All contact lenses including multifocal lenses have an expiration date. Just like the prescription or over-the-counter drug, your lenses also gives you the ability to us them between one to three years before they expire. After the lenses have reached their expiry date, they shouldn’t be used even if they are sealed in an airtight container like most soft contact lenses are.
Using expired lenses can be dangerous to your eyes. The bacteria, amoeba, and fungi that is found in expired lenses can cause serious eye infections. And that’s why the Center for Disease Control [CDC] warns that you should never use expired lenses.
So what should you do if your contact lenses have expired? In this article, we give you the best advice on what you should do about your
expired lenses, so keep reading on.
Understanding the expiry date:
Usually, the soft contact lenses are packaged with a foil cover to seal the containers. The containers are then filled with non-preserved saline, and an additional wetting agent to keep the contents in the package remain fully hydrated until the user opens it.
The foil cover contains not only the manufacturer information, it also contains information such as the lens brand name, lens material name, lens power, lens diameter, the lens expiry date, etc. the expiration date is written in yyyy/mm format, meaning that the year that the lens will expire comes first followed by the month.
For example, if it written 2019/12, then the lenses are safe to wear up to December 2019. But in some cases it can be vice versa, meaning the month comes first followed by the year in which the lenses will expire.
Before you purchase your lenses, it is crucial that you scrutinize them carefully and confirm that they haven’t reached their expiration date. This is because wearing expired lenses exposes your eyes to serious infections.
What you should do if your lenses have expired:
When you have realized that your contact lenses have expired, the first thing that you should to do is to revisit the website that you purchased them from. A lot of lens manufacturers have programs that allow them to exchange expired lenses and replace them with new ones, some do it for free while others for a small fee. This is the best approach because it is cost-effective and time-saving. It is also good for people who don’t want to discard their lenses or those who want to replace their lenses but are working on a tight budget.
The next option would be to pay a visit to your eye doctor. If the lenses have expired, then there’s a high chance that your prescription has expired as well. So it is necessary that you get your eyes checked once or twice a year to make sure that your eyes are in great shape.
If by any chance you have opened an expired contact lenses and tried them on, don’t panic. Just remove them immediately. Ensure that you check the packaging to make sure that the lens blister contains fluid. If the fluid has evaporated, toss the lens immediately and open a new blister. One thing that you should always remember is that wearing expired lenses can cause severe infections to your eyes.