1-DAY ACUVUE DEFINE Brand Contact Lenses enhance natural eye color.
AIR OPTIX COLORS by Alcon are available in nine colors from subtle to vibrant.
Before and after: Custom hand-painted soft prosthetic lenses from Custom Color Contacts.

Cosmetic and enhanced lenses deliver the Wow! factor to your patients and revenue to your practice

Staying on trend with the latest color contact lens options and their various applications benefits not only your patients. Being familiar and comfortable to properly present and fit these lenses will differentiate your practice and increase your revenue.

There are several reasons your patients could benefit from using colored contact lenses, including cosmetic, prosthetic and therapeutic purposes.

Cosmetic lenses can help with self-expression, much like hair color or makeup. The base eye color can determine if an enhancer or opaque lens is the preferred lens. For example, blue, aqua and green enhancer tints provide a more natural eye effect for lighter iris colors. Brown, amber, yellow, violet and pink can be effective with natural coloring when placed on a lighter brown, hazel, darker green or gray iris base coloring.

Several companies have recently manufactured new lens options providing various colors, designs and details””with or without vision correction. That said, safety aspects must be addressed to prevent any eye health concerns. The American Optometric Association warns that selling lenses without a prescription is illegal and can put consumers’ eye health at risk. Emphasize to your patients that all contact lenses are classified as medical devices by the FDA and require a valid prescription whether they correct your vision or are just worn for fun.

AIR OPTIX COLORS by Alcon provides 3-in-1 color technology and consistent comfortable vision on a monthly replacement lens.  The outer ring of the lens defines and emphasizes the iris, the primary color transforms the eye color, and the inner ring brightens and adds depth. Nine available colors range from subtle to dramatic.

Another disposable option is 1-DAY ACUVUE DEFINE Brand Contact Lenses from Johnson and Johnson Vision Care, Inc. This lens enhances the natural eye color through iris-inspired designs and natural-looking definition of the limbal ring. Three available options uniquely complement each iris:  NATURAL  SPARKLE brightens, NATURAL SHIMMER sharpens and NATURAL SHINE adds contrast and dimension to the eyes.

Additional computer-generated color contact lenses available for cosmetic use include BioColors from Orion Vision Group, which features 16 colors available in any prescription, ±20.00D sphere powers, as well as up to -10.00D cylinder for astigmatism. Rainbow Complete from Fine and Clear offers several natural color lens options.

In addition, several soft custom hand-painted color contact lenses from companies such as Custom Color Contacts and Orion Vision Group provide options to vary pupil size, lens and iris diameters, base curves and custom coloring to offer iris flecks, coronas, limbal rings and more natural colors. Of course, expense, delivery time, color consistency and comfort are all issues that must be first addressed when selecting and fitting color contact lenses.

The more progressive practices are very proactive in suggesting color contact lenses as a possible option. Keeping your staff updated on the latest products as well as how to best present them to your patients is important.

During pre-testing is an opportune time to mention some of the latest in color lenses to your patients. A well-scripted but natural presentation (including your staff wearing lenses) can translate to added revenue. Maximize your chair time by using your ancillary staff to create the best patient flow in the most positive manner.

Many of the standard color lenses have disposable lens modalities to ensure maximum comfort and vision and to best reproduce color. Most cosmetic lens designs have optimal movement, fitting steeper as opposed to flatter, full coverage with iris diameters and a large enough pupil to prevent obstructing the pupil opening.

Having a full trial lens inventory with primarily plano lenses in a well-lit area can demonstrate new lens opportunities. In addition, patient’s expectations of natural color, designs, expense, wearing schedules and proper care must all be carefully discussed.

Custom lens companies using both dot matrix opaque lens designs and hand-painted opaque soft lenses provide variations in iris diameters, tint percentage intensity, pupil size and color.

There are many patients who can benefit from color lens applications (see sidebar below) to help maximize their eyesight. Enhancer tinted lenses in yellow, orange, brown and red can enhance color, contrast, reduce glare and maximize your patient’s visual performance.

Recommending various sport tints to provide sunglass effects (green and brown for sunny days and yellow for cloudy days, for example) can help your patients involved with outdoor sports.


Psychological, therapeutic and cosmetic benefits are the main reasons your patients can benefit from a prosthetic lens. Diplopia, photophobia, eliminating glare and to maximize color interpretation are some of the more common concerns your patients will encounter in your practice.

Mildly scarred or disfigured eyes can often benefit from a transparent lens designed to conceal any abnormalities, especially in a patient with a dark iris.

With a more dense or disfigured iris and sclera, the use of an opaque lens design is preferred. The base iris color of the healthy non-disfigured eye, the patient’s color lens expectations””some more critical than others””and expense are the main reasons to select an opaque standard dot matrix lens design or a custom hand-painted more natural eye effect.

The most gratifying moment in your practice is when you can change a patient’s life. Taking the time to recognize the many applications that these color contacts might benefit your patients is essential. OO

Mitch Cassel, OD, is the founder of Custom Color Contacts and Studio Optix eyecare practice in New York City. He is also a consultant for Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Alcon and CooperVision.


Alcon Laboratories
800.451.3937 |

Custom Color Contacts
800.598.2020 |

Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc.
800.843.2020 | |

Orion Vision Group
866.300.6257 |

Fine and Clear |


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