Although many contact lens wearers may not carefully check the packaging before putting on a new lens, a quick check of the expiration date is an important step in proper eye care. Many wearers may not even know that contact lenses actually have an expiration date and should not be worn after that date.
Why do contact lenses have an expiration date?
Contact lenses are classified as packaged medical supplies. Before being distributed to merchants and consumers, the lenses are sterilized and packaged in sealed containers. Over time, the sealing properties of the contact lens will fail and deteriorate, resulting in contamination of the solution and the inside of the lens. Contaminated lenses can cause everything from irritation to infection, or worse. Therefore, all packaged contact lenses will have an expiration date printed on them. Usually, the shelf life is about 4 years from the date of packaging.
Where can I find the expiry date?
The expiry date of the contact lens is printed on each contact lens container. Specifically, you can find the expiration date on the aluminum foil cover. And the information that can be found here includes contact lens brand name, contact lens material, manufacturer name, lens diameter, lens power, lens base curve, batch number, and most important expiration date.
Can I wear the expired lenses?
After the expiry date marked on the contact lens packaging, the manufacturer cannot guarantee the safety of the lenses that can be worn. Therefore, expired lenses should not be worn. As the packaging ages and deteriorates, the lenses and saline solution of the items in the packaging may be damaged and contaminated. Bacteria, amoeba and fungi are just some of the external invaders that may enter the packaging of expired contact lenses. The worst that can happen is that contaminated lenses can cause countless eye health problems, some of which can cause serious complications, such as blindness. So don't risk wearing expired lenses!
What are the symptoms of eye infections?
- Blurred vision
- Sensitive to light
- Too many tears
- Eye discharge accumulation
- eye pain
If you think you have eye problems or any type of infection, please seek medical help from an ophthalmologist immediately.
What should I do with those expired lenses?
The best way to dispose of expired contact lenses is to throw them in the trash can. Do not wash contact lenses into any water drain facilities including wash basins and toilets. If contact lenses are washed into the sewer and not filtered out of the sewage properly, they will eventually flow into local streams and rivers, endangering wildlife!