Time to go through all our dry eye and scleral lens gear, clean things, discard expired things, replace soiled and worn things, and keep an eye out for suspicious or recalled brands.
Dry Eye Spring 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. Night stand, 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 with 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 is 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. Top two brands to look out for are EzriCare and Delsam Pharma. Check eyedropsafety.org for others. Two brands that FDA and CDC have not yet mentioned but which were apparently manufactured by the same facility as Ezricare are I-Drops and I-Oint brands. Resource: eyedropsafety.org
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 though 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 Spring 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. Familiarize yourself with the instructions for these solutions, which will tell you how long it’s okay to continue using them after opening. This is especially important for Purilens users, because it is preservative-free and the longer you keep it open, the more likely it is breeding bacteria.
Replace plungers. 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.