Do contact lenses expire?
It's an important question for anyone who wears contact lenses: do they expire? Most patients are informed before purchasing their lenses that contacts don't last forever, but what does that really mean? Knowing the answers to this and related questions can help patients get the most out of their contact lenses with optimal comfort and improved vision. In this blog post, we'll take a look at the life span of contact lenses, tips on how to extend their use, and guidelines for proper care. By understanding all aspects of contact lens usage—from purchase to discard—patients will gain valuable knowledge in order to make decisions about which brand(s) best suit them now and well into the future.
What are contact lenses and how do they work?
Contact lenses are thin, curved medical devices that are worn on the surface of the eye to correct vision. Unlike glasses, which sit on the bridge of the nose, contact lenses are placed directly on the cornea. This allows for a more natural viewing experience and better peripheral vision. Contact lenses work by altering the way that light enters the eye. Specifically, they correct refractive errors by focusing light more accurately onto the retina. The lenses can also be used to address other visual conditions, such as astigmatism or presbyopia. With proper consultation and care, contact lenses can be a safe and effective alternative to glasses for many people.
Do contact lenses expire and how long do they last?
If you're one of the many people who wear contact lenses, it's important to know if they expire and how long they can be used. The lifespan of contact lenses can vary, depending on the type of lenses you wear and how well you care for them. Generally, disposable lenses are designed to be used for a certain period, typically two weeks to a month, and are then meant to be thrown out. However, reusable lenses, such as gas permeable lenses, can last for up to a year, provided they are well-maintained and cleaned properly. It's important to remember that wearing contact lenses beyond their recommended lifetime can increase the risk of eye infections, so it's critical to follow your doctor's advice on when to replace them.
How to make your contact lenses last longer
Proper care and maintenance of your contact lenses is crucial for maintaining good eye health and making them last longer. Always start by washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water before handling your lenses. Make sure to follow the cleaning and disinfecting instructions provided by your eye care professional and use only recommended solutions. Avoid wearing your contacts while swimming or showering and never use tap water to clean or store your lenses. It's also important to replace your lenses and their cases according to the recommended schedule. By following these simple guidelines, you can ensure that your contact lenses continue to provide clear vision and comfort for a longer period of time.
How often should you refill your contact lenses solution?
The frequency of refilling your contact lens solution largely depends on how often you use your lenses. As a rule of thumb, you should always discard the solution in the lens case after each use, and never "top-off" or reuse solution. Therefore, if you're a daily wear contact lens user, you'll likely need to refill your solution every day. If you wear extended wear lenses, you'll refill the solution every time you take your lenses out for cleaning and disinfecting. Keeping a fresh supply of solution is crucial as it helps remove mucus, secretions, films or deposits which may have accumulated during wearing and also kills harmful microbes present on the lenses. Always remember to replace the lens case every three months to prevent unwanted infections.
Common mistakes to avoid when using contact lenses
One of the most common mistakes people make is sleeping with their contact lenses in. Not only can this lead to discomfort and irritation, but it can also increase the risk of infection. Another mistake is using tap water to clean your lenses or lens case. Tap water contains microorganisms that can lead to serious eye infections. Make sure to only use prescribed solution and follow the recommended cleaning routine. Lastly, many people try to stretch the wear time of their contact lenses beyond what is recommended. This can lead to dryness, discomfort, and an increased risk of infection. Be sure to follow the recommended wearing time to keep your eyes healthy and happy.