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If you’ve recently undergone refractive lens exchange (RLE) surgery, then you may be wondering if you can wear coloured contact lenses. Although you now have better vision and are free from having to wear contact lenses on a daily basis, some people may wish to wear cosmetic lenses. Coloured contact lenses which change or enhance eye colour but have no vision correction element are especially popular at certain times of the year, for example at Halloween.

The good news is that, in most cases, it’s safe to wear contact lenses after RLE surgery. It is advised to wait for 6 months after your surgery before considering wearing cosmetic contact lenses and it is essential that you consult your optometrist before using them. The shape of your eyes may have changed as a result of RLE surgery so your optometrist will recommend the correct lens for your eyes after examining your eyes.

It is very important to consult your optometrist before using cosmetic contacts because if you wear the incorrect lens you run the risk of damaging or scratching the cornea, which could lead to serious problems. There is a common misconception that when it comes to cosmetic contact lenses ‘one size fits all’. However, as everyone has different eye shapes this is not the case, so to avoid damaging your eyes do not take any risks. Your optometrist will also be able to advise you of the most appropriate brands of coloured lenses that you can wear.

Finally, do remember to clean your cosmetic lenses in the same manner you used to clean your normal lenses. Buy an appropriate cleaning solution and use a contact lens case. Clean them carefully before inserting them and after removing them from the eye, store them in a clean contact lens case and replace the case and the cleaning solution every three months.

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