When Should You Discard Contact Lenses?

When you wear contact lenses, there are a few rules to follow to ensure that you are wearing them safely. Incorrectly wearing contacts could lead to a host of problems including permanent vision loss. A major part of wearing contacts is determining when you should discard them. Here are some things you need to know. 

Expiration Date

When your contact lenses expire, you need to discard them. Some people mistakenly believe that contacts cannot expire due to the material from which they are made. The expiration date does not necessarily apply to how long the lenses last, but how long they can be reasonably safe from contamination.

The container in which your contacts are stored is considered to be airtight. Unfortunately, as time passes, it becomes less secure and your lenses are more susceptible to being contaminated. Once contamination occurs, you could possibly develop problems, such as an infection, if you wear the contacts. 

The expiration date on the lenses varies according to the manufacturer and the container in which it is made. Do not be surprised if your expiration date is three to four years from now. 

Soft Lenses Packages

The packaging for soft lenses is usually a plastic container with a foil cover. The cover can easily be peeled back to expose the lens when it is time to wear it. The packaging has a great deal of pertinent information including the brand, base curve, and lens power. 

The expiration date can also be found on the package. In most instances, the expiration date will be in a month/year format. If the expiration date is listed as 01/2016, you have until the end of that month to break the seal and use the lens. 

Gas Permeable Lenses Packages

Gas permeable lenses are an exception to the expiration date rule. The lenses are typically shipped dry and within a container that is designed to store them for a long time. It is because of this, it is rare to find a package that has an expiration date. 

Your optometrist can exercise the option to have you discard your lenses at any time. If so, it is important that you follow his or her instructions and get rid of the lenses. 

The expiration date on contact lenses should not be ignored. The lenses are there to protect your eye health. Without the protection of the expiration date, you could have vision problems down the road because of bad contact lenses. For more advice about caring for contact lenses, touch base with a company like A New Vision.