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Learn About Contacts: Contact Lens How-Tos

Illustration of contact lens boxes

Contact Lens How-Tos

How to Insert your Contact Lenses

Are you wondering "How do I put these two little contact lenses in my eye?" Here's what you need to know about how to insert your contact lenses.

Step One

Wash your hands. Do not skip this step. Cleanliness is key to your eye's health and safety. Make sure you use soap and get those fingers clean. Be careful not to dry them with anything that leaves lint on your fingers. A microfiber towel will help keep small pieces of debris from getting onto your contact lens.

Step Two

Squirt some saline solution on your clean, dominant index finger so no tap water (or aforementioned debris) gets on the lenses.

Step Three

Using your clean index finger, remove the lens from its container and place it on the pad of your finger. Examine the lens and make sure it looks like half of a ball and not a soup bowl with a rim. (If it doesn't look like a perfect half sphere, your lens is probably inside out.)

Step Four

Use saline solution to rinse off the contact lens. It may have been stored in cleansing solution or saline solution, but a cleaned off, moist lens will be easiest to insert. 

Step Five

Use your other hand to hold open your designated eye. Use your index finger and gently lift the lid, while using your middle finger to hold the bottom lid down.

Step Six

While looking up or to the side with the designated eye, gently come close to your eyeball until you feel the gentle pull of the lens sticking to the eye. If your eyes are too dry or too wet for the lens to stick to the eye, you may need to blink a few times, use wetting drops, or give yourself a few minutes, before trying to insert the lens again.

Step Seven

As soon as the lens has 'stuck' to the eye, gently close your lid over the lens to give the lens a moment to find it's rightful place on your eye's lens. You may feel the lens move a bit as you close your eye, and that's okay. Know it's just trying to find its normal resting place.

Step Eight

Blink a few times and make sure the lens feels comfortable. Can you see clearly through the lens? Is the eye free from pain? Then you have successfully inserted your contact lens!

If it feels uncomfortable in anyway or you aren't able to see clearly, remove the lens and examine it for dirt, debris, or make sure that it's not inside out. Then start all these steps over again! If you continue to experience pain, leave your lens out until you can try again or talk to your Eyeglass World optometrist.

How to Store your Contact Lenses

Contact lenses come in a little package filled with saline solution. Once that package is opened, it should be thrown away. So what do you do with your contact lenses when you remove them? Here are a few options:

Option 1: Store them in a cleaning system.

If you are taking your contact lenses out for the night, or if you know your lenses have been exposed to dirt, pollen or debris and need a good cleaning, your best storage option is a contact lens disinfecting or cleaning system.

These systems are special cases that accompany disinfectant solution and work with the solution to clean your lenses and then chemically change from a potent disinfectant to a gentle saline solution over about eight hours. These are typically 'no-rub' solutions so you can take out your lenses, store them in the cleaning system case, pour in the solution, and remove the lenses when you're ready to wear again!

Option 2: A regular contact lens case.

Contact lens cases have two separate compartments, often-marked 'left' and 'right', for you to place your lenses in when you aren't wearing them. You can use regular saline solution or a cleaning solution (NOT hydrogen peroxide-based) to store the lenses for a short period of time or overnight.

Sometimes cleaning solutions require you to agitate the lens before storage to make sure it's clean. These cases often seal tightly so you can store them in your purse or pocket. That way no liquid will leak out and your lenses will stay moist for when you're ready to insert them again. 

Option 3: A cup or Ziploc bag.

Let's say you are at a friend's home and you need to take your lenses out for some reason, but have no case available. You can use Ziploc bags or a cup to put your lenses in for a few hours. TAKE NOTE: This storage solution requires you to have saline, cleaning solution, or even your re-wetting eye drops in with the lenses. Otherwise, they will dry out. (You do not ever want to store your contact lenses in tap water. This is dangerous.)

You should not plan on putting your lenses back into your eyes until after you've disinfected the lenses. Even if you are using a clean glass or bag, you don't know what kind of bacteria may be lurking in these containers that will be foreign to your eyes.

Remember that you'll still need to be able to tell your left lens from the right if you wear two different prescriptions. The solution? Mark the containers you use appropriately to make it easier to store and re-insert your lenses properly the next day.

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