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Is It Okay To Wear Expired Contact Lenses?

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When it comes to your eyes, you don’t mess around. Safety first! You get your eyes examined regularly and carefully clean the prescription glasses or contact lenses prescribed by your eye doctor. Still, have you ever been tempted to wear your lenses past their expiration date?

Wearing contact lenses that have expired - or for longer than the prescribed amount of time - can be  dangerous for your eyes and vision. Not following the instructions of your eye doctor and lens manufacturer raises the risk of everything from eye irritation to infections and corneal abrasions.

So if you find a batch of expired lenses in your drawer, or are thinking about wearing your daily disposable lenses for more than one day, think again. If your eyes are feeling uncomfortable when wearing your lenses, it’s important to replace them with a new pair as soon as possible. If any eye discomfort or problems persist, contact Unger Eye Care today.

Bacteria On Your Contact Lenses

One of the reasons that contact lenses have expiration dates is to prevent the chance of bacteria building up on your lenses. Contact lenses can act like a sponge, absorbing bacteria, dust and allergens. Over time the bacteria can multiply and lead to infection. Serious eye infections can cause corneal ulcers, which can result in permanent damage to your vision.

Our Eyes Need Oxygen

Another issue is that expired contact lenses become less permeable over time. This makes it harder for oxygen to flow properly to your eye. Without enough oxygen, your eyes can become swollen, red and irritated.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, or you need an updated contact lens prescription, call Unger Eye Care at Troy today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long do contacts last before they expire?

  • A: Contacts generally expire 4-5 years after the contact lenses have been packaged. It’s important to note that contact lens prescriptions also need to be evaluated regularly to confirm that your existing lenses can still accurately correct your vision.

Q: Do contact lenses really expire?

  • A: Technically, it’s the saline solution that protects the lenses that expires. During packaging, each lens is [sterilized] and then packed in an airtight blister with saline solution. After the expiration date, the saline solution can become more acidic or alkaline, which can damage the lens.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Unger Eye Care for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.