Is It OK to Wear Contacts Every Day? | Calgary Optometry (2023)

If you’re one of the 33% of Canadians who wear contacts regularly, you probably know the feeling of relief that comes with taking out your contacts after a long day. But did you know that this feeling could be a sign that you’re wearing your contacts for too long?

Contacts offer vision correction with a freedom that eyeglasses can’t provide, but that doesn’t mean you can wear them 24/7. In fact, overwearing your contacts is one of the riskiest behaviours for wearers. But how long is too long? Keep reading to learn more about how long you can wear your contact lenses and what can happen if you overwear them.

Types of Contact Lenses

The amount of time you can wear contact lenses depends on the type of contacts you wear. Understanding the differences between the various types of contacts can help you choose the best kind for you, your vision needs, and your lifestyle.

Soft Contact Lenses

Soft contact lenses are the most common type of contact lenses. They are made of soft, flexible plastics that allow oxygen to pass through to the cornea, making them more comfortable and easier to adjust compared to other types of contacts.

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These contacts are ideal for intermittent wear or people who participate in sports as they rarely fall out.

Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) Contact Lenses

RGP contact lenses are more durable and longer-lasting than soft contact lenses. However, while they generally offer clearer vision, they take longer to get used to compared to other contacts.

Although they aren’t great for contact sports, RGP lenses are easier to take care of and can correct corneal astigmatism.

Specialty Contact Lenses

There are many types of specialty contact lenses available that can correct several eye issues. The most common types of specialty contact lenses include:

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How Long Can I Wear My Contacts?

Most contact lenses are available in two options: daily wear contact lenses & extended wear contact lenses. How long you can wear your contacts depends on which option you choose.

Daily Wear Contact Lenses

Daily wear contact lenses are single-use lenses that are removed and discarded at the end of each day. They can be worn 14 to 16 hours a day, but it’s best to remove them when you don’t need to be wearing them.

Extended Wear Contact Lenses

Extended wear contact lenses are available for overnight or continuous wear for up to four weeks. Extended wear contact lenses are usually soft contact lenses but are also an option for RGP lenses.

The length of continuous wear depends on your eye care professional’s evaluation during a contact lens exam and fitting.

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Is It OK to Wear Contacts Every Day? | Calgary Optometry (1)

Can I wear My Contact Lenses Every Day?

No matter what type of contact lenses you opt to buy, you should be able to wear your contact lenses every day.

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, and you may not be able to wear your contacts every day if you are:

  • Experiencing eye redness, dryness, or irritation
  • Taking allergy eye drops or other incompatible medications
  • Having an allergic reaction to your contact lenses
  • Suffering from an infection such as pink eye

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, book an appointment with your optometrist. They will be able to identify any issues that may be causing you problems while wearing contacts and can recommend treatment options so you can get back to wearing your contact lenses daily.

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What Can Happen if I Overwear My Contact Lenses?

Proper contact wear is important to keep your eyes and vision healthy. If you overwear your contacts, you may put yourself at risk of:

  • Corneal ulcers (Keratitis)
  • Contact lens intolerance
  • Hypoxia
  • Inflammation
  • Bacterial infection
Is It OK to Wear Contacts Every Day? | Calgary Optometry (2)

More Contact Lens Safety Tips

To ensure that you’re helping your vision and not hurting it, follow these tips:

  • Get a proper contact lens exam and fitting from an eye doctor
  • Don’t wear contact lenses overnight if you don’t have to
  • Don’t wear your contact lenses in the shower or while swimming
  • Follow a proper contact lens hygiene routine
  • Don’t reuse contact lens solution
  • Don’t use saline solution for contact lens cleaning
  • Replace your contact lens case every two to three months
  • Take out your contacts if they are bothering you
  • Never use saliva as a wetting agent

If you have any more questions about contact lens wear, don’t hesitate to contact us at the Calgary Optometry Centre. Our team is always happy to help!


Is it OK to wear contacts every day? ›

No matter what type of contact lenses you opt to buy, you should be able to wear your contact lenses every day. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, and you may not be able to wear your contacts every day if you are: Experiencing eye redness, dryness, or irritation.

Can wearing contacts everyday damage your eyes? ›

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), wearing contact lenses increases the risk of developing eye infections, corneal ulcers, and other eye-related health conditions. Left untreated, many of these conditions can later cause permanent eye damage and, in rare cases, blindness.

Can you wear contact lenses 7 days a week? ›

Yes, we can confirm that wearing contact lenses every day is safe as long as you take the necessary hygiene and care precautions. The main precautions are to always keep them clean and isolated from contact with microorganisms and to let your eyes take a break from them, unless they are extended wear contact lenses.

Can I wear contacts for the rest of my life? ›

Unfortunately, regular daily contact lenses aren't suitable for continuous wear. Though good for the daytime, they don't actually allow enough oxygen to pass through when the eyelids are closed which can result in a range of problems, such as blurred vision and infections.

What happens if you wear contacts all the time? ›

Contact lenses that are left in too long can have a negative impact on your eye health. If you overwear your contacts regularly, you may be susceptible to discomfort, eye damage, and infections, which can severely affect your vision and overall health.

How long is too long to wear daily contacts? ›

You can only wear daily disposable contacts for one day and you cannot use them more than once. Without exception, you should throw them out after removing them, whether it's at the end of the day or after only a few hours.

Do your eyes get weaker if you wear contacts? ›

The answer to this question is a pretty simple no. Contact lenses are a perfectly healthy option for those suffering from all kinds of visual impairments, no matter how old or young they might be.

Do contacts damage your eyes more than glasses? ›

Almost all complications are due to poor hygiene and maintenance, but the fact remains that contact lenses do carry more risk than eyeglasses. Oversights in lens care can cause irritation, conjunctivitis, dry eye syndrome, and other uncomfortable eye problems.

Is it better to wear daily contacts or monthly? ›

Monthly lenses are more cost-effective than dailies if you wear contacts every day. It's also ideal for people who switch between glasses and contacts multiple times a day. You can clean and place them back again when needed, unlike with disposable lenses that must be discarded after use.

At what age should you stop wearing contact lenses? ›

There is no maximum age limit to when you have to stop wearing contact lenses. You'll find, however, that your prescription requirements may change. There are certain age-related eye conditions such as presbyopia that will require you to wear multifocal contact lenses to be able to read and see.

What not to do when wearing contacts? ›

12 Things You Should Never Ever Do with Your Contacts
  1. Sleep While Wearing Lenses. ...
  2. Not Keeping The Case Clean. ...
  3. Rub Your Eyes. ...
  4. Touch Contacts With Dirty Hands. ...
  5. Shower While Wearing Lenses. ...
  6. Keeping Them On Even When Eyes Itch. ...
  7. Exposing The Storage Case To A Dirty Environment. ...
  8. Reuse The Solution.

How long can contacts sit in solution? ›

Some solutions are only good for 24 hours of storage while others can store lenses for up to one month. Some soft contact lens multipurpose solutions allow for long-term storage of up to one month in a tightly closed contact lens case. For GP lenses, some GP lens solutions also allow for one month of long-term storage.

Can you wear 1 day contacts for 2 days? ›

Daily contact lenses that are disposable and single-use only should not be worn more than once after daily usage. Daily contacts that are old can scratch your eye and also cause more dangerous conditions to develop.

Are daily contacts better for dry eyes? ›

Daily contact lenses are the best option for those who suffer from dry eye. Replacing your contact lenses every day will help prevent the formation of protein deposits that make your eyes feel even drier. For dry eye patients choosing to wear contacts, soft contact lenses may be an option.

Do you see better with glasses or contacts? ›

Neither glasses nor contacts are better than the other. They're two tools designed to meet the needs of different people with different preferences. You just have to consider your personal preferences and comfort levels, your lifestyle, your budget, and your aesthetics.

Why do people prefer contacts over glasses? ›

They produce a more “natural” field of vision.

Because they sit on the surface of your eyes and move with them, contact lenses provide seamless vision correction. Their benefits extend to your peripheral vision and they won't have the same types of visual disruptions that glasses do, such as reflections or fogginess.

Is there really a difference between daily and monthly contacts? ›

As monthlies are made with a harder composition, they are able to give better vision at higher magnifications. If you have a more complex correction, such as toric (astigmatism) or multifocal, then a monthly contact lens may be the only reliable way for you to enjoy sharp vision with lenses.

What is the actual difference between daily and monthly contacts? ›

Dailies are thinner than reusable lenses and aren't meant to be stored, so you throw them away as soon as you take them out, whether you wore them for a full day or just a few hours. Monthly contact lenses can be worn each day for about 30 days before you'll need to switch to a new pair.

Is 70 too old for contact lenses? ›

Contact lenses are one of many options for correcting vision, but are they a good solution for older adults? They can be. With guidance from an eye doctor, many adults over 60 successfully wear contacts. They're a convenient way to correct your vision.

Can you shower with contacts in? ›

Avoid water while wearing contacts.

Keep your contacts away from water. Make sure to remove your contacts before showering, bathing, or swimming. Don't rinse or store your contacts in water, and if it does occur, make sure to throw away or disinfect them thoroughly.

How often should you have an eye test if you wear contact lenses? ›

It's essential to keep these appointments - you can expect to be asked to return after one week, three months and six months after your lenses have been fitted, and every six months thereafter. The contact lens optician might also want to check your lenses after the first night and first month of wear too.

Are you supposed to change your contact solution everyday? ›

If your contacts are sitting in a case, you should change your disinfecting solution at least once every 30 days. That's an absolute minimum — and may need to be more frequent depending on your contacts' replacement schedule — so talk to your eye doctor to find out what's right for you.

Should I rinse my contacts before putting them in? ›

Always use fresh contact solution to clean your contacts before you put them in. Never rinse your contacts with old solution (even from the night before), water or saliva. None of these adequately disinfect your contacts or remove the buildup of proteins and germs—and can contaminate your lenses.

What eyedrops can I use with contacts? ›

What Types of Eye Drops Can Be Used with Contacts?
  • Rewetting Eye Drops. Rewetting eye drops are eye drops specifically made to keep your eyes moist while wearing contact lenses. ...
  • Dry Eye Drops. ...
  • Vasoconstrictor Eye Drops. ...
  • Medicated Eye Drops.
28 Apr 2022

Can I wear contact lenses instead of glasses? ›

Thanks to advances in contact lens technology, most people these days can wear contacts successfully, even if they prefer to wear glasses as their primary form of vision correction. So the decision to wear either contacts or glasses — and when to wear them — usually is a matter of personal preference.

Why do I see better with contacts than glasses? ›

They give you more natural vision than glasses. They move with your eye, and nothing blocks what you see. They don't fog up or get wet when it's cold or rainy.

What are the disadvantages of contact lenses? ›

Top 6 Harmful Effects Of Contact Lenses
  • Red Eye. Having red eyes can happen for all sorts of reasons. ...
  • Dry Eye. Contacts have a tendency to dry out your eyes, which can cause negative symptoms. ...
  • Infection. ...
  • Corneal Vascularization. ...
  • Eye Ulcers. ...
  • Conjunctivitis.
14 Nov 2018

Why is my vision blurry with contacts but not glasses? ›

Some of the possible causes of blurry vision while wearing contacts include a change in your prescription, deposits (like dirt) on the lens surface, dry eyes, allergies, infections, or other eye health problems.


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