It’s surprising how many people who wear prescription contact lenses wind up using their old contacts well after they have expired or have become damaged. Some consumers do this because they’ve just forgotten to schedule appointments with their optometrists, while others don’t want to spend money on buying extra pairs and yet more just don’t know any better. Unfortunately, this seemingly innocuous and all-too-common practice can have a dramatic negative impact on eye health.
Want to avoid potential complications from using old lenses? Read on to find out about a few signs that it’s time for new contacts to look out for beyond the obvious expiration date.
Contact lenses are designed to be comfortable. If they feel itchy or irritating, take them out and visually inspect them for damage such as scratches and clean them to make sure they are free of debris. If this doesn’t work and the contacts remain uncomfortable, there might be damage that isn’t visible to the naked eye.
Don’t continue wearing them. It’s time to swap them out for a new pair. Continuing to wear damaged contacts can be dangerous.
The first step to take if contacts appear cloudy is to take them out and rinse them in saline. If this doesn’t work, throw them away. That cloudiness may be caused by a buildup of bacteria and continuing to wear them might cause dry eye, infections, or other complications.
Contacts are designed to maintain a certain shape. If they’re getting bent out of shape, they may be allowing debris and bacteria access to their wearers’ eyes.
Don’t assume that just because they work well enough, that means they can continue to be worn despite obvious damage. Throw away the damaged contacts and replace them with new ones.
It’s Time for a New Prescription
Contact wearers should head to their optometrists for eye exams once a year. It’s still possible to experience significant declines in vision in between appointments, though, so consumers should keep an eye out for signs that it’s time to upgrade their prescriptions, as well. These signs may include unexplained headaches, eye fatigue, and frequent squinting in addition to the more obvious blurred vision and they will not go away until those old contacts have been replaced.