Tips on Inserting and Removing a Contact Lens From Your Eye
For new contact lens users, the idea of placing an object in your eye could be terrifying. But as with anything in life, removing a contact lens becomes second nature after just a few days of practice. Here’s a quick guide to teach you how to insert and remove a contact lens from your eye.
Before Inserting or Removing a Contact Lens
Before attempting to insert or remove your contacts, you must remember that all prescription and non-prescription contact lenses are lawfully considered medical devices. As such, any person using contact lenses must consult with a qualified eye care practitioner before making a purchase. Although contacts are more prevalent than ever, wearers are still at risk of injury and even blindness, if proper precautions are not taken seriously.
Follow these best practices before handling a lens:
- Thoroughly wash, rinse and dry your hands each and every time you're about to touch your lenses. Never apply lotions or creams before inserting your lenses.
- Use the soft pads of your fingertips to handle your lenses and always keep your fingernails short (and clean) to avoid ripping or tearing the lens.
- Never use anything on your lenses except for proper lens solution, and follow cleaning procedures prescribed to you by your eye care professional. Tap water, saliva, and eye drops are not the same as multipurpose lens solution and can seriously increase the risk of infection.
- Don’t use expired contact lens solution. Never reuse old solution or "top off" remaining solution in your case.
- Ensure both lids on your contact lens case are securely tightened when storing your lenses.
- Clean and rinse out your contact lens case daily with multipurpose lens solution, and remember to replace the case every few months.
- Follow the recommended wear time and replacement schedule prescribed to you by your eye care professional.
- Never shower, swim or sleep in your contact lenses.
- If you ever experience any discomfort, remove your contacts immediately to avoid further irritation.
- Schedule regular appointments with your eye care professional. Do not attempt to use a different type or brand of contact lenses without first consulting with your eye doctor.
How to Insert a Contact Lens
The first thing you should do once you’re ready to insert your contact lenses is make sure the lens is not inside out. Since soft contact lenses are thin and supple, it can be difficult to determine which way is right side up. Ideally, you'll want to figure out if your lens is inside out before you put it in your eye. Otherwise, you will likely feel discomfort. Other symptoms of an inside out lens include blurred vision and excessive lens movement when blinking.
Two ways to see if a contact lens is inside out:
- Put the lens on the tip of your index finger with the edges pointing upward. Examine the rim of the lens at eye level. If the edges are flared out, the lens is likely inside out. A lens that is right side up has flat even edges across the entire surface of the lens.
- Hold the center of the lens between the tips of your thumb and index finger so that the edges point upward. The lens should look like a taco shell. Again, you want to examine the edges of the lens. If they bend outward, the lens is probably inside out. When the lens is right side up, you should see the edges stick straight up on both sides of the taco.
Now you’re ready to insert your contact lenses. There are two ways to do this, with either one or two hands. Both techniques require the same preparation, as we’ll demonstrate below.
The Two Best Techniques for Inserting a Contact Lens:
Before you begin either technique, be sure to handle your contact lenses above a sink or countertop. If you're above a sink, block the drain, if possible, to avoid dropping your lens down the drain. Yes, it could happen!
The one-handed technique: The trick of this technique is to get your contacts in quickly.
- You’ll want to start by holding the lens on the tip of your index finger with the edges up.
- Next, tilt your head up, focus your sight on an arbitrary point above you, and pull your lower eyelid down using the middle finger of the same hand that is holding the contact lens.
- Finally, place the lens on the lower part of your eye, then slowly pull your index finger away from your eye and release your lower lid. Focus your eye downward, then close your eye for a couple seconds to allow the lens to align properly with your eye. That’s it!
The two-handed technique: This technique is similar to the one-handed approach, but uses both hands to open the eye wider.
- Start by placing the lens on the tip of your index finger with the edges up.
- Using the middle finger on your other hand, pull your upper lid up toward your brow.
- With the middle finger of the same hand that is holding the contact lens, pull your lower lid down.
- Next, place the lens onto the center of your eye, then release the lens and cast your eye downward to properly align the lens with your eye. Slowly let go of your eyelids.
How to Remove a Contact Lens
Just like inserting your contacts, be sure your hands are clean before removing a contact lens. When you're ready to start, follow these easy steps:
Removing a Contact Lens
- Use your middle finger to pull your lower eyelid down.
- Then, use the soft tips of your thumb and index finger of the same hand to gently pinch the lens off of your eye. Be sure to look up when you do this. If it’s difficult to get a hold of the lens, try using the middle finger from your other hand to pull your upper lid up toward your brow. This will prevent excessive blinking that might interfere or prolong your efforts.
Removing a Contact Lens That is Stuck in Your Eye
Once in awhile, you'll find yourself having an unusual amount of trouble trying to get your contact lens out of your eye. Not to worry, as more often than not, the stuck lens is due to dry eyes. For a quick fix, apply some lubricating drops into your eye, then close your eye and move your eye in all directions to loosen the lens. If this doesn't work, try using more drops, but this time, blink a lot after the drops have been applied. Once the lens is freed, you can remove it as normal. You can also try 1 Day Acuvue Moist for dry eyes.
We hope these tips and tricks have helped you find the best way of inserting and removing a contact lens. Thanks for reading!