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When do contacts expire?

“How long can you store unopened contact lenses? I normally purchase a year’s worth of contact lenses but I always just add to the previous year’s stock. I throw them all into a drawer and use them as needed. Should I be using them in order of purchase, old to new?”

This is a good question we received from a Bismarck listener. I would tell our listener to check the expiration dates on the contact lenses. Most of the time, your contacts are good for a couple years. But there will come a point when they will expire.

Can I use contacts if they are expired?

Just like many different food products, your contact lenses come packed with preservative. This is to keep the contact lenses sterile and safe to insert into your eyes. However, just like food, there comes a time when the preservative will expire and no longer be effective. You increase your risk of an eye infection dramatically by using contacts that are past their due date.

I would advise our listener to use the contacts in order, old to new. This way, you can ensure you will use your contacts before they expire and not “forget” about some of them. Of course, it’s not cost effective to have to throw contacts away because you missed the expiration date.

Make sure to use the contacts before they expire!


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The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.