For lens wearers everywhere, contacts are a suitable option to correct and manage difficulties that affect vision. It also helps that there are different types of contact lenses, one of which are the daily options.
Daily contact lenses, otherwise known as ‘dailies’ offer the benefits of contact lenses, without the hassle of having to look after them. These lenses usually have an expiration date after single usage. These lenses are ideally replaced with a fresh pair, usually provided in a monthly pack of lenses.
If you’ve ever been tempted to reuse your daily contact lenses, we’ll be highlighting a few reasons why this may not be the best idea. But first, are all daily contacts created equally?
Daily disposable contacts vs daily wear contacts
For most people, wearing daily contacts means making a selection from a month’s supply of lenses. However, while this option covers daily disposable contact lenses, it is not to be confused with daily wear contacts.
Daily wear contact lenses are an old-style of contact lens, usually wearable for a year. These lenses are thicker, permitting longer use, with a daily limit of around 8-10 hours.
While disposable contact lenses are essentially ‘daily wear’, they are not to be used overnight or beyond a day.
How long can you wear daily contacts?
Depending on the type of daily lenses you have, old-fashioned daily wear contacts have a wear time of 8-10 hours. However, as highlighted—the more popular daily disposable contacts are to be worn for a period not exceeding a day. Typically, this is for a time frame of eight to 16 hours. Although, dry eyes, eye sensitivity, and eye health may sometimes call for shorter wear times.
Regardless of the length of time disposable lenses are worn, the bottom line is that usage shouldn’t be repeated.
What happens when you reuse your contacts?
A few things to know about disposable contacts: they are thinner, more delicate, and do not retain moisture like other contact lenses.Disposable contacts are designed to be tossed out after one use, and are reasonably priced to permit this.
If you wear your contacts for only a few hours on one day or perhaps drop a contact on the floor before usage—it may be tempting to reuse the lens, or to simply pick it up to place in your eyes.
However, this act may affect eye health and increase the risk of an eye infection. This is because bacteria and buildup can be introduced to the eyes.
Can I preserve my daily contacts in solution?
Placing contact lenses in disinfecting solution might seem like an easy fix to keep bacteria away. However, while disposable lenses may appear cleaned and disinfected after placement in fresh solution—the reality is that these lenses are thin, and maybe broken down by cleaning solutions.
This process can not only weaken the lenses, making them more prone to rips, but may also cause disposable lenses to be more prone to bacteria.
To get the most out of your disposable lenses, it’s important to keep things on a one-on-one basis. This means wearing one per day, to maintain eye health, and to reduce the risk of germs that affect eye health.