How Long Do Contact Lenses Last? 7 Situations to Consider

29.12.2023 | Lydia | TTDeye Care

How long do contact lenses last? How long are colored contacts good for? First, you should replace your old lenses with a new pair based on their replacement circle. Also, the way you care for them and the validity of the prescription affect the duration of your lenses.

Explore seven situations in this article to guide you on how long you can use your contact lenses - whether they're regular or colored. Keep reading for insights!

Factors to Influence the Lifespan of Contact Lenses

1. The Replacement Schedule of the Lenses

Whether you opt for colored or regular contact lenses, you have choices in replacement cycles, including daily, monthly, quarterly, or yearly. The replacement cycle begins after you open your lenses, and while lenses come with expiration dates, they can be stored in unopened packets for some time.

Unsure which lens is right for you? Check out our article on Daily vs Monthly vs Yearly Contact Lenses.

2. The Way You Care for Lenses

The lifespan of your contact lenses depends on how well you care for them. Whether they are daily, monthly, or yearly disposables, consistent rinsing, cleaning, and disinfecting are essential to prevent irritation or allergies.

The lifespan of your contact lenses depends on how well you care for them

3. The Validity of Your Prescription

Your prescription has an expiration date, and when it expires, it's important to visit your eye doctor for an updated prescription and then purchase new (colored) contact lenses. Wearing contact lenses with an expired prescription can lead to blurry vision or headaches.

Situation 1: How Long Can You Wear Contacts in a Day?

For new contact wearers, limit wearing to less than 6 hours a day. As your eyes adjust, you can extend to 8 hours daily for optimal comfort and eye health. Avoid daily use of colored contacts for eye health and lens longevity.

❗ Note that TTDeye's colored contacts are not meant for overnight wear. Plus, although some contact lenses are designed to be able to be worn during sleep, always follow your doctor's guidance based on your eye condition regarding overnight use.

Situation 2: Do Monthly Contacts Last 30 Days or 30 Wears?

Monthly contacts are designed for 30 days of use once opened, not necessarily for 30 wears. Even if you don't wear them daily, you should dispose of them after 30 calendar days from the initial opening for the sake of eye health and safety.

❗ Note that although the recommended maximum wear time for monthly lenses is 30 days, don't exceed this duration for daily use. Our advice is to replace the lenses as soon as you feel they are not as comfortable as they were in the beginning.

Situation 3: How Long Do Yearly Disposable Contacts Last?

Yearly disposable contacts typically last around 8-10 months with daily use. Due to the accumulation of protein and deposits, they tend to get soiled by this point, increasing the risk of eye irritation and infection. Therefore, you are recommended to change them around the 8-10th month mark for both eye health and comfort.

❗ Generally speaking, giving your eyes breaks without contacts contributes to their health and helps extend the life of your lenses.

Situation 4: How Long Do Contact Lenses Last Unopened?

Unopened contact lenses typically last about 3-5 years before they expire. It's crucial to check the expiration date on the packaging and never wear a lens that has expired.

❗ Once opened, the duration of your contacts depends on the manufacturer's suggested wear time, ranging from a day to a year, provided you care for them properly.

Situation 5: How Long Do Contacts Last in Solution?

The longevity of contacts in solution depends on the lens solution's instructions.

Some solutions are effective for 24 hours, while others can preserve lenses for up to 1 month. Always follow the packaging instructions, store lenses in a tightly closed case with fresh solution, and change the solution regularly, especially if lenses are infrequently worn.

For instance, with a 30-day solution, avoid using lenses stored for 30 days or more without re-disinfecting. If your contacts have been in solution for less than 30 days, you can clean and disinfect them before use. However, if they've been in solution for months or longer, it's safest to discard them and use a fresh pair.

The longevity of contacts in solution depends on the lens solution's instructions

Situation 6: How Long Are Contact Lenses Good for after the Expiration Date?

Contact lenses do expire. DO NOT use expired contact lenses! Adhere to the replacement schedule recommended by your eye care provider to avoid potential risks, like eye infections including:

  • Partial or total loss of vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Scarring
  • Inflammation
  • Red eyes
  • Moderate to severe eye discomfort.

If you encounter any of these symptoms, seek prompt medical attention from an eye care professional.

Situation 7: How Long Do Colored Contacts Last?

Colored contact lens wearers need to adhere to the same guidelines as regular contact lens users. The lifespan of colored contact lenses varies based on the replacement schedule of the specific lenses you choose. Using TTDEYE as an example, they offer both prescription and Plano color contact lenses available in daily, monthly, and annual disposable options.

Daily, monthly and yearly colored contacts are available at TTDeye

How to Make Your (Colored) Contact Lenses Last Longer

Proper care and storage can help make the most wear out of your contact lenses. Here are some tips to upkeep lenses, lens cases, and lens care solutions.

Care for the lenses:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly before handling your contact lenses.
  • Keep your lenses stored in the original sealed packaging or a clean contact lens case filled with fresh contact lens solution.
  • Rinse and gently scrub your lenses every 2-3 days using fresh solution to avoid protein buildup.
  • Replace with new solution based on its expiration date, especially when lenses are not worn often.
  • Don't wear lenses that have been open for 30 days or more without disinfecting them again.
  • Be cautious and keep your lenses away from sharp objects as they are thin and vulnerable.

Keep your lenses away from sharp objects

Care for the contact lens case:

  • Keep the case clean by rinsing it with sterile contact lens solution.
  • Let the empty case air dry with the lid open for proper maintenance.
  • Replace the lens case every 3 months or sooner if damaged for optimal hygiene.

Care for the lens solution:

  • Do not use tap water or homemade saline solutions.
  • Use a new solution each time you clean and disinfect your contact lenses. Never reuse or top off old solutions.


Follow the recommended replacement schedule for your lenses — whether they're daily, monthly or yearly disposable — and adhere to the correct care routine. Ensure your prescription is valid, and with proper care, you can maximize the lifespan of your contact lenses.

Avoid using expired contact lenses, as they can reduce oxygen supply to your eyes, increasing the risk of infections, blood vessel growth, chronic inflammation, and redness that may lead to vision issues and contact lens intolerance. Set an alarm to help you remember!