Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"How do I know if my contacts are old?"

ZocdocAnswersHow do I know if my contacts are old?


After wearing glasses for nearly 15 years straight, I got my first pair of contact lenses two weeks ago. I understand that contact lenses should be changed out every month, but I am not really sure what signs of wear and tear I should be looking for. I have noticed that my eyes are a lot more sensitive to light as my contacts get older but I?m not sure if that?s related or not. Will I be able to tell that my contacts are getting old or should I change them regardless of what they feel like?


This is an important discussion to have with your eye doctor or optometrist. There are many different types and brands of contact lenses, and each one will come with recommendations about when they need to be changed out for a new set. In the case of the brand that you are wearing, it sounds like this is around 1 month. As you wear the contacts, the tears in your eye gradually cause protein deposits to build up on the surface of the contact. Usually, these deposits cannot be visualized unless the contacts are very old and worn longer than recommended. Therefore, the purpose of disposing of the contacts at the 1 month mark, in your case, is to get rid of the contacts before they get to the stage where they look noticeably older or worn. This preventative approach is the safest for the eyes, because it keeps them from becoming irritated by deposit buildup. It is always best, for this reason, to stick to the recommended contact changing schedule, and not try to stretch things out much longer. This will ensure that you can continue to wear contacts for many years to come without suffering from any complications or side effects. Please talk to your eye doctor or optometrist if you have more questions about this issue!

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.