If you’re one of the millions of people who wear contact lenses, you might have committed some cardinal sins when it comes to their care. From sleeping with them in to not properly washing your hands before inserting them, or even reusing them past their expiry date, these habits can lead to serious consequences for your eye health. While it might seem like you’re saving money by extending the life of your contacts, the truth is that using old lenses can be more unhygienic and risky than you realize.
Checking for expiry
Identifying unusable contact lenses is relatively simple. Just take a look at the box or packaging for the month and year printed on it. For instance, if it says 06/23, it means the contacts are safe to use until the end of June 2023. Using them any month later could put your eyes at risk of infection or other complications.
What to not do
Wearing excessively used contact lenses can lead to several red flags that should not be ignored. Symptoms like initial burning, stinging, and redness are common indicators that your contacts might be past their prime. If you experience any of these symptoms, ophthalmologist Dr. Yuna Rapoport recommends removing the contacts immediately and using preservative-free artificial tears.
One of the most significant risks of using old contacts lies in the solution they’re stored in. Even though they may still be sealed, the solution might no longer be effective, which can harbor dangerous bacteria and fungus. This can lead to severe eye infections like bacterial keratitis, causing redness, sensitivity to light, pain, and blurred vision. In more severe cases, it may lead to permanent vision loss or the need for a corneal transplant.
Outdated Prescription Dangers
Using contacts can also lead to outdated prescriptions. It’s essential to get a new prescription annually to ensure you’re wearing the correct lenses and avoid issues like blurry vision, eye strain, and headaches. Presbyopia, which affects older individuals, can exacerbate these problems if not properly addressed.
Dry eyes are another concern when using worn out contact lenses. As contacts lose permeability over time, they can reduce oxygen flow to the eyes, making them feel dry and uncomfortable. Dry eyes are not only uncomfortable but can also increase the risk of eye infections and corneal ulcers, especially for those with pre-existing dry eye conditions.
To maintain healthy eyes and proper contact lens care, it’s crucial to discard lenses promptly and adhere to a regular replacement schedule. Washing hands before handling contacts and using lubricating drops before inserting or removing them can also contribute to maintaining good eye health.
The convenience and comfort of contact lenses should never come at the cost of compromising eye health. Using worn out contacts can lead to serious consequences, including infections, dry eyes, and vision problems. Always adhere to the recommended replacement schedule and consult your eye care professional if you experience any discomfort or changes in your vision. Your eyes deserve the best care possible, so never compromise on your eye health and keep checking up on your contact lenses.
Stay tuned to Brandsynario for the latest news and updates.