Contact lenses application and removal - step by step
So now that you've started with contact lenses, inserting and removing them will take a little finesse. It might seem scary at first, but with practice and good habits, it can become easy and natural. So to help you out, here is our short, step-by-step guide to inserting and removing contact lenses. It’s great for beginners, and might even be a good reminder for contact lens pros, too! Your comfort and quality of vision depend on your proper contact lens care routine, so don't forget the most important dos and don'ts.
How to put contact lenses in
First things first. Unless you’re wearing daily disposable
lenses, your contacts should be stored in contact lens solution when
you’re not wearing them. This helps to clean and disinfect them overnight.
It may be helpful to remember that you don’t actually need to touch your eyeball. You’re just lightly tapping the lens into place, and your eyelids will do the rest! Now, let’s get to the process itself.
Start by preparing all your essentials in a well-lit room. You’ll need your contact lenses, solution, mirror, and a place to wash and dry your hands with a fresh towel. Remember to insert your lenses before applying makeup.
Always wash your hands so you don’t accidentally transfer any dirt or bacteria to your contacts. Use a mild or antibacterial soap and avoid using moisturizing soaps, lotions, or oil-based products. Rinse and dry your hands thoroughly with a lint-free towel. Try to avoid using paper towels, as these can leave fibres and other residues on your hands.
Please note that it's best to keep your fingernails short to avoid scratches on the lens or the eyeball.
The next step is removing the contact lenses from your contact lenses case or from a fresh blister package. If you have a different prescription for each eye, it’s helpful to establish a habit and always insert the left lens first, for example, so you don’t mix them up. Place the first lens in your palm, wet it with solution, and rub it gently with your finger. Some brands offer „no-rub“ solutions, but most opticians agree that it’s always a good idea to give your lenses a gentle rub for extra cleaning power. If you need a little help manipulating the lenses, we offer a variety of handy tools to make it easier. Applicators and lens tongs can make handling lenses a breeze.
Place the contact on your index finger. If the lens looks like a bowl, you’re doing fine. But, if the edges are pointing outward, then your lens is inside out. It may be hard to tell, but most contacts have a little inside-out mark on them (letters or numbers) so you can easily see whether the lens is inside out or not.
With the lens balanced on your index finger, use your middle finger to pull your lower eyelid down while using your other hand to pull your upper eyelid upward. Try not to blink or move. Some people find it helpful to use the little trick of looking upwards to reduce involuntary blinking. It may be a struggle at first, but you'll get used to it with practice!
Place the contact lightly and carefully on your eye. Release your hands and blink a few times. The lens should settle into place over the coloured part of your eye (iris). You can lightly touch the lens again to slide it into place if necessary. If you feel any discomfort or irritation, remove the contact lens, cleanse it completely, and then try again.
Repeat the same process with the lens for your other eye. Discard the used contact lens solution from the case so you’ll remember to use fresh solution the next time you remove your lenses.
How to remove contact lenses
Before you start, wash your hands as you did before you put them in. If you wear make up, be sure to remove your lenses before washing your face. You should also prepare everything you will need in a clean, well-lit room. Make sure you have your contact lens case, solution, mirror, and any other tools you may need. If you're travelling, you can find all these items in one handy contact lens kit.
Step 1 (Optional)
Start by lubricating your eyes with eye drops or eye spray. This can help moisten the lenses and make them easier to remove. One or two drops in each eye should be sufficient, and it can make the process easier and more comfortable, especially if you have chronically dry eyes, or find they’re more dry at the end of the day.
Look up and slowly pull your lower eyelid down with your middle finger from your dominant hand. This might sound easy but do be careful and gentle when touching the sensitive skin around the eye area. Don’t rush yourself, and do this step calmly and slowly.
Gently touch the lens with the index finger of the same hand and slide the lens down to the lower white part of your eye. This can be a little bit tricky, but don’t worry. It’s important to slide the lens to the white part of the eye to avoid touching or potentially scratching your cornea.
Gently squeeze the lens with your index finger and thumb, and place the contact in the case with fresh contact lens solution. Discard the lenses if they are already past their durability date. Also, don’t forget to keep your contact lens case clean and replace it with a new one with every new bottle of solution, or at least every 3 months.
Now repeat the process using the same hand with the other eye, step by step as you did it with your first eye.
Congratulations - you have successfully removed and stored your contact lenses! With practice and proper maintenance, inserting and removing your contact lenses will become a quick and easy part of your daily routine.
Follow these steps carefully to help maintain optimum eye health, comfort, and quality of vision. Your eyes and your lenses will thank you.