It's that time of year!
Time to go through all our dry eye and scleral lens gear and -
- clean things
- discard expired things
- replace soiled and worn things, and
- keep an eye out for suspicious or recalled brands - particularly important this year, when the FDA has issued an unprecedented number of eye drop warnings related to actual or potential product contamination.
Dry Eye Fall Cleaning
Discard EXPIRED eye drops
Find them, and out they go! Over-the-counter, prescription, cheap, expensive, opened, still sealed, whatever, if they're expired, it's a great time to purge them. Nightstand, bathroom, car, purse, backpack, suitcase outer pocket, pockets of old coats and jackets, wherever they are, track them down and throw them away. Most eye drops are dated for 2 years from the date of manufacture, but they don’t reach retail stores immediately, and some brands have such infrequent production runs that they may be sold to you relatively close to their expiration date.
Discard eye drops that have been OPEN too long
Remember, most of those special preservative-free multi-dose bottles need to be discarded within 90 days of opening. If you’re not sure, look it up online or shoot us an email to find the instructions for your brand/product. When you open that type of bottle, it's a good idea to use a marker to put the date on it. And please, if you find preservative-free eye drop single-use vials sitting around that have been re-capped and you’re not sure when, do yourself a favor and discard them. Preservative-free eye drops are vulnerable to contamination, and the news cycle is reminding us more and more frequently now that eyedrops should be assumed to be harmless. Speaking of which:
Discard SUSPICIOUS or RECALLED eye drops
While you’re checking expirations, check also for suspicious names!
Dry Eye Foundation has a handy lookup tool - it's new and still in Beta, but you should be able to find most drops there to check for any current safety issues.
Discard expired lid care products
Yes, those lid scrubs - pads, wipes, foams, gels, and so on - they really do have expirations. If it’s liquid, it has an expiration. It’s not milk - it was probably dated for two to three years after the manufacture date - but it expires. So toss it. - Hypochlorous cleansers (such as Avenova) also have limited efficacy once opened so check instructions for each of those.
Clean or replace shields in your dry eye glasses
Those 7Eye eye cups, Wiley-X gaskets and Ziena shields - if you’ve had the same one for 6 months or more, it may have gotten to the point where it’s more difficult to clean, so consider whether it’s time to get new ones.
Replace Eye Eco moisture goggle parts
If you’ve never changed the foam, now’s the time to start. If you thought the foam cushions were just part of the goggle, now’s the time to learn that it’s a separate part intended to be swapped out regularly. Also - the straps eventually stretch out, which can lead to over-tightening, which can lead to goggles tearing, so consider replacing the strap.
Scleral Lens Fall Cleaning
Discard expired contact lens solutions
Most contact lens solutions are dated for 2 to 3 years from the date of manufacture, but sometimes they may get sold much closer to expiration, especially if they are specialty items with infrequent production runs. So check them rather than assuming.
Discard contact lens solutions that have been open too long
If you're not sure how long is too long, check the instructions. We have this information online for most products in the shop, if your box has been recycled.) Most contact lens solutions should be discarded within 3 months of opening. Purilens is a maximum of 2 WEEKS - or much less depending on your lens provider's recommendation. Please be particularly careful with Purilens as it's preservative-free.
DMV insertion and removal plungers, EZI rings, See-Green plungers: their surface eventually does degrade and they become harder to clean, so consider replacing them every six months.
Discard contact lens cases
Contact lens cases are notorious in the eye care world for being incredibly unhygienic. Optometrists who give lectures at medical conferences compete for the most disgusting pictures and terrifying stories of cases their patients brought in. Contact lens cases are cheap, and they’re included for free with most multi-purpose solutions, so there’s no reason to keep them around longer than your bottle of solution lasts.