Like getting stuck in traffic, a contact lens stuck in the eye is likely not on your bucket list, but stuff happens. Just remember your car isn’t actually stuck to the pavement nor is your contact lens super glued onto your eyeball or eyelid, at least we certainly hope not!
The Disappearing Contact
Your contact lens isn’t capable of performing a sleight of hand magic trick, but it may seem that way when it pulls off a disappearing act! Rest assured, if your lens didn’t fall out and is still in your eye, it hasn’t worked its way into your brain — it’s just playing hide and seek. Look around to make sure it hasn’t fallen out, then take a deep breath, count to 10 and seek the lens. As always, make sure your hands have been washed before playing this game!
How to Take Out Contact Lenses That Are Stuck
According to experts, soft contact lenses are typically more prone to getting stuck. Here are a few helpful tips to try if your contact gets stuck in your eye — or you’re having difficulty removing the little bugger.
Use rewetting drops: If the lens is still properly centered on your cornea (front of the eye) and won’t budge, it is probably dried out. Try inserting one or two contact lens rewetting drops in your eye. Wait about 10 minutes and repeat. You can also rinse the eye with a steady stream of sterile saline, multipurpose contact lens solution, or rewetting drops.
Wet your fingers: Although dry fingers are usually the preferred method for removing contacts, wetting your clean fingers with multipurpose contact lens solution or rewetting drops can help dislodge a stuck lens.
Gently massage eyelid: Chances are that sly little contact is hiding under your eyelid. Gently massaging the eyelid will often dislodge it, especially in combination with rewetting drops. If that doesn’t work, try looking in the opposite direction of the lid it is stuck under (e.g. look down as far as possible if you think the lens is under the top eyelid). This action can help move the lens back into the center of your eye.
Special Tips for Gas Permeable Lenses
With rigid gas permeable (RGP or GP) lenses, you can’t massage your eyelid because this can cause the lens to abrade your eye. If the lens is stuck on the sclera (white of the eye), gently press the pad of your fingertip just outside the edge of the lens to break the suction.
If none of these tips work, call your eye doctor immediately. They’ll likely tell you to come into the office the same day and remove the lens for you.
Consider wearing daily disposable contacts with moisture protection. Patented LACREON® technology in 1-Day Acuvue Moist contacts places a high moisture ingredient directly into the lens surface, replicating the moisture cushion found in natural tears. This technology helps prevent eye irritation and inhibit contacts from drying out and getting stuck.
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