For most people, removing and inserting contact lenses is a cinch, but in the beginning, those new to contact lens use can have a hard time inserting and removing their contacts correctly. This guide will walk you through how to put in and remove your contact lenses, and what to do if you’re having a hard time removing your contacts at the end of the day. These tips will definitely come in handy, especially if you’re not yet comfortable handling your contacts or touching your eyes.
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How to Prepare for Contact Lens Wear
Practicing good hygiene will be crucial when you wear contact lenses. Washing your hands before you touch your eyes or contacts is a must and it’s the most important step when you’re inserting or removing contacts. Before touching your eyes or the contacts, always wash your hands using a mild soap, rinse thoroughly and dry well. Avoid using any type of product such as creams, lotions, or ointments before you handle the contacts, since these substances can come into contact with your lenses.
Many new lens wearers tend to be squeamish about touching their eyes or placing a lens over their pupil. It can be uncomfortable initially, but if the lenses are placed correctly, they should be comfortable to wear. You may be hyper-aware of their presence in the beginning, but if inserted correctly, you should not develop red eyes, excessive tearing, or pain.
Eye infections can happen, especially if you don’t practice proper hygiene and clean your hands before touching your contacts, or if you fail to clean the contacts every night, or you keep using the same solution. Your eye care specialist will provide you with the proper care instructions, including how to care for your lenses, how to put them in and remove them, and the type of cleaning solutions to use. Following these instructions will be crucial since the products your doctor recommends are based on the type of lenses you have.
Tearing the lens when inserting or removing it is another common concern the new lens wearer has. This can easily be prevented if you don’t rush trying to remove or insert the lenses. I’ve included some helpful tips at the end of the guide that will go over what you should do if you’re having trouble removing your lenses and what not to do in order to prevent damaging your lenses.
Inserting your lenses is going to take some practice. You may have seen someone put their contacts in within a matter of seconds, the first try. If you find it’s taking several minutes to get your lenses in and centered correctly, don’t be discouraged, you’ll get there. Below, I’ll go over the two different methods you can try using to put your contacts in. This includes the one-handed method, which is often used by the more experienced contact lens wearer, and the two-hand method.
The lenses should be handled with your fingertips. Make sure you avoid contact with your fingernails. For one-hand insertion, place the contact on your index finger and make sure that the lens is right side out. A contact that is right side out will have edges that turn up instead of out. With the lens ready for insertion, look up and straight ahead as you pull down your lower lid using your middle finger. Try to focus on a point above you as you place the lens on the lower white portion of your eye. Remove your index finger as you release the lower lid slowly. Next, you’ll want to look down in order to properly position the lens. Keep your eyes closed for a moment in order to allow the lens to center itself on the pupil.
For this method, you’ll use both hands to insert your lenses. Start by placing the lens on the index finger of your right hand, then use the middle finger of your left hand to pull your upper lid up against your eyebrow. Take the middle finger of your right hand and pull down the lower lid, then place the lens over your pupil. Look downward in order to position the lens correctly, then release your eyelids slowly.
Should you accidentally place the lens in your eye inside out, then you’ll notice that the lens feels uncomfortable and may even fold on your eye. Another sign of putting the lens inside out is blurred vision and excessive lens movement whenever you blink.
If the lens sticks together or folds you can place it in the palm of your hand and use a recommended rewetting solution to wet the lens thoroughly. Next, you’ll gently rub the lens between your palm and index finger using a back and forth motion.
If the lens drapes or flattens across your finger, then your finger or the lens may be too wet. To fix this, dry your finger by placing the lens onto your other index finger and dry the opposite index finger each time, until the lens and your dominant index finger are both dry enough.
How to Correctly Remove Contacts
First, you’ll wash and rinse your hands well before touching your eyes. Make sure you always remove the same lens first each time. Be sure that the lens is in the proper position on your eye before attempting to remove it. To ensure it is, check your vision by closing one eye at a time. This will tell you if the lens is in the right position. As you’re looking up, slowly pull down your lower lid using your middle finger and place your index finger on the lens’ lower edge. Next, lightly squeeze the lens between your index finger and your thumb in order to remove it. During this time, try to avoid sticking the edges of the lens together. Use the same instructions to remove the other lens.
Easy Removal Tips
- Make sure your nails are kept short, at least until you’ve mastered removing your contact lenses. Short nails can prevent you from scratching your eyes or damaging the contacts.
- Before you try to remove the contacts, if you wear makeup, make sure you remove it first. Always remove makeup before your contacts to prevent contaminating them.
- Use a plunger if you’re having issues removing your lenses. This is a type of small device that you can use to easily remove the lenses. It works by suctioning onto the lens, removing it directly from your eye. However, it’s important to ensure the tool only comes into contact with the lens and not your eye as well.
- When removing the lens, your eyes should be moist. If you’re having a hard time removing the contacts, it could be due to dry eyes. To fix this issue, use some eye drops to lubricate the eyes for easy lens removal.
- Always close the drain in the sink before you remove your contacts over the sink. This will prevent you from accidentally dropping it down the drain.
- Don’t rush the process. This is definitely a time of adjustment. Calmly remove the lenses. Go slow, and follow proper hygiene instructions.
- If you’re worried about discomfort when removing the contacts, try sliding them to the whites of your eyes. Dragging the lens down to the lower lid helps to remove it from the surface of the eye.
- Immediately store your contacts in the best contact lens case, one that’s specifically designed for the type of contacts you use. This will prevent contamination and bacteria growth.
- If you’re constantly having issues removing your lenses, speak with your doctor. They may recommend using a removal tool, such as soft-tipped tweezers or a plunger, to make the process fast and simple.
- Keep in mind, contacts are very delicate. Following the proper care instructions that are provided by your eye care specialist is critical in order to protect your vision and eyes. Use the best contact lens solution and replace it often.
To learn more, click here to read my guide on the best tips for contact lens wearers.
Learning how to put in and remove your contact lenses can be scary and intimidating for most new lens wearers. Many people worry that putting lenses in or removing them will be painful, but when done correctly, the process should be fast, simple, and painless. Others are terrified of tearing their lenses, which can happen if you rush the process and keep your nails long. As I mentioned earlier, keep your nails short, stay calm, and don’t rush the process.
If you’re concerned that you’ll accidentally drop the contacts when you’re trying to put them in or take them out, then put them in over a flat surface and cover it with a large bright towel, which will make the lens more visible in the event you do accidentally drop it. By following these tips, you’ll soon get the hang of contact lens life and the many benefits that come with it. Remember, learning how to insert and remove your lenses will take time, but you’ll soon find that inserting and removing your lenses is a fast, simple, and totally pain-free process.