If you use bi-weekly or monthly contact lenses, it’s important to establish a proper contact lens care routine to maintain the quality of your contact lenses and to keep your eyes healthy! Every contact lens care routine starts with knowing how long you can effectively wear your lenses before you need to switch them out with fresh ones, and knowing how to take care of the lenses until it’s time that they are replaced.
We don’t recommend trying to extend the life of your lenses -- they’re designed to be replaced according to that specific timeframe! Until that time comes, it’s important that you learn how to take proper care of your contact lenses, as this can affect both the quality of the contact lens and ultimately also the health of your eyes.
How to store contact lenses safely
Most contact lenses may be safely worn for anywhere between 14 and 16 hours before the wearer starts to experience discomfort and eye irritation. It’s generally recommended to take them out a few hours before bed to let your eyes breathe. When you take them out before going to bed, coat the inside of your contact lens case with contact solution and let the lenses soak overnight. The solution works to rehydrate the lenses while removing any impurities that may have accumulated on the surface of the lenses during the day, like the proteins produced in your tears that build up around the lenses. Read up on how to clean contacts as well as how to clean a contact lens case, since these are both key aspects to keeping your lenses intact and your eyes happy and healthy.
Where can I store my contact lenses without case?
Whatever the reason, should you ever find yourself in a situation where you don’t have a case for your contact lenses, the best thing to do would be to simply discard your used contact lenses at night and replace them the next day with a fresh pair. If this is not an option, try this makeshift lens case solution to preserve your lenses until you’re able to get a contact lens case:
- Take a container, preferably one that can be sealed with a lid, and wash both the container and the lid thoroughly with soap and warm water to disinfect them.
- Dry them off completely with a clean towel so that no water remains on the surface of the container.
- Fill the container with enough contact cleaning solution to be able to submerge your lenses in the liquid.
- With clean hands, take out your lenses and drop them in the container so that they are completely covered by the solution.
- Cover the container with the lid and let the lenses soak until the following day.
Note: If you don’t have access to contact cleaning solution, do not soak the lenses in tap water.
What happens if you accidentally ran your contact lens case under tap water?
When you’re cleaning your lenses at the end of the day, it’s essential that you steer clear of using tap water, or anything else that isn't a contact solution. Tap water in particular is home to a multitude of microbes that can cause irritation and infections in your eyes if they become trapped between the lenses and the surface of your eyes. For this reason, you should avoid wearing your lenses in the shower, since the jets of hot water may not only accidentally cause the lenses to fall out of your eyes, but also risk contaminating the lenses.
If your lenses become infected, don’t worry! You can easily order another pair of contact lenses onlineand have them shipped to your doorstep. Not sure what to do with the old lenses and lens case? See what contact lens case recycling options there are in your area, and take them in to be recycled!