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What Do Contact Lens Durations Mean?

What Do Contact Lens Durations Mean?

With so many different durations of colored contact lenses available, it’s important to know the difference between regular dailies to yearly contact lenses.

With so many different durations of colored contact lenses available, it’s important to know the difference between regular dailies to yearly contact lenses. Each timeframe is the recommended number of days of regular wear to expect, starting from when the contact lenses are opened and removed from their packaging.

Here are some of the key names and durations of colored contact lenses you will find on the web.

For contacts that are suitable for use over and over again, you’ll need to be on top of all the upkeep and maintenance required. Some of our extended duration contacts are perfect for repeated use but will need to be kept clean to ensure they are sanitary and stay comfortable to wear.


For all the information you’ll need on storing contact lenses between uses, check out our guide here. An essential read for those opting for longer use contact lenses.

Contact Lens Durations FAQs

How long can you wear daily contact lenses for?

Daily contact lenses are designed to be worn no longer than one day. Often referred to as single-use, disposable or one day contact lenses, these contact lenses should be prepared in the same way as any other contact lenses. After one use, you can simply dispose of the contact lenses without the need for aftercare and storing the contact lenses.

How many hours a day can you wear colored contact lenses?

It is recommended that you wear colored contact lenses no more than 8 hours a day. Exceeding this time frame can lead to your eyes feeling dry and dehydrated. This is simply because the contact lens can prevent the eye from moisturising itself due to lack of free-flowing oxygen. Whilst some soft contact lens materials are oxygen permeable, this can only keep the eyes feeling hydrated and fresh for a limited amount of time.


Is contact lens duration different from the expiry date?

The contact lens duration is the recommended number of days that a pair of contact lenses should be worn for. The expiration date stated is the last month and/or year that the contacts are considered safe to be opened and worn. The expiration date on soft colored contact lenses can be up to 4 years from when they were manufactured. This can vary between lenses, so you should always check the label before use.

What happens if I wear my contact lenses past their expiry date or duration period?

Once you have opened your contact lenses the duration of use begins. One mistake that is often made with duration is that it refers to the number of uses, but this is incorrect. For example, if you have 30 day lenses, they can be used for exactly 30 days after they have been opened, not 30 uses.

This is because after time contact lenses will naturally become weaker and more delicate due to extra uses and additional handling. Longer duration contact lenses are often made from thicker and more durable materials, so can sustain the prolonged uses.

The same occurs in contact lenses that are still in their packaging which is why it is important not to use contact lenses after their expiration date. The solution they are in will become less effective therefore potentially affecting the lens.

Can I wear contact lenses while sleeping?

Although contact lenses are often called extended wear contact lenses, this doesn’t mean that they should be worn while sleeping. With all of our colored contacts, we recommended removing them before sleeping and storing them in a contact lens case with fresh solution.

You should always check the contact lenses lifespan to ensure that you aren’t wearing your contact lenses past the recommendation wear date.