If you’re new to the world of contacts, chances are you probably have some questions about contacts application even if you left your eye doctor’s office feeling confident. It’s one thing to practice putting them in while supervised, it’s another to actually do it at home by yourself.
The good news is, the more you use your contacts, the better you’ll get at putting them in. Until then, here are some special application tricks just for you.
2. Clip your nails. Keep your fingernails short until you’ve mastered applying (and removing) your contacts so you don’t scratch and damage your eyes while you’re learning.
3. Cover the drain. If you’re putting in your contacts while standing in front of a sink, cover the drain with a clean paper towel. That way, if one of your contacts accidentally drops, it won’t find its way down the pipe.
4. Shake if stuck. Sometimes your contact lenses may stick to the side or bottom of the case and if you try to pull them apart with your fingers, you could rip them. Shaking the case should loosen them.
5. Rim is wrong. One question new contacts wearers ask a lot is, “How do I know if my contact is inside out?” Take a look at your contact. If it forms a “U” shape (like half of a ball), it’s in the correct position. If it forms a “U” shape, but the edges are bent outward (like the rim on a bowl of soup), it’s inside out.
6. Always start with the same eye every time. If you’re right-handed, start with your right eye; if you’re left-handed, start with your left. This will keep you from mixing up the contact lens prescriptions or forgetting where you left off and putting two contacts in the same eye. It may sound funny, but you’d be surprised how often it happens to people in the early hours of the morning when their brain is still waking up or they’re rushing out the door.
7. Do what makes you comfortable. When applying contacts, some people find it more comfortable to look straight up, while others prefer to look straight ahead. If you’re having trouble applying your contact directly on your eye’s cornea, try putting it on your eye’s sclera (the white of your eye next to your ear) and then sliding it over and centering it on your cornea.
8. Roll and blink to double check. After you feel you have a good fit, gently roll your eyes, blink twice, and look in the mirror to make sure the contact lens is centered on your eye. Your vision should have improved and the lens should be comfortable. If it’s not, take it out and try again.
9. Don’t panic. Despite what you might have heard, it’s impossible to lose your contact in the back of your eye. There is a membrane that connects your eye to the back of your eyelid. If you can’t find your contact and you’re certain it hasn’t dropped, re-wet your eye with contact lens solution, close your eye, and massage your eyelid for a few seconds. In most cases, the misplaced contact will reappear where you can see it. If that doesn’t work, here are a few other things you can do that should work.
10. Contacts then compacts. Always put your contact lenses in before putting on make-up. Doing so will prevent debris (like from mascara) from contaminating your lenses and your eyes. If you use powder eye shadow, keep your eyes closed during application and brush off any excess before opening your eyes.
If you’ve tried wearing contacts for a few weeks and feel like they’re not for you, there may be some other glasses-free options for you to consider.
LASIK is a non-invasive refractive surgery option used to treat nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), astigmatism, and presbyopia. Read Which is Which? to learn more about these refractive disorders.