|MadSci Network: Medicine|
Hi Steven, This is a very good question and I will try to give my best guess as to why some actors may have problems witth colored contact lenses. I can also tell you from my clinical experience why some patients may have difficulty with colored contact lenses. Most people who wear contact lenses wear soft disposable contact lenses and have learned how to wear and care for them. Every new wearer goes through a training process that gears them toward contact lens wear before they leave my office. There is also a sort of "break in" period to adjust to wearing contact lenses. These patients can switch to colored contact lenses with little or no difficulty. Colored contact lenses can correct your vision just like regular clear contact lenses with an added benefit of changing the appearance of your eye. There are also some minor differences in their properties and how they are manufactured. Some people, including some actors I presume, have never worn contact lenses as a vision correction. Their need is purely cosmetic (ie. to change eye color or correct a disfigured iris). In my practice, it is sometimes difficult for some of these patients to adjust to wearing colored contact lenses for the first time. Like anything, practice makes perfect and most people have no problem adjusting to contact lens wear. Furthermore, there are many other factors that play a role in successful contact lens wear. Some of them include but are not limited to; proper contact lens hygiene and care, maintaining proper wearing schedule, contact lens related infections, and routine check-ups by your eye doctor. Remember, only a licensed optometrist or physician can prescribe contact lenses and it is important to follow wearing instructions and follow up visits. All contact lenses are considered medical devices and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates them similar to any presription medication. I hope this helps. Good luck! Kenton L. McWilliams, O.D.
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