How to Insert and Remove Contact Lenses

InsertIt's a bit unnerving wearing contact lenses for the first time. It can feel a bit 'icky' putting your fingers in your eyes; you're naturally worried about hurting your eyes and you're worried you might do something wrong. I know; we've all been there. But it does get easier with practice and before long you'll be wondering what you were so worried about.

Okay, so if you do touch your eye with your finger, it stings! But, you won't be doing that - not once you've learned how to correctly insert and remove your lenses. And what seems to take ages at first and be a really tricky business too, you'll soon be doing in no time at all. Soon putting in and taking out your lenses will become just a normal part of your everyday routine.

So let's get you started on that routine.

First of all, make sure you have been shown by your optometrist or optical dispenser how to insert and remove your lenses and make sure that when you wear them in the clinic that they feel comfortable. If they don't feel comfortable tell your optometrist about it. They can often find a different make of lens that will fit your eye better. Never leave the optometrist with lenses that feel uncomfortable. 

So, now you are home. Here's how to manage your routine all by yourself.

How to Put Lenses In

  1. Wash your hands carefully and dry them on a towel or tissue that won't leave any residue or lint on your hands. Ideally, wash your hands using a soap that doesn't contain added moisturizers as these can damage the surface of your lenses.
  2. Now, remove the left lens out of your contact lens case. The left lens is indicated by either an L on the case or by a colour code. Make sure you know which before you leave your optometrist's clinic.
  3. Use some of your cleaning agent on the lens and gently rub your lens between your forefinger and thumb to clean the surface of the lens.
  4. Rinse the lens thoroughly before inserting it into your eye. (You can skip steps 3 & 4 if you are wearing daily disposable lenses)
  5. Using your finger, pick up the lens. It will stick to the tip of your finger. Make sure you have got it on your lens the right way round. You don't want to stick it in the wrong way around. Check the marker inside the lens to ensure you have it the right way around. Again, make sure the optometrist or optical dispenser shows you how to do this.
  6. Use the other hand to spread your eye wide open - pulling the upper eyelid up.
  7. With the other fingers of the hand with the contact in, pull down the lower lid, look up and then pop the lens into your eye. 
  8. Release your eyelids and close your eye for a moment. Then blink once or twice to moisten the lens and keep it in place. 
  9. This sounds easier than it is and takes some practice to get right. It's a good idea to place a towel, tissue or cloth in the bottom of your sink to catch the lens in case you drop it. If you do drop it, clean it again and rinse it again before trying to insert it into your eye. Don't be surprised if your lens ends up on your nose or your cheek before you finally get it into your eye.
  10. Repeat for the right lens.

You may also want to use a mirror to check that the contact lens is centered.

See also:
How to Remove Contact Lenses 

Video: Insert Contact Lenses

This video, courtesy of Videojug, will show you how to insert soft contact lenses in five easy steps.


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