Spring cleaning is an excellent motivation for taking a thorough look at what is in the medicine cabinet, which stores the many products, over-the-counter and prescription medications, and other items we rely on to keep us healthy and help us take care of ourselves, and that includes our eyes and vision. (Fun Fact: the third Friday in April is officially National Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet Day!)
In addition to the expired or unused medications (visit disposemymeds.org to find a location of a pharmacy near you to take the old meds off your hands in a safe manner), if you deal with eye or vision issues, there’s more than prescription bottles to take a closer look at when cleaning out your medicine cabinet:
Do you use eye drops to treat mild symptoms of dry eye or maybe allergies? If you wear contacts, perhaps you use a rewetting solution? Maybe you had an eye infection last year or have an expired prescription drops for dry eye? Anything you put into your eyes, over-the-counter or prescription, should be fresh. If you can’t remember when you bought it, it is likely time to toss them out and replace them with new bottles. Did you know that the 2020 CARES Act expanded the types of products that are considered qualified expenses for use with Health Savings Accounts or Flexible Savings Accounts, to include over-the-counter eye drops? So, you can use tax-free dollars to refresh your eye drop supply.
Contact Lens Cases
Contact lens cases should be replaced every three months for optimal contact lens safety and care. March is conveniently the third month of the year, making it a good time to stock up on new contact lens cases (BTW: contact lens cases are also HSA/FSA eligible expenses).
Contact Lens Solution
How well you care for your contacts directly impacts the health of your eyes and vision, so checking the expiration date on your contact lens solution in your medicine cabinet is a good idea. If you are using hard lenses you are likely going through a good deal of contact lens solution to keep your lenses clean and your eyes healthy. You should also be using solution to clean your contact lens case, so stocking up is a good idea.
Contacts with Old Prescriptions
Are you hanging onto contact lenses from an old prescription? Did you know there are many charitable organizations that accept donations of unopened disposable contact lenses? Take this medicine clean out as an opportunity to reclaim some much-needed space and help someone in need see clearly at the same time. Check with your local Lion’s Club or Goodwill donation center to see if they are accepting unopened contact lenses. If not, your local LensCrafters may be able to help.
Spring cleaning has taken on more meaning in response to the COVID-19 pandemic as many have found comfort in organizing and refreshing their surroundings at home. As you work through your to-do list, give your medicine cabinet the attention it – and your eyes – deserves. While you are at it, take the time to make that annual eye exam appointment with your eye doctor. And, if all those eye care products in your medicine cabinet have you rethinking your choices for vision correction, here are a few suggestions for talking to your eye doctor about laser vision correction. If you are a good candidate, it might just be the right solution for your vision needs.