How Often Should I Change My Contact Lenses?

Contact lenses are considered a 'medical device' and should be treated as such by changing them according to which type of contacts you have or following your eye doctor's advise. It is extremely important to not only change and replace contacts, but also to take good care of them by cleaning, disinfecting and storing them properly to prevent the risk of eye infections.

Changing Your Conacts

Changing your contact lenses depends on which kind of contacts you have. Contacts are available in two basic types: Soft contacts and GP, or oxygen permeable, lenses. Soft contacts are the most common type of lenses worn and are either disposable or non-disposable. Disposable contacts are generally for a single day's use, one week, two weeks or monthly wear. Throw out the contacts once they have been worn for that amount of time. Non-disposible contacts can be made to wear anywhere from three months up to a year. Wearing time is often written on the box the contacts come in, but your eye doctor may have special directions for you if you have certain eye problems. Changing your contacts also depends on how often they are worn. For example if you have one week disposable contacts and only wear them once in a week period, you still have six available days to wear them. Oxygen permeable contacts should be taken out nightly or while sleeping, and can last anywhere from one to three years. Wearing contacts longer than the recommended time is dangerous because proteins and lipids can build up on the contacts, attracting bacteria that can be a health risk. Taking care of your contacts also affects how often to change them. Wash your hands before removing your contacts and rinse the contact case with hot water. Clean your contacts after removing them by rubbing and rising them thoroughly with a multi-purpose solution. Never reuse solution or use water. Replace the contact case at least once every three months or if it looks at all dirty. Throw out a contact immediately if it is ripped, because wearing it may not only be uncomfortable but also hazardous to your eye. If you experience any pain or redness with your contacts, throw them out. Wait until any pain or redness goes away and try a new pair. If you experience the same reaction contact your eye doctor. According to the American Optometric Association, eye exams are recommended once a year to every two years, or as recommended by your eye doctor.