Dr. Shonah Finlay Doctors Eye Care
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How to Remove Contact Lenses from Your Eyes

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A young woman using a small mirror to put contact lenses onto her eye

Contact lenses can be a convenient and effective way to improve your vision, but removing them can be tricky if you’re unfamiliar with the process. Your eye doctor should take you through the technique during an eye exam.

Always make sure you wash your hands before touching your eyes, then use a pinch and slide motion to gently remove your contact lens from your eye. Mastering the art of removing contact lenses is essential for every wearer. You may soon find it as easy as a breeze with a gentle touch, a steady hand, and a bit of practice.

A good pair of contact lenses is professionally fitted to your eye, and if properly cared for, you can experience long-term comfortable vision.

Inserting Contact Lenses

Before you need to take your contacts out, you’ll need to first insert them

  1. Start by washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Avoid using heavily fragranced or oily soaps, as they can leave residues on the lenses, potentially causing discomfort. Dry your hands with a lint-free cloth to help prevent any fibers from getting onto the lenses.
  2. Using your fingertips (never your fingernails), carefully remove the contact lens from its storage case or packaging. Some eye care professionals suggest pouring the lens onto the palm of your hand from the case for added convenience.
  3. Place the lens on the index finger of your dominant hand. Before inserting it, ensure it’s not inside out. The correct position of the lens should resemble the shape of a bowl, not a teacup. Some lenses have numbers or indicators, making it easier to confirm the right orientation.
  4. With your other index or middle finger, gently hold your upper eyelid toward your eyebrow. This prevents your eyelashes from obstructing the lens insertion. Simultaneously, use the middle finger of your dominant hand to pull down your lower eyelid.
  5. Stare straight ahead or look up toward the ceiling to create a clear path for the lens. Slowly bring the contact lens toward your eye, aiming for the center, and gently place it on your eye’s surface.
  6. Look downward and blink a few times. This helps the lens settle into its proper position on your eye. Release your eyelids gradually and check for comfort and clear vision. If needed, blink a few more times to help the lens align.

After your lens is in, take a moment to assess your vision and the comfort of the lens. If you experience discomfort or blurred vision, remove the lens and inspect it for damage or debris. Soft contact lenses can occasionally rip, so if you notice a tear, start fresh with a clean, undamaged lens.

A man washing his hands using soap and water.

Removing Contact Lenses

Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or new to the world of contacts, mastering the proper technique for taking your lenses out is essential for your eye care routine:

  1. Start by washing your hands with a mild, cream-free soap. Rinse them thoroughly and dry them with a lint-free towel. It’s also a good idea to close any nearby drains to prevent the lenses from accidentally slipping down them.
  2. With your head straight, look upwards as far as possible. Using your dominant hand, place your middle finger on the lower eyelid and gently pull it downward.
  3. Touch the lower edge of the lens with the tip of your index finger. To avoid blinking, you should use your other hand to hold the upper lid and lashes gently.
  4. While maintaining your gaze upwards, slide the lens downward, moving it onto the white part of your eye using your index finger.
  5. While still looking up and holding the lens with your index finger, position your thumb to lightly compress the lens between your thumb and index finger. This compression helps fold the lens slightly.
  6. Gently remove the folded lens from your eye. Although you may not directly feel the lens between your thumb and finger, you’ll likely notice its release from your eye. This process should be gentle and smooth.

You can then repeat this process for the other eye.

Tips for a Smooth Insertion & Removal

A solid technique for removing contact lenses involves a delicate balance of preparation, technique, and patience.

  • Practice makes perfect: Don’t worry if it takes a few attempts to get it right. Practice makes perfect, and soon, removing your lenses can become second nature.
  • Take your time: Rushing the process can lead to mishaps. Be patient, and take your time to avoid any discomfort or accidents.
  • Seek guidance: If you’re having persistent difficulties removing your lenses or experiencing discomfort, reach out to your eye care team. We can provide personalized tips and help you use the right lenses for your eyes.

Storing Contact Lenses

After you safely remove both lenses, it’s time to take proper care of them. Depending on what type of lens you wear, you’ll need different care techniques. Soft daily disposable lenses can be disposed of once you’ve used them, but some lenses get reused. Always follow the directions from your contact lens manufacturer and optometrist.

For cleaning, place each lens in the palm of your clean hand and add a few drops of multi-purpose solution. Gently rub the lens with your fingertip in a circular motion for about 20 seconds to remove residual debris or protein buildup.

Once done, rinse the lenses with the solution thoroughly and store them in a clean contact lens case filled with fresh solution. Remember to change the solution in your case every time and replace the case every 3 months.

Enjoy the Benefits of Contact Lenses

By following these tips and tricks, you can remove your lenses safely and comfortably, reducing the risk of damage to your eyes or lenses. Contact lenses offer many benefits, and you deserve to experience all they have to offer!

Doctors EyeCare Grande Prairie offers comprehensive contact lens exams and fittings. If you have questions about wearing lenses, don’t hesitate to give us a call. Enjoy the benefits of comfortable vision, thanks to your trusty contact lenses!

Written by Dr. Shonah Finlay

Dr. Finlay grew up by the gold mines in South Africa and knew from a young age she wanted to follow a medically related career. She applied to and was accepted to study optometry at the former Rand Afrikaans University in South Africa. During her last year of studies, Dr. Finlay worked on the Train of Hope: South Africa’s Phelophepa. This custom-built train (now 2) travels throughout rural South Africa to deliver top-quality primary healthcare to disadvantaged communities. It was a wonderful experience to bring sight to so many people that otherwise do without. Those memories always remind her of why she loves practicing optometry.
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