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How Long Are Contacts Good For? (The Mistake You May Be Making)

By June 5, 2015Contacts Advice, FAQs

Monthly contact lenses often give rise to a very good question. That questions comes in many forms, but basically, a lot of people aren’t sure if monthly contact lenses are only good for 30 days, or if they are good for 30 uses. For someone who wears contact lenses every day, this probably won’t seem like a very interesting question, but for the occasional contact lens wearer who uses monthly lenses, the following information will be very relevant to you.

The simple answer is that monthly contact lenses are only good for 30 days once their package has been opened, regardless of how many times they are worn in those 30 days. Yes, this means that even if you only use them once a month, you have to throw them out after 30 days. Why is this the case? There are several reasons.


If the package is unopened, your contact lenses are in a sealed, sterile container. For that reason, the expiry date on contact lenses in their sealed packages is several years. But once the package is opened and the contacts come in contact with your fingers, and your eyes, they are exposed to a lot of different  contaminants.


Filling Case With Contact Lens SolutionContact lenses are extremely good at soaking things up and retaining them, and contact lens solution is not 100% effective at eliminating all contaminants and micro-organisms. Therefore, the longer the contact lenses are kept after being exposed to the world, the higher your chances of getting a nasty contact lens complication in the form of an infection.


Another reason why contact lenses need to be disposed of regularly is because they are onlySurface Treatment designed to remain comfortable for a certain amount of time. When contact lenses are manufactured, they get something called a surface treatment, which is what retains the moisture in them, and keeps the surface of the contacts smooth and comfortable. Once the contact lenses start being worn, this surface treatment will start to degrade and your contact lenses will become less and less comfortable with time.

My Recommendation

My recommendation to patients is that if you’re an occasional contact lens wearer, i.e., once or twice a week for sports, or for special occasions, then a daily contact lens will be much more appropriate for you (cost wise, health wise, and comfort wise).

If you are a full time contact lens wearer i.e., 5-7 days per week, a monthly contact still makes sense (though daily lenses are not out of the question either). If you are in the middle somewhere, using contacts 3-4 days per week, you could go either way.

Bi-weekly lenses follow the same concept. They are good for 14 days, not 14 uses.

I hope you found this information helpful.



P.S. For the best lenses, at the lowest prices, this is the page you should visit: “My Top Recommendations”.


Author Julie

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