Why You Should Think Twice Before Wearing Expired Contacts

When it comes to our vision, we generally don't take any chances. We get our eyes checked regularly, wear glasses or contacts as prescribed, and overall do everything we can to maintain good eye health. However, there is one area where we may not be as cautious as we should be, and that's with the expiration dates on our contact lenses.

While it may not seem like a big deal to continue wearing lenses a few months or even a year after they've expired, it can actually lead to some serious consequences for your eyesight. One of the main reasons why contacts have expiration dates is to ensure that they are used within a timeframe where the risk of bacterial build-up is minimized (via Nvision). Contact lenses are essentially small sponges that absorb whatever they come in contact with, including bacteria.

While this isn't necessarily a problem when you first put them in, over time the bacteria can start to multiply and cause serious infections. In some cases, these infections can lead to corneal ulcers which can permanently damage your vision. Another reason why it's important to stick to the expiration date on your contacts is that they become less permeable over time. This means that oxygen isn't able to flow through the lens as easily, which can be a problem for your eyes. Without enough oxygen, your eyes can become irritated, red, and even swollen (via Optometrists Network).

Wearing expired contacts can cause discomfort

If you're someone who suffers from allergies, expired contacts can make them even worse. This is because the proteins that build up on the lenses over time can act as an allergen, triggering symptoms like itchiness, redness, and watering eyes. Overwearing contacts or wearing expired contacts can also cause an allergic reaction called giant papillary conjunctivitis (GPC), which results in symptoms like redness and itching (via Icon Eyecare).

Dry eyes are another common side effect of wearing expired contacts (via PerfectLensWorld). If you're someone who already suffers from dry eyes, wearing expired contacts can worsen the symptoms and make it difficult to wear them for extended periods of time. Wearing any type of contact lens can lead to some degree of discomfort, but expired lenses are even more likely to cause problems. This is because they don't fit as well on the eye and can cause irritation, redness, and even pain.

If you find that your contacts are starting to feel uncomfortable, it's important to replace them with a new pair as soon as possible. Wearing expired contacts can cause a number of serious problems, so it's important to be aware of the risks before you put them in your eyes. Be sure to check the expiration date on your lenses and replace them as needed to avoid any complications.