How long should I wear weekly disposable contact lenses?

My doctor told me that I should change my lenses every 2-3 weeks. Most lense manufacture sites say 1-2 weeks.

The manufactures probably just want you to dispose of them more often, so that you can then buy more from them, right? I suspect lenses can be worn for as long as my doctor recommended without any problems.

So the question now becomes is how far up to three weeks can I go?

What happens if I wear disposable lenses for too long? And are there any physical signs that I can be aware of that tell me it’s time to throw out my lenses?

Is the 2-3 week time limit based on the assumption that you are wearing the lenses every day, or does the clock start ticking once you’ve opened your lenses from their containers?

I tend to wear mine until they bother me, then I get out a new pair. I’d have to actually write it on a calendar, and remember to check it, to actually change them regularly.

I’d guestimate that I wear mine at least 3 weeks, unless I’ve done something to muck them sooner.

I wear mine until they get uncomfortable. For daily wearing, that can be a couple of days if they get knicked, but it averages about two months. I use protein-removing solution, and rub the lenses even though the solution is advertised as ‘no rub.’ IME, your eyes will let you know pretty quickly if you’re doing something to them that you shouldn’t.

I don’t know if it’s necessarily because they want you to buy more. It’s probably them being extra careful. Still, I’d always take the doctor’s word over the manufacturers.

As for my own experience with contacts: back when I wore them, I was told by my doctor to take them out and clean them every day, and to change them every two weeks. What I actually did was take them out every Saturday night, clean them, and put them back in on Sunday. And I’d keep going until the contacts fell out or burned too much to get them back in my eye. Usually got a month or so out of them. But they were dailies.

I’m not even going to talk about the way I used to wear contacts. Doctors nearly cried. Astoundingly, at my last exam, the doc was talking about what good shape my eyes are in.

I forgot to say - I do take mine out at night & rinse/store them. I didn’t always, but I have more trouble as I age.

I don’t rub mine to clean them because the disposables tend to tear. I do shake them around in the case (rather than rinsing for whatever ludicrous time it says on the bottle).

Both doctors and vendors will tell you short time frames compared to what you can get away with most of the time. It’s due to the problems that can be caused in that other fraction.

The one exception I can think of is oxygen starvation. There’s not really any easily noticeable symptoms for that. The cure is to wear your contacts less.

Very true, but that’s not a question of how long to keep a set of contact lenses, or how to treat them (out of our eye). Don’t wear them for every waking moment (and certainly not while you sleep, even though there are some marketed that way), and you should be fine WRT oxygen.

Mine said that it’s fine to wear them until they become uncomfortable. He said that they tend to be thinner and less durable, but there isn’t really any “aging” going on, so there’s no reason to change pairs unless you had an eye infection or if the lens itself gets damaged or scratchy.

I wear mine 24/7 and they usually last a month or two. My prescription hasn’t changed for years and the docs always say my eyes are fine.

Why not? I’ve done so for the last…jeez, I guess it must be a decade by now, with yearly checkups. I try to leave them out for at least a day between wearings, but otherwise I regularly go two weeks without ever touching my contacts (they are, of course, 2-week contacts). If I have to take them out for any reason, they will always hurt when I put them back in, even after a thorough cleaning.

It’s my understanding that the odds of an eye infection go way up with the 24/7 contacts, and my eye doctor has spoken very disparagingly of them, but I have no cite and I’m glad they work for you. I get oxygen issues if I wear mine for every waking moment; I went through a phase for several years where I had no glasses at all, and wore my lenses from the minute I rolled out of bed to the minute I went to sleep, and I started to get vascularization (little blood vessels growing in my eyeball where they shouldn’t be, which can block your vision if it gets too bad), so I’m perhaps oversensitive to the issue.

I used to wear contacts 24/7 for months at a time. That was in my teens & twenties. I can’t do it anymore, my eyes get too dry. I think it’s an age thing.

I did get eye infections fairly often, and docs always had fits about what I was doing. (Part of that time was before extended wear existed, and part after.)

I also had a period where I didn’t have glasses I liked and was in contacts for all waking hours, and I also ended up with vascularization. That was after I’d quit 24/7, in my thirties, so I’ve always wondered if it was also age-related.

The doc made me quit wearing contacts for about two months, it was horrid! That seemed to fix it, thank og. I can’t remember what the next step was if it hadn’t, but I was sweating it.

He warned me not to wear my contacts all day any longer (i.e., take them out when I got home from work). I opt to leave them out for a day or so on the weekends, instead. My eyes are fine now.

IIRC, most docs started recommending against 24 hour wear about 10-15 years ago, due to the increased risks, because they have to be cautious. I’d probably still be doing it if I could.

All I’d say is that if you’re wearing 24/7, be careful and get your eyes checked regularly (because you probably won’t spot oxygen starvation problems). If you get an infection, go see someone rather than waiting to see if it goes away.

As I understand it, the problem (as mentioned previously) with contacts worn too long is the whole oxygen starvation issue; plus, a moist location isolated from the body’s immune system is a great place for intresting stuff to grow. Take them out and rinse them at night.

Quite a few years ago the Globe and Mail in Toronto had an article on how the disposable lenses were essentially the exact same as the soft contacts that were good for several months (with nightly rinsing). After all, what, you think they make something that’s going to fall apart in your eye in a few weeks?

Voice of caution here. To save money, I started wearing my contacts for a month instead of the recommended two weeks. I still cleaned them and took them out to sleep every night. After about six months of this, my eyes started feeling really irritated-- like something was poking me in the eye constantly. However, they didn’t look irritated and taking the lenses out did not relieve the sensation.

It turned out that I had developed an allergy to the proteins in my own eyes which irritated the undersides of my eyelids (which is why removing the lenses did not help). It wasn’t super serious-- I had to use special drops for a month and was admonished to go back to wearing the lenses for two weeks only. But it is something that can happen and I will definitely do anything to stop the maddening eye-pokey sensation from occurring again.

I used to wear mine until they became uncomfortable, and ended up doing serious damage to my eyes, so that I eventually became unable to wear them for more than a few hours at a time and ended up just having to get laser surgery because it was either that or glasses.

You really don’t want to mess with your eyes.

I’m dealing with vascularization right now, plus (probably unrelated) enlarged optic nerve. Nothing is quite as scary as learning your sight may be at risk if you don’t change your habits immediately.

I now wear my contacts for 2 weeks, not a moment more, and simply don’t wear them if I’m not leaving the house. I’m lucky that I can choose to replace them that often - my eyes are easily worth a few hundred dollars a year to me. When I was younger I wore them until they started feeling yucky, but that habit got me to where I am now. Had I to do it over I would have worn my contacts a lot less over the years.

Gas permeable lenses are ones that should be ok to where 24/7. As their title suggests, they let oxygen through to the eye. The important thing is to have regular checks with the optometrist so they can find out if your contacts are causing any problems. I can’t wear contacts anymore because they started irritating my eyes.