In this article, we will explain 5 signs to replace your contact lens. As we all know that all contact lens must be replaced frequently, even those that are perfectly maintained. If contact lenses are not replaced frequently enough, protein deposits and contamination may build up on the surface of the contact, increasing your risk of developing an eye infection. Most people use soft contacts, which are especially susceptible to deposits and contamination. Gas permeable contact lenses can last a year or longer before requiring replacement.
Remember that the wear schedule provided is for a maximum amount of time. So if your contact lens is beginning to irritate your eye or you notice a tear before you’ve reached the end of the wear schedule, throw the lens out and open up a new lens. Always put the health of your eyes first.
As there are many different types of contact lenses, there are also many different wearing and replacement schedules. Each lens is designed for a specific length of wear. For daily contact lenses, two weekly and monthly contact lenses, the times frames for replacing the lenses are simple and straightforward. Daily disposable lenses should be thrown away after each single day of use. Two weekly and monthly disposable lenses however, have a longer wear period. These reusable lenses must be cleaned and stored in fresh solution overnight and disposed of every two weeks and every month, respectively.
You need to be aware of the state of your contacts at all times. How can you do this? By looking out for some specific signs. If you recognize any of the following signs, then it is likely the right time to replace your contact lens.
1. Contact lens expiration date
Perhaps the biggest sign that it’s time to replace your lens is that they are past their expiration date. Under no circumstances should you continue to wear contact lenses after they have expired. Manufacturers have created them to be effective for a designated period of time and no longer than that timeframe.
Old contacts will start to display wear and tear long before their expiration date. They will wear thin and develop microscopic tears. In an ideal situation, you’d replace your lens before they even have a chance to hit this expiration date. So if you haven’t already, make sure to swap them out as soon as possible. Wearing old lenses can facilitate everything from simple eye irritation to infections or worse.
2. Discomfort or irritation
As with pain elsewhere in the body, pain in eyes can result from the presence of germs or irritants that should not be there. Besides changing your contact lenses themselves and the solution they are stored overnight, also make sure you are replacing your case every three months. Some people can grow accustomed to a burning sensation from their lenses. The fact of the matter is that this feeling shouldn’t exist. If a brand new pair of contacts is causing your eyes to burn, it’s likely just not the right pair for you. Every eye is unique after all, and needs something a little different in terms of their material and the way they feel.
Have you been wearing the same set of lenses for a long time? Are they starting to burn? Then they’ve likely accumulated small tears and scratches that are irritating your eyes. In any case, you need to make a change as soon as possible. Allowing your eyes to continuously have this sensation could eventually result in infection.
3. Eyes redness
If your eyes are red, irritated, uncomfortable or light sensitive take out your contacts immediately. If your eyes turn bloodshot within hours of inserting your lens, then you need new contact lens. Eye redness appears for the same two reasons that burning occurs:
- Your new contacts are not a good fit for your eyes.
- Your old contacts have developed irritation-inducing tears and rips.
Note that you could also have something on your contact lens such as lint, dust, a speck of something, etc. If this is the case, you can do away with it by doing a simple cleaning. Rinse your contacts with solution, give it a good rub and pop them back in.
4. Cloudy Lenses
This is can be a sign that bacteria are present. Contact lenses are supposed to be clear, so you can see easily. If you notice that your contact lenses are not as clear as they once were, they could have bacteria on them. Rinse your contact lenses off with contact lens solution and put them back in. Cloudy blurriness while wearing contact lenses means one of two things:
- You have the wrong prescription.
- There is residue buildup on your contact lens.
In the short-term, you should be able to rid your contact lenses of residue. In the long-term though, as more and more residue builds up, the performance of your contacts will be affected. At this point, the only thing you can do is replace your contact lens and use fresh lenses.
5. Eyes feel dry
Dry eye is one of the most common problems that contact wearers come across. While you can often fix this problem by applying a saline solution or eye drops, it may not always work. In some cases, the actual lenses themselves are to blame. Because they’re made out of different materials and have varying levels of thickness, some contacts are more prone to causing dry eyes than others. If you suffer from dryness every time you insert them, your lenses are likely the most factor of the dry eyes. In other words, there’s a good chance that you’ll need new contact lens