Original Research

Investigating the shelf life of disposable soft contact lenses

E. Chetty
African Vision and Eye Health | South African Optometrist: Vol 67, No 3 | a186 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/aveh.v67i3.186 | © 2008 E. Chetty | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 December 2008 | Published: 17 December 2008

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E. Chetty, Department of Optometry, University of Johannesburg, South Africa

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Numerous studies have been done to scrutinize the sterility and/or efficacy of contact lens solutions1-3, contact lens storage cases4-6 and soft contact lenses (SCLs) 7-10. To the best of our knowledge, a paucity of research regarding the sterility or efficacy of expired SCLs that are in sealed packages exists. One may question the need to investigate this facet of contact lens research. Many blogs and Q&A websites, such as the Optiboard website11, feature contact lens practitioners or contact lens patients who are curious about the repercussions of using expired SCLs. The purpose of this pilot study is not to offer all the answers regarding expired contact lenses, but rather to initiate curiosity about the quality and utility of expired SCLs. This study endeavors to investigate the sterility of sealed SCLs that are past their expiry date. Fifty-four SCLs were tested for the presence of fungal (27 samples) and bacterial (27 samples) contamination. These samples included both expired and unexpired SCLs that were either blister packed or vial packed. A small percentage of the lenses testedpositive for contamination.


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