Do Contact Lenses Expire

How To Identify an Expired Contact

Many people wear contact lenses for vision correction. People suffering from myopic vision or hypermetropia use different varieties of lenses to see things clearly and without any hassle. Glasses have always been one of the most popular vision correction equipment. However, contact lenses offer more convenience which makes these a more popular choice these days. Many people wear expired contact lenses not knowing the exact contact lens expiry date. Now, do contact lenses expire in reality?

The simplest answer to this question remains yes. No matter how religiously you maintain your soft contact lenses and use contact lens solution, they expire after a certain time. Therefore, every contact lens wearer should know about their contact lens expiration date.

How To Identify an Expired Contact:

The best way to know if you are wearing expired contact lenses would be to check the expiry date on their pack. Several pieces of information related to contact lenses remain available on its foil pack. Besides the power, manufacturer’s name, and other specifications, the list will also have the expiry date. If you notice the date is already over, your contacts have expired. If you wear expired contacts, your eyes might have to suffer infections. Therefore, wear contact lenses only after checking the expiry date carefully.

Can I Wear Expired Lenses:

Lenses Go Bad Before Their Expiry Date


Wearing contact lenses after their expiry is not safer for the wearer. Even the contact lens manufacturers do not recommend it. The risk of bacterial contamination, fungal growth, etc., becomes high as the contact lens expires.

Can The Lenses Go Bad Before Their Expiry Date?

Yes, they can. Poor contact lens hygiene can be one of the reasons for the early expiry of your lenses. Maintain your lenses well to wear them till their expiry date. Be it a soft lens or a semi-soft one, keeping the lenses clean ensures their long life. Overnight or continuous wear can be another source of early expiry of lenses and the cause of several eye infections.

Dangers Of Wearing Expired Contacts:


When contacts expire, you should not wear them for any reason. Even after maintaining the standard contact lens hygiene behavior, your contacts become unfit for wearing after a specified time. If you continue to wear the expired lenses, your eyes might experience several discomforts and hazards. Wearing expired contact lenses lead to the following hazards.

  • Reddening and inflammation of the eyes
  • Partial or complete vision loss
  • Insignificant to acute eye pain
  • Enhanced light sensitivity
  • Scarring
  • Contact lens infections

To avoid contact lens infections, store contact lenses carefully, maintaining the guidelines.

Common Symptoms Of Eye Infections:

The followings are a few symptoms that indicate the presence of eye infections. Lack of proper lens hygiene and wearing expired lenses can be the primary cause of such infection for lens wearers.

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Blurry vision
  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Gooey eye buildup
  • Extra tears
  • Eye pain

The moment you notice any such symptoms, take out the contact lens prescriptions and book an appointment with your oculist.

Read also: Dry eye syndrome How To Stop And What Causes It 

What To Do With The Expired Contact Lenses:

If your contact lenses have past their expiration date, make sure to dispose of the lenses properly. Before you buy new contacts, make sure to throw the old ones in the trash bag. However, make sure that the disposed of lenses do not end up polluting the rivers and water bodies, harming aquatic lives.

Different Lenses And Their Expiry Dates:

The market has several varieties of contact lenses with varying expatriation dates. The following list has some of the common contact lens varieties.

  • Soft lenses
  • Extended wear contacts
  • RGP contacts (Rigid Gas Permeable)
  • Disposable Contacts
  • Replacement schedule contacts

For more sustainable practices, switch to monthly lenses.

Get to know more about contact lenses types >>

How do I find my contacts expiration date?

To find the expiration date of your contact lenses, check the packaging or individual blister packs.

Look for a section labeled “Expiration Date” or “Exp Date” on the box or blister pack. It may be a printed date or a combination of numbers and letters. Here are some date formats youc an find:

  1. YYYY/MM/DD (e.g., 2023/03/15): Using this format, the lenses would expire on March 15, 2023.
  2. YYYY/MM (e.g., 2025/02): In this case, the lenses would be valid until the end of February 2025.


If you’ve already opened a blister pack, check for the expiration date imprinted on the blister foil or edge.

If the expiration date is missing or illegible, it’s best to assume the lenses have expired.

Using expired lenses can compromise comfort and clarity, and potentially harm your eye health.

When in doubt, consult your eye care professional for accurate information about the expiration date and proper usage of your specific lenses.

What to do if you accidentally wore expired contacts

If you accidentally wore expired contact lenses, here’s what you should do:

  1. Remove the lenses immediately.
  2. Inspect your eyes for any redness or discomfort.
  3. Clean and disinfect the lenses using fresh solution (not expired).
  4. Contact your eye care professional for guidance (if necessary).
  5. Consider discarding the expired lenses and using a fresh pair.

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What to do if you accidentally wore expired contacts

If you accidentally wore expired contact lenses, here’s what you should do:

  1. Remove the lenses immediately.
  2. Inspect your eyes for any redness or discomfort.
  3. Clean and disinfect the lenses using fresh solution (not expired).
  4. Contact your eye care professional for guidance (if necessary).
  5. Consider discarding the expired lenses and using a fresh pair.

Can contact solution expire?


Yes, contact solution does have an expiration date. Just like any other product, contact solution is designed to be used within a certain period of time to ensure its effectiveness and safety. The expiration date is usually printed on the bottle or packaging of the solution. It is important to pay attention to this date and avoid using contact solution that has expired.

Contact solution contains various ingredients that help clean, disinfect, and lubricate your contact lenses. Over time, these ingredients may break down, lose their effectiveness, or even become contaminated. Using expired contact solution can compromise the cleanliness and sterility of your lenses, which can increase the risk of eye infections or other complications.

Is it safe to use expired contact solution?

It is not recommended to use expired contact solution. As mentioned earlier, the ingredients in the solution can degrade over time, leading to a decrease in its cleaning and disinfecting properties. Additionally, expired contact solution may become a breeding ground for bacteria or other microorganisms, which can pose a risk to the health of your eyes.

Using expired contact solution can potentially result in eye irritation, redness, itching, or even more serious complications such as corneal ulcers. To ensure the safety and effectiveness of your contact lens care routine, it is best to always use fresh, unexpired contact solution.

What Should You Do When The Contact Solution Expires?

The moment you realize that your contact lens solution has expired, you should contact your eye doctor immediately. Your doctor will prescribe new contact lenses for you.

Even when the expiry date of the lenses is not over and the solution expires, you should stop wearing the old lenses without any delays. According to the guidelines of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, wearing older contact lenses enhances the risk of eye infections multiple times.

Read more: What Are The Ingredients In Contact Solution? 


Wearing expired contacts can be a source of eye problems in the future. For healthy eyes, you should always get your eyes checked by an ophthalmologist in case of any visual discomfort. If anyone ever asks you do contact lenses expire, answer affirmatively. Also, make them aware of the perils of wearing expired contact lenses for a long time.

Contact lenses are always a smart and useful way of vision correction as long as you abide by the basic lens hygiene rules. Replace your old-fashioned glasses with advanced contact lenses and keep the expiry date in mind to guarantee safety for your eyes.

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