theatrical contact lenses

Learn How to Care for Your Theatrical Contact Lenses and When to Throw Them Away

Theatrical contact lenses, or costume lenses, are a great way to put the finishing touches on a costume and bring a character to life. Different styles are often available as both corrective and non-corrective lenses. This allows costumers to use them without having to sacrifice their ability to see. But it’s important to take proper care of theatrical contact lenses. Doing so will let you avoid any injuries to your eyes and help you get the most out of your investment.

Caring for Your Lenses

Follow these general guidelines to take care of costume contact lenses and ensure they last and remain safe to wear:

  1. Clean and disinfect the lenses regularly: Use a lens cleaning solution recommended by your eye doctor to clean and disinfect the lenses as recommended by the manufacturer. Lenses that are stored for long periods of time should be taken out and cleaned regularly.
  2. Handle with clean hands: Wash your hands with soap and water and dry them thoroughly with a lint-free towel before handling lenses.
  3. Store properly: Store lenses in a clean case designed for contact lenses. Avoid exposing them to extreme temperatures or direct sunlight.
  4. Avoid sharing: Do not share your contact lenses with others.
  5. Avoid sleeping with the lenses on: Sleeping with contact lenses on increases the risk of eye infection.
  6. Never wear 2 contacts in the same eye: While it might be tempting to use a pair of non-corrective theatrical lenses with a pair of corrective lenses to allow you to see, doing so is not a good idea. Wearing 2 contact lenses at the same time can alter the fit of the lenses and cause damage and infection to the eye. It can also prevent oxygen from reaching your cornea.
  7. Do not exceed recommended wear time: The length of time you can wear contact lenses depends on the type of contact lenses and the recommendations of your eye care provider. Over-wearing contact lenses can lead to discomfort, dryness, and irritation, as well as an increased risk of infection and other complications.
  8. Keep them hydrated: Wearing contact lenses can cause your eyes to become dry and irritated. Keep your eyes hydrated using lubricating or rewetting eye drops marked specifically for use with contact lenses. Also avoid rubbing your eyes.
theatrical contact lenses
Theatrical contact lenses add a finishing touch to your costume

Signs That It’s Time To Get a New Pair

Look for the following signs to determine if it’s time to throw out your theatrical FX contact lenses:

  1. Damage: Discard lenses if they are torn, scratched, brittle, or damaged in any way.
  2. Discomfort: If the lenses are causing discomfort or irritation, they man no longer suitable for your eyes.
  3. Expired: Follow your eye care provider’s instructions for replacing lenses passed their expiration date even if they appear to be in good condition.
  4. Contamination: Discard lenses if the lenses are contaminated with dirt, dust, or other foreign particles.
  5. Fitting issues: Replace lenses that do not fit properly or do not stay in place.

Where to Buy Theatrical Contact Lenses

Theatrical contact lenses are available at most contact lens retailers starting at around $20 and up per non-corrective pair. Most vendors will charge more for corrective lenses and require a prescription. Some manufacturers also offer custom-designed contact lenses starting at around $100 each. Be sure to note whether the site sells contacts individually or as a pair before making your purchase. Check out this Cosplay & Costuming Resource List for some sources that sell costume contact lenses.

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