Color Contact Lenses in Japan – The “Circle Lens” Trend

Color contact lenses in Japan are a popular fashion trend.  Japan is known for setting and redefining style when it comes to fashion and beauty.  Japanese men and women love taking their look and adding something extra for a more personal touch.  One example is through the use of color contact lenses.

Known colloquially as「カラーコン」(color con), or “circle lenses”, color contact lenses in Japan come in a range of styles which surround the pupil in anything from a solid band of color to a wild pattern.  Violet eyes, aqua eyes, zebra eyes . . . they’re all possible with a pair of lenses that take seconds to put in.  You can find these contacts online and in shopping malls around the country, making it easy to change up your look as often as you want and to suit any occasion.

Why do men and women wear color contact lenses in Japan?  In a country where the majority of the population has brown eyes, adding a pair of circle lenses creates a stand-out look.  Since the trend began in the early 2000s, the options are endless.  Many women began wearing circle lenses to give the appearance of larger eyes, similar to dolls as well as manga and anime characters.  Cosmetic companies and fashion retailers often produce one-of-a-kind lenses, even further expanding the styles of color contacts available.  Circle lenses are not a fashion trend exclusive to women, as many men can be seen wearing them.  The continued popularity of color contact lenses in Japan, South Korea and Singapore helped the trend reach western countries like the United States around 2010, thanks in part to musician Lady Gaga’s music video for “Bad Romance.”

While they may seem more cosmetic than functional, the proper use of contact lenses is the key to optimum eye health, whether they are prescription or not.  Remember to always practice proper contact lenses care.  Store them in multi-purpose solution in an airtight lens case when not in use.  Only wear them for the recommended number of hours each day or the duration specified by your optometrist. If they don’t feel right, always err on the side of caution and use a new pair or discontinue use if you experience pain.  Unless they are designed to be worn overnight, it is best to remove them before sleeping to prevent oxygen restriction to the eye.  Taking these precautions and adhering to proper contact lens upkeep can help prevent the symptoms of hypoxia, which include dryness, redness, itching and blurred vision as well as more serious, long-term issues.  It is best to consult your optometrist or ophthalmologist if you are considering adding color contact lenses to your style repertoire.

If you are looking for a comprehensive ophthalmologist, then Kato Eye Clinic in Shibuya is in the heart of the city.

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