Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Do I really need to stop wearing disposable contacts after a few weeks?"
I recently visited my optometrist and purchased a year's supply of quality disposable contact lenses. That supply is 26 pair of lenses. I started wearing them and realized that I keep forgetting to dispose of them on the schedule that is recommended by the manufacturer. My brand states in the directions that wear is for two weeks and to dispose of the used lenses at that time, then moving on to a new pair. But, I've found that my contacts are still comfortable and work just as well for a month, even as long as a few months. Do I really have to dispose of my contacts on the two week schedule as recommended by the manufacturer? Or, can I wear them until they show signs of being uncomfortable? Is wearing contact lenses longer than the recommended period of time dangerous or will it cause any kind of eye problems?
This is a common question, as you are not the only person who sometimes wears disposable contacts for longer than recommended by the manufacturer. In general, it is always best to use medical equipment as prescribed or recommended, simply because it's not worth risking a possible adverse event that could influence your health from a product, medication, or device that is no longer functioning properly because it is too old. In the case of contacts, it is always possible to develop an eye infection from contacts that are not cleaned or replaced properly. In your situation, the best thing to do would be to discuss your concern with your eye doctor or optometrist. He or she can go over the exact brand of contacts you are using and give you a general sense of whether or not it may be okay to use them for slightly longer than recommended on the box. You are right that the manufacturer certainly has an incentive to want you to buy more contacts, but before you decide to go against that product label, you should talk things over with your eye doctor (who is not selling you the contacts) to get a sense of any risks that may be involved.
Need more info?See a doctor today
Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.