How long can contact lenses be out of solution? Can I rehydrate them?
It’s happened to every contact lens wearer at some point. Maybe you forgot to close the lid all the way, or maybe it fell out and you misplaced it. We’ve all had to deal with a dried up contact. And while the simplest solution is to simply throw it out and get a new one, you may not be able to do that. Fortunately, there are ways to rehydrate a contact lens that’s been left out.
It is possible to rehydrate a dried out contact lens, however, you need to be careful. While a fully hydrated contact lens can be fairly strong, one that has dried out is extremely fragile. Some may even crumble when you pick it up. It’s important to look for any cracks, splits, scratches or noticeable flaws in a dried out lens. These indicate that the lens is unsalvageable, as they could expose your eyes to irritation or infections.
To rehydrate your lens, it needs to soak for at least 24 hours in contact solution. This should revitalize a lens that has been left out and dried up. Once it has had time to absorb the right amount of solution, try putting it in your eye. If you feel any discomfort or irritation, it’s time to get rid of it. A lens may look normal to the naked eye, but that doesn’t mean it can’t hurt you.
Proper contact lens care is key to maintaining eye health and keeping your contacts safe. There are several steps you can take to prolong the life of your lenses.
- Be sure to wash your hands whenever you’re going to handle your contact lenses
- Use the right solution for your lenses, such as a multipurpose or all purpose contact solution to clean and disinfect.
- Keep your contact lenses in a closed case with fresh solution.
Contact lenses are great for a variety of reasons but you need to find the right kind for you. If you find yourself consistently losing contact lenses or having them dry out, consider disposable lenses. If you find that you keep forgetting to take them out before bed, consider contacts that you can leave in for long periods of time. It’s important to find the right pair for you!