How Long Do Contacts last?
How Long Do Contacts Last?
If you wear contacts or you're thinking about switching from glasses to contact lenses, you may wonder how long you can expect them to last. The answer to this question varies depending on a number of different factors including the type of lenses you wear and how you take care of them. Let's take a closer look at how long contacts last so you can decide if they're the right choice for your vision correction needs.
Do Contact Lenses Expire?
The contact lens expiration date is printed on the box to indicate when they should be replaced. However, the lens type also plays a role in how long your contacts should last. Daily wear lenses should be replaced either every day, every week to two weeks, or monthly. Extended-wear lenses are prescribed less often, but they can be worn for up to a full month in some cases before they need to be replaced. In terms of extreme long-wear, rigid gas permeable contacts are the best choice. These contacts can last for up to a full year or longer, but it will depend on whether or not your eye doctor recommends them. No matter which type of contacts you get, never try to wear them past the recommended timeline as listed on the packaging.
When to Replace Your Contacts
Most daily wear contacts are made of a soft plastic material that lets moisture and oxygen enter the eye. Since they're quite fragile, you'll need to replace them more often than extended wear lenses. The manufacturer will indicate how often these lenses should be replaced. Some could need to be discarded after just one day of wear, while others can last as long as a full month before you need to switch them for a new pair like monthly disposable contacts. If possible, try to purchase your daily wear lenses in bulk so you have a full year's supply on hand. This will ensure that you don't run out and that you'll always have a pair handy when it's time to replace them.
Only around five percent of contact lens wearers use extended wear contacts. They're designed to provide you with continuous wear for a week or more depending on if you get weekly disposable contact lenses or monthly. This means you can sleep with them on and don't need to change them for a week or longer. Unfortunately, extended wear lenses can increase your chances of infection. Since the eye has less access to oxygen, you could experience dry eye, redness, and irritation. If your extended wear lenses get dirty, it can cause bacteria to grow, resulting in a potentially dangerous infection that could affect your eyesight. Make sure that extended wear lenses are right for you before you use them.
Making Your Contacts Last Longer
Here are some easy tips to help you get the most wear out of your contact lenses:
- Always store your contacts in a proper case and never put them back in the manufacturer's blister pack once you remove them.
- Clean, soak, and disinfect your contacts using products made by the same manufacturer. If you mix and match your cleaning solution, it can cause your lenses to become cloudy.
- Wash your hands thoroughly before you touch your contact lenses to help prevent infection.
- Never try to wear your contacts longer than the recommended allotted timeframe.
- If your current prescription isn't working for you, talk to your eye doctor about a new prescription so you can see clearly and enjoy wearing your contacts.