Dangers of Expired Lenses

Expired lenses can have numerous dangerous consequences. Complications can arise from wearing your contact lenses after the expiration date. Infections and ulcers are the most common problems. In extreme cases, it can cause blindness. In addition, sleeping with your contact lenses in is not recommended unless this has been approved by your optometrist.

Different Types of Lenses


  • Disposable lenses: this option allows for the lenses to be changed on an ongoing basis. In fact, you should throw away your lenses after 7 to 30 days of use with no irritation. They are available in different types and sizes.
  • Coloured lenses: for cosmetic or corrective purposes, these lenses are available in different colours, mostly for one type of vision. They are suitable for 7 to 30 days with no irritation.
  • Bifocal lenses: recently, with technological advances, lenses for people in need of two distinct optical strengths have come onto the market. They allow the patient to keep his lenses in in different situations, from reading, working on the computer to seeing from a distance.
  • Hard lenses: with proper care, these lenses can last up to two years if your optometrist does not change your prescription. Also known as rigid gas permeable lenses, they are not popular on the market. Even though their durability extends to a couple of years, they keep the eyes from breathing and they require constant maintenance to ensure the eyes remain healthy.
  • Soft extended wear lenses: unlike hard lenses, oxygen is able to pass through these lenses because the plastic is soft. The expiration date is about one year after manufacture.
  • UV-blocking lenses: for people with extra sensitivity, these lenses are worn to protect the eyes from UV rays. Since the lens only covers a portion of the cornea, it is important to also wear sunglasses outdoors for complete protection from the sun.

“Extended wear” lenses, allowing patients to wear their contact lenses on an ongoing basis, were only introduced 40 years ago. Before that, patients were obliged to remove their contact lenses, called daily wear lenses, and clean them every day. With extended wear lenses, patients are able wear them for a week without removing them. Approved by Canada’s Food and Drugs Act and Regulations, these lenses can be worn for a maximum of 30 consecutive days.

For all contact lenses, durability depends on the care you give them. In fact, when lenses are well maintained, they have a longer lifespan with no contamination or infection. In order to avoid any unwanted complications, some precautions are essential for maintaining your contact lenses.

Lens Maintenance

These are the correct steps to keep lenses healthy. To begin, it is essential that you wash your hands with lotion-free soap before installing your lenses. Do not rinse your lenses with tap water. Use the approved disinfecting saline solution. Each night, clean you container with a fresh saline solution (don’t reuse). It is important to replace your lens case often to avoid any infection. Store the lenses at room temperature. Never leave the lenses in the car in case they freeze or overheat.

Professional Help

Seek the help of an optician to choose the correct contact lenses. In order to wear contact lenses, the patient must undergo an eye exam. This examination should take place annually in order to assess the condition of your eyes and to renew your prescription for contact lenses, vision glasses and sunglasses. Seek the help of an optometrist if your eyes become irritated, painful or scratchy. In these cases, you should remove the contact lenses until you receive instructions from your optometrist. Montreal has many opticians and optometrists offering these services.

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