Do Contact Lenses Expire
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:
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
- 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.
- Blurry vision
- Sensitivity to light
- 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.
What To Do With The Expired 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.
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.
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 without prescription and keep the expiry date in mind to guarantee safety for your eyes.
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