Contact lenses have come a long way since they were first invented in the late 1800s. While early versions were made of glass and were uncomfortable to wear, modern contact lenses are made of plastics and designed for comfort and style. One of the most popular brands of daily disposable contact lenses is Alcon Dailies. But do they come in colors, or are they only available in clear?
The History of Colored Contact Lenses
Colored contact lenses first became available in the 1980s. Early versions were designed for theatrical and cosmetic purposes, not for vision correction. The first colored lenses approved for vision correction came on the market in the early 2000s. Initially, the color options were limited to blues, greens, browns and grays. Over time, more vivid and exotic colors and patterns became available as the technology improved.
One challenge with early colored contacts was that the pigments blocked light from reaching the retina, making them unsuitable for all-day wear. But new technologies like pixelated lenses and thinner, more breathable materials have enabled manufacturers to create colored lenses optimized for regular use.
Today, all the major contact lens companies like Alcon, Bausch + Lomb, CooperVision, and Johnson & Johnson offer daily disposable colored lenses. The lenses come in both subtle colors like blue, green and brown, and bold colors like violet, sterling gray and honey. There are even lenses that make your eyes look bigger, smaller or brighter.
Alcon Dailies Contact Lenses
Alcon is one of the largest manufacturers of contact lenses in the world. Their Dailies brand consists of single-use daily disposable lenses made of delefilcon A material. This material has high oxygen permeability for all-day comfort. Dailies lenses feature a thin edge design and wetting agents for lubrication.
Here are some of the most popular Alcon Dailies contact lenses:
- Dailies Total1: Alcon’s best-selling daily disposable lens. Available in powers from -0.50 to -10.00D.
- Dailies AquaComfort Plus: Made with a moisture-rich material for added comfort. Powers from -0.50 to -9.00D.
- Dailies All Day Comfort: Designed for up to 16 hours of wear time. Powers from -0.50 to -10.00D.
- Dailies ONEday: An affordable daily lens. Powers from -0.50 to -6.00D.
Alcon Color Contact Lenses
So do Alcon Dailies come in colors? The answer is yes! Alcon offers colored contact lenses under the brand names Air Optix Colors and Dailies AquaComfort Plus Colors. Here are the details on each:
Air Optix Colors
Air Optix Colors are Alcon’s main line of colored contact lenses. They feature natural-looking colors and designs. Air Optix Colors come in the following options:
|Air Optix Aqua
|Blue, green, brown, gray
|Air Optix for Astigmatism
|Blue, green, brown, gray
|Air Optix Eye Design
|Sterling gray, brilliant blue, honey
|Air Optix Colors
|Sapphire blue, brilliant blue, sterling gray, honey, emerald green
Air Optix Colors use Alcon’s intelligent pH technology to help keep eyes white and healthy. They have decent breathability and can be worn for up to 14 hours. A key benefit of Air Optix is they are available in toric and multifocal prescriptions for correcting astigmatism and presbyopia.
Dailies AquaComfort Plus Colors
Dailies AquaComfort Plus Colors provide a more subtle color enhancement compared to Air Optix Colors. They are available in light blue, blue, green and brown tints. The lenses are ultra thin at just 0.09mm thick at the edge. Features include:
- Ideal for light color enhancement
- Moisture-rich material for comfort
- Can be worn up to 14 hours
- Powers from -6.00 to +6.00D
- Not available for astigmatism or presbyopia
Benefits of Colored Contact Lenses
Here are some of the benefits that colored contact lenses like Alcon’s Air Optix Colors and Dailies AquaComfort Plus Colors provide:
- Cosmetic enhancement – Colored lenses allow you to change your eye color instantly. Instead of being limited to your natural eye color, you can wear blue, green, brown, or other shades.
- Self-expression – Eyes are central to facial appearance. Colored contacts let you showcase your individuality and mood.
- Increased confidence – Changing your eye color can help boost self-esteem and make you feel more attractive.
- Youthful appearance – Light colors like blue can make your eyes appear brighter and more rejuvenated.
- Vision correction – Many colored lenses like Air Optix are available in prescription powers, so you can enhance your eye color while correcting your vision.
- Comfort – New lens materials and designs make colored lenses nearly as comfortable as clear ones.
Choosing the Right Colored Lenses
Here are some tips for selecting colored contact lenses:
- Consider your natural eye color and complexion. Warm tones like green and brown often look natural on people with brown/olive complexions, while cool tones like blue and gray complement fairer skin.
- Subtle colors are easier to pull off than vivid ones for everyday wear.
- Think about the situation – bright colors may be better for festivals and parties, neutral ones for work.
- Consult your optometrist to pick lenses suited for your prescription and eye health needs.
- Start with a pair of trial/sample lenses first before committing to a large purchase.
- Pay attention to lens specifications like oxygen permeability, thickness, and wearing time when selecting lenses.
- Give yourself time to get used to seeing a new eye color when you first start wearing colored lenses.
Reputable brands like Alcon offer high-quality colored lenses designed for comfort, health, and visual acuity. Avoid cheap lenses from unknown manufacturers that could potentially cause eye infections or damage.
Caring for Your Colored Contact Lenses
Caring properly for your colored contact lenses is vital for keeping your eyes healthy and your lenses functioning their best. Here are some key tips for colored contact lens care and hygiene:
- Always wash your hands thoroughly before handling lenses. Use mild soap and rinse well.
- Disinfect your lenses before first use and at the end of each wearing day. Use only fresh contact lens disinfecting solution.
- Rub and rinse lenses with solution for the recommended soaking time to neutralize germs.
- Never use saliva or tap water to wet your lenses.
- Always replace lenses on schedule – daily disposables each day, or bi-weeklies every 2 weeks.
- Avoid wearing lenses longer than recommended by your eye doctor.
- Give your eyes a break by going without lenses 1 day a week if possible.
- Don’t sleep in colored lenses unless they are specifically approved for overnight wear.
- Keep spare unopened lens packages on hand in case a lens rips or gets lost.
- See your optometrist promptly if you experience redness, pain, discharge or other eye issues.
Following proper hygiene practices helps colored contact lenses remain comfortable, maximizes visual acuity, and prevents potentially serious complications like infections and corneal ulcers. Never take short cuts with your eye health.
The Bottom Line
In summary, Alcon Dailies contact lenses do come in colors through their Air Optix Colors and Dailies AquaComfort Plus Colors brands. The lenses allow you to enhance your natural eye color with popular shades like blue, green, brown and gray. The colors appear natural and attractive. Key benefits include cosmetic enhancement, self-expression and increased confidence. Colored lenses still require proper care and hygiene to keep your eyes healthy. Consult your optometrist to find colored contact lenses suited for your eyes and vision needs.