How to Tell If a Soft Contact Lens Is Inside Out

Wear your contact lenses painlessly.
Wear your contact lenses painlessly. (Image: Leprechaun Art & Photography)

If you've ever experienced a stinging sensation in your eye immediately after inserting a soft contact lens, the lens may have lint on it or could be soapy, if not torn. What some new contact lens wearers may not be aware of is the possibility of the lens being inside out. After all, a soft contact lens is so malleable that it could turn inside out as it soaks in its case, even if you placed it in its chamber right side out the last time you wore your lenses. Here's how you can cut back on the time it takes to put your lenses on by identifying whether yours are inside out prior to insertion.

Things You'll Need

  • Hand soap
  • Multi-purpose contact lens solution

Wash your hands thoroughly. Rinse off every last trace of soap before handling your lenses.

Use your thumb and forefinger to take the first lens out of the contact lens case. Rinse both sides of the lens with multi-purpose contact lens solution (see Resources for steps on putting in your contacts). Position the lens on the fleshy tip of your forefinger to get it ready for insertion.

Inspect the shape of the lens as it sits on your forefinger. If it appears to be a smooth C-shaped curve, it is ready for insertion. However, if the edges flare out (see image), it is inside out and has to be corrected before insertion or else it will hurt your eye and give you blurry vision throughout the day.

Repeat Steps 2 and 3 for the other lens.

Tips & Warnings

  • If your eye hurts after you insert your contact lens, take the lens out immediately even if you know the lens is not inside out or even dirty. There may be a minute tear in it which will scratch your eye if you don't take the lens out. The only solution at this point is to replace your old lens with a new one.

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