Prescription contacts that have been dried out are no fun. Continuing to wear brittle or damaged contact lenses may lead to serious aftermath including permanent vision loss. Contact lenses are soft hydrophilic devices that means they need moisture to stay supple and soft. When they are left to dry in their case or any other environment they lose their flexibility and shrivel up. Prescription contacts help you maintain your visual acuity, however risking your vision for the sake of trying already dried out contacts is neither recommended nor desired. Fortunately, under certain circumstances you can try to resurrect your dried out prescription contacts in case you do not have any other possible means at the moment to correct your vision.
Why do My Contact Lenses Dried Out?
Contact lenses turn dry when they are left to dehydrate. Depending on the water content some lenses may turn dry sooner than others. The more the water content, the more moisture they need to stay flexible. Contacts containing water content above 38% may require you to be more vigilant about their state. Having to forget them sealed in cases for long risk dehydration.
How to Prevent Contact Lenses from Drying Out?
It is recommended to change the solution every night so that they get fresh supply of moisture every day. Never toss off the solution, instead refill cases every time you take off your contacts from eyes for storage to reuse contacts the following morning. If you have more than one pair of contacts which you don’t use every day, you can refill with fresh solution once every week. However, you may be appalled to still find some of your contacts drying out way too quickly. The possible reason is having water content above 42%. It seems like the solution is evaporating fast whereas in reality to keep their structure soft, the lenses absorb water from their surroundings. Hence the process is not of evaporation but absorption.
How to Resurrect Dried up Contacts?
Considering the circumstances, you can still make an attempt to resurrect your dried up contact lenses. Without touching your lenses, refill the solution in the case and leave them for 24 hours. When they are dry they are prone to being damaged, therefore it is recommended to not to touch them.
After they are restored to their original state, please inspect your lenses closely for any tear, damage or notch. If they appear fine you can wear them but removing immediately soon after is recommended if you notice even the slight discomfort. Microscopic scratches on the surface of contacts could lead to permanent scarring of cornea.
Please do not try to reuse lenses that you suspect of contamination. Broken lens cases, cases that were improperly sealed or lenses that were dropped off and dried out must never be reused again. In case you do not consider yourself dedicated enough to follow meticulous hygiene and maintenance, we recommend you switch to daily disposable contact lenses.