?
PS - I would do a mask for this... but being in the Artist's Alley I don't want to wear a mask behind my table. I think it would be hard to communicate first of all, and second it might be off-putting since you can't see my real face.
Posted 30 December 2011 - 03:51 AM
TIPS: Keep moist through out the day for easier removal and practice putting them in. They are pricey, so make sure you use the case they come in when they are not in/on your eyes. Ask the optometrist to help you for the first time(s) while you're there as well as about care and any other insight they may have...
As for the norm...
What you should know before buying colored ("costume") contacts:
Costume contacts are essentially just colored contacts designed a little differently. Some are "Hollywood-style" hand-painted fancy ones, some are whites-of-the-eye covering Scelera lenses like you see in movies (LOTR orcs and elves eyes, for example!), some are just plain old colored contacts in colors like purple or red. THey can be a work of art, a change of pace from the norm, or just something fun for things like Halloween, dances or say, cosplay. They are versatile and fun, but they are however, still contacts, still medical devices, and with that they carry risks & benefits like any other medical item.
As of 2006, the FDA has declared contacts a medical device, meaning it is illegal (for both the seller and buyer) to purchase contacts without a valid contact lens prescription from an optometrist (eye doctor).
Are they safe?
If your lenses were made cheapo/crappy in unsanitary or unknown place (*NB most Asian countries have no regulations on contacts manufacturing!*), they could be tainted with bacteria that can wipe out you vision (some within ONLY 24 HOURS. O.O), or at the very least give you a nasty infection. If you share any contact lenses with someone else, it's like sharing spit, bodily fluid/needles, or sexiual history -- you get whatever they've got from everyone else they've gotten it from. Borrow a friend's lenses, they come down with pinkeye...you'll be getting pinkeye too. Yuck.
On the flip side, clean, sanitary lenses also can be dangerous to eyes. All eyes have a certain width iris, and a certain curve. If the lenses you buy are generalized "One Size Fits All" lenses, you risk getting wide or narrow a lens, covering too much or too little iris/pupil & potentially diminishing your field of view, AND/OR getting too tight or loose a curve, which can scratch your cornea in either event (BAD news, HURTS, & can BLIND). So while that stray vendor selling lenses at the mall or con may be tempting to get that costume "just right" , you may in fact just be screwing your eyes over for a couple pictures (which can have color eyes added later with Photoshop!).
When contacts are made properly, sanitarily, in the proper fit for your own eye & handled with care, they are indeed safe for use. But, how do you know they are properly made, sanitary, and fit right? It's actually quite simple.
You need an eye doctor's prescription.
Any optometrist (including the Walmart dudes, scary as that may sound) can do an eye exam and prescription for low-to-midrange cost (some for lessthan others of course!). If you aren't sure where to start, try asking friends and family where they go for their eye care -- they can recommend their doctors/places they go or places they know by you, and you can check them out.
Okay, I have a prescription! Where can I get contacts legally? Are they awkward to get used to?
When you go in for your eye exam, let them know you want to do colored contacts, and ask to try on a pair if they have any trial ones available. THis way, you can find out before ordering if your eyes are comfortable with lenses in them, and you can have a discussion with your eye doctor about getting the contacts. If you have any worries, you can talk to your doctor on the spot, and he/she can give you answers and advice best for your individual situation and eyes. After that conversation and lens fitting, you will have to order them, either from your doctor directly or online.
If ordered online from a site such as that 1800 contacts or the like, you will have to search for what you want and enter each eye's power/strength manually, unless you are getting no-power "plano" lenses. You will then, at checkout, have to enter in your prescription information and your doctor's contact information (so they can authorize the lens sale); if you have a hard copy of your prescription, some contacts site allow you to scan & attach the file, from which information within they will contact your doctor. Once all is done and hunkydory, you'll get a confirmation page and/or email, and the lenses will likely be shipped to your house within a couple of weeks to a months time. If you want another box or color, you repeat the search process above & re-enter your information.
Ordered from your eye doctor, you just tell them your desired color/style and they do the ordering work. You will be called when your lenses arrive, generally in a week to couple weeks' time. If it's your first time using lenses, you will usually be given a practice run on how to wear them, put them in, take them out, and take care of them. If you want another box or color, call or visit your doctor to order.
NOW, If it IS your first time using contacts, I strongly suggest you DO order from your doctor instead of online, and that you DO ASK them for the contacts tutorial once you get them in. It'll help you familiarize yourself with your lenses, learn and know what you need to do to handle them properly and safely, and be more confident in your lens-handling skills. Plus, if you have any question, your doctor is right there. With a little know-how, and practice, you'll be a master of your lenses in no time.
This post has been edited by S1NN3R: 30 December 2011 - 03:52 AM