If you’ve always wondered (or worried) about your contact lenses getting stuck in your eyes, you’re in good company. Many new contact lens wearers have this concern! To relieve your fears – no, it’s impossible for contacts to get totally stuck behind your eyes. However, they can become dislodged and get stuck beneath your eyelid. In fact, many people call our Citrus Heights, California , eye doctor for help when this happens. Usually, we can provide tips for how to remove the contact on your own, but when this doesn’t work – you’ll need to visit Palmer N. Lee, O.D. at EYEcenter Optometric for assistance.
Facts about when contact lenses get stuck
- When a contact lens dries out, it can get stuck to your cornea. This happens most frequently as a result of sleeping with lenses.
- Contact lenses can get dislodged and move out of position under your eyelid. Typically, this occurs due to rubbing your eyes or physical contact with the lenses.
- Pieces of contact lenses can stay in your eye for a long time, unintentionally. Sometimes a fragment of torn lens gets stuck under the eyelid. Rinsing your eyes with saline will generally loosen the lens so you can remove it gently and easily.
- Contact lenses cannot slide behind your eye, getting stuck there forever. While contacts may get lodged under your eyelid, your eyelids serve as a barrier to block anything from slipping behind your eyeball.
- Contact lenses stuck in your eye do not seriously endanger your health. It may not be good for you, but a lens that’s stuck will generally do nothing more than cause irritation.
How can I remove a soft contact lens that’s stuck in my eye?
- First of all, wash your hands with soap and dry on a lint-free towel.
- Rewetting eye drops are pretty much all you need. Don’t be economical when you use them, because the more moisture you add to your eye, the better the chances that the lens will simply dislodge and slip out on its own. Close your eyes and blink repeatedly to disperse the lubricating fluid.
- If applying eye drops doesn’t do the trick, then gently massage the upper and lower portions of your eyelid until the lens comes out. The key word here is “gently,” don’t apply any forceful pressure.
- If a mild massage doesn’t release the lens, then grip your eyelid and flip it upwards (inside out). Look in the mirror to search for any pieces of your lens and carefully remove them. Afterwards, rinse your eye with saline.
- If none of these techniques work for you, double check to make sure the lens didn’t fall out already (and you’re just feeling the sensation left by mild irritation). If the lens is still there, please call our Citrus Heights, California , eye doctor and schedule an urgent eye exam.
What do I do if my hard gas permeable contacts get stuck?
If you wear hard contact lenses, you’ll need to handle a stuck lens differently from a soft lens.
Applying rewetting eye drops is an essential first step. Then, close your eyes and blink. This may be sufficient to dislodge the lens, moving it back to the center of your eye where you can remove it as usual.
With hard contact lenses, don’t massage your eyelid! This can cause the lens to scrape your cornea, leading to a painful corneal abrasion.
If lubricating the lens doesn’t help, use your fingertip to gently press your eye near the edge of your contact lens. This can break the suction, unsticking the lens so you can remove it easily. Or, pick up a special suction cup device (sold with the contact lenses products in most stores) that can attached to your lens to gently pull it off from your eye surface.
Why does my eye hurt after removing a stuck contact lens?
Generally, this is just a symptom caused by mild irritation. Sterile saline or artificial tears eye drops can help moisten your eye to enhance comfort. With a bit of time, the irritation will usually disappear.
However, if the pain persists and your eye appears red, reach out to our Citrus Heights, California , eye care center for instructions. You’ll need an eye exam to determine if any medical treatment is necessary.
At EYEcenter Optometric, we put your family's needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 916-727-6518 or book an appointment online to see one of our Citrus Heights eye doctors.
Want to Learn More? Read on!