It can be tempting to reuse your daily contact lenses, especially if it means saving another trip to your eye doctor. Besides, what damage can it really cause?
The truth is that you shouldn’t reuse your daily contact lenses. They are specifically designed to be worn only once, and reusing them actually negates their benefits. By being worn only once, daily contacts protect your eyes from contaminants and help keep them comfortable. They don’t require any cleaning and are ideal for traveling.
Can You Reuse Daily Contacts?
In short, no. While no one is going to stop you from wearing daily contacts more than once, there are some very good reasons why you shouldn’t. The main reason is that wearing disposable contacts more than once defeats the purpose of buying them in the first place. These short-term contacts are much thinner than extended wear contacts (those that can be worn anywhere from a week to a month).
After a day, the lens will break down and not allow enough oxygen to get to your eye. That will raise your risk for an infection and can cause Neovascularization of your cornea (blood vessel growth into your corneas). This makes them much less durable than other types.
Are you interested in getting contacts but not sure where to start? Click here to visit our Contact Lenses page!
What are Disposable Contact Lenses?
Both daily and extended wear contacts are designed to be thrown away after a set period of time. However, contacts must be good for only one use in order to be considered truly disposable by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This means that you should throw every pair away at the end of the day and open up a new pair of contact lenses in the morning.
What makes disposable contacts unique is how thin they are. These contacts are much thinner than other types of contacts, which makes them more comfortable on your eye. On the other hand, this also makes them much less durable and prone to tearing. The trade-off is well worth it for a large number of those who wear contacts.
Extended Wear Contact Lenses
“Extended wear contacts” aren’t a single type of contact lens. Instead, it’s an umbrella term for any contact lens that can be worn more than once. This can be for any period of time from a week to a month.
While designed to be worn more than once, it’s important to remember that you still have to take them out at night. Wearing lenses overnight gives you a much greater risk of eye infections, so it’s very important that you take them out and clean them every day. This helps prevent bacteria and other residues from collecting on the lens and possibly causing an infection.
The biggest appeal of extended wear contacts is that they’re cheaper than daily contacts. They last longer than disposable varieties, helping contact wearers stretch their dollar a bit more.
While this is a big selling point, it’s not always the best choice for your eye health. While more durable, they still collect contaminants such as bacteria and pollen no matter how much you clean them. This means that your risk of an eye infection increases with every wear. It’s also why they still need to be replaced regularly. Failure to do so can lead to eye problems later on.
Check out Daily Contacts Lenses vs. Monthly — What’s The Difference? to learn more!
Why Choose Daily Contacts Over Extended Wear Contacts?
Dailies (contact lenses) offer many benefits that you may not even know about. Some benefits are thanks to how thin they are while others are the result of only being worn once.
The benefits of daily contacts include:
- Not having to clean them or purchase solution
- A full day of lasting comfort
- Helping prevent allergies
- Help prevent dry eye
- Ideal for traveling
For many people, the biggest perk of daily contacts is not having to clean them. Even extended wear contacts need to be cleaned and replaced eventually, and dailies cut out that step. This also significantly reduces your risk of developing an eye infection from your contacts.
Daily contacts help prevent allergies thanks to being thrown away after every use. While you may be cleaning your contacts every day, there’s still a bit of residue that builds up. Disposable contacts help prevent this type of buildup and keep your eyes comfortable during allergy season.
As with allergies, extended-wear contacts can actually make dry eye worse due to residue buildup. Disposable contacts help prevent dry eye in the same way they help prevent allergies — by never allowing residue to build up in the first place. By being replaced every day, they make it to where allergens and other residues never have the chance to collect on your lenses.
Daily contact lenses are ideal for traveling since they don’t require any extra cleaning supplies. All you have to do is toss them into your bag. With disposable contacts, you no longer have to stuff your lens case, cleaning solution, and any other cleaning supplies into your carry-on.
Are you ready to upgrade to daily contact lenses? Contact us today to schedule your appointment!
You should never wear daily contacts more than once. By doing so, you’re actually negating their primary benefits of comfort and preventing infections. Unlike extended wear contact lenses, disposable contacts don’t require cleaning to fight bacteria buildup. Not having to clean them is one of the best things about them along with preventing allergies and dry eye.
Hardin Valley Eyecare & Optical has been serving Knoxville since 2009. Dr. Travis Thompson and Dr. Catherine Abbott specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide array of eye diseases, conditions, and problems and are committed to improving the quality of life in the Knoxville community through enhanced vision. Located at 10904 Spring Bluff Way, you can schedule an appointment online or give us a call at (865) 888-0892.