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Daily contact lenses: How long can you wear them?

daily disposable contact lenses

You’ve heard of daily contact lenses and daily disposable contacts, but what does “daily” mean? 

Here’s what you need to know about how long you can wear the various types of daily contacts and answers to other frequently asked questions:

How long can you wear daily contact lenses?

You can wear daily disposable contacts for one day. Lenses labeled as “daily disposable” are good for only one wear. They typically are sold in large packs of 30 or 90 lenses. 

Daily disposables can be easy on the eyes since you pop in a fresh, clean pair every day. They’re also thin and breathable, but you must follow instructions and dispose of the lenses after every use to keep your eyes healthy. 

Daily disposables vs. daily wear contacts

Don’t mix up “daily disposables” with “daily wear” lenses, which are simply lenses that are approved for daytime use but not extended wear. 

In other words, you can’t sleep in “daily wear” lenses. Daily disposable typically also are “daily wear” since they can’t be worn at night.

Some lenses labeled as “disposable,” but not as “daily disposable,” do not need to be discarded daily. 

Depending on the type of disposable lenses you get, you may need to toss them out daily, weekly, biweekly or monthly. 

Ask your eye doctor how often your lenses need to be replaced.

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How many hours can you wear daily contacts?

How long can you wear daily contacts in a day? The time frame typically varies from eight to 16 hours a day and will likely depend on your eye health, how well you tolerate contacts and whether you suffer from dry eyes or sensitivity. 

What this means: If you have sensitive eyes and work extra long days, you might need to keep backup glasses so you can take your daily lenses out after eight hours.

Your eye doctor will tell you how long you can wear your lenses each day.

SEE RELATED: Caring for your soft contact lenses

How many days can you wear daily contacts?

In other words, can you use dailies more than once? No, you cannot use daily disposable lenses more than once. They must be discarded at the end of each day without exception.

Can I wear my daily contacts for two days?

You can’t wear daily disposable contacts for two days. Even if you wear them for only a few hours one day, you still need to toss them after that use and open a fresh pair the next day. 

Can you put daily contacts in solution for a few hours?

If you wear daily disposable lenses and you want to take a nap, you may be tempted to pop your lenses into disinfecting solution for a few hours and put them back in after you wake up.  

However, daily disposables must be discarded after each use, even if you wear them for only a few minutes or hours. 

Can you clean daily disposable contact lenses?

Daily disposables are thinner than other lenses and are made of a material that is not made to resist bacteria and buildup. This also does not allow for cleaning. 

Trying to clean and/or disinfect these thin lenses can actually break down the lens material. This makes the lens more hospitable to germs and increases the risk that the lens can rip and come apart in your eye.

However, you may be able to use a compatible brand of soft contact lens rewetting drops to hydrate your daily disposables and make them more comfortable to wear. 

What happens if you reuse your daily contacts?

Wearing daily disposable contact lenses more than once puts you at risk for discomfort, dryness and serious eye infections

One study found contamination on the lenses of 95% of users who stored daily disposable lenses in saline overnight. The lenses were contaminated primarily with staph bacteria, which can cause pink eye and other infections.

Can daily contact lenses expire?

All contact lenses expire, including daily disposables. The expiration date will be stamped on the lens packaging in a yyyy/mm format. 

For example, an expiration date of 2023/01 means that you have until the end of January 2023 to use the contacts. Contacts past their expiration date should not be used.

Daily disposable offer convenience, comfort and cleanliness as long as they’re used correctly. 

Contact wearers who want the convenience of disposables but also want to be able to clean and disinfect their lenses may do better with a different type of lenses, such as weekly or monthly disposables.

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