How to Remove a Contact Lens From Under an Eyelid

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Contact lenses are a convenient alternative to wearing glasses, which provide equivalent, and sometimes even better sight correction. One danger of using contact lenses, however, is that it is possible for them to move off the cornea and become stuck above or below the eyelid. This can irritate the eye, and can be troublesome due to the impaired vision of not having the contact on the cornea. When a contact lens gets stuck under the eyelid there are several steps you can take to help recenter it on the eye.

Things You'll Need

  • Saline solution
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Mirror
  • Relax yourself and wash or sanitize your hands thoroughly. Relaxing tends to help lenses float back toward the center of the eye. You will need clean fingers, since you will have to put them in your eyes to take out the lens.

  • Make certain the lens is actually in your eye, and hasn't fallen on the ground or been taken out. It is easy to forget taking out a lens or having it pop out without noticing it. If the lens is stuck, you will likely be able to feel it when you move your eye around.

  • Hydrate the eye with liberal amounts of saline solution or tears. Using eye drops will lubricate the eye and help the lens float back so that a corner becomes visible. If you can induce tear production yourself through yawning or other means, natural tears tend to cause lenses to gravitate toward the tear duct, making them easier to take out.

  • Move your eye away from the spot were the lens is stuck. Most often lenses get stuck under the upper eyelid. This means you should look straight down. With your free eye, look for a corner of the lens. If it appears, use one of your index fingers to gently slide it down toward the middle of the eye and take it out.

  • Try massaging the lens toward the middle of the eye. Another thing to try is closing the eye after using some saline solution, and massaging lens toward the center of the eye through the eyelid, while the shut eye looks away from the lens. This can dislodge the lens and center it on the eye for removal.

  • Peel back the eyelid. Pulling back the eyelid while moving the eye around can help reveal the lens and get it to move into a spot where it is visible and can be removed.

Tips & Warnings

  • * If you are unable to get the lens out yourself despite trying various methods, see an optometrist. Leaving a contact lens in the eye too long can cause serious damage. * If you wear hard contacts, you can try to use a contact lens plunger to remove the trapped lens. Contact plungers are sold at some drug stores.

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