How To Deal With A Stuck Contact Lens And Other Lens Mishaps

For the most part, contact lenses are pretty low maintenance. That's why so many people love them and wear them.

That being said, there are some frustrating issues that can arise when you're wearing contact lenses. If you've ever dealt with a stuck contact lens, you know what we're talking about.

Luckily, most common contact lens mishaps, including stuck lenses, are easy to remedy. Read on to learn how you can easily fix some of the common issues that might come up while you're wearing contact lenses.


Common Causes of Contact Lens Mishaps

Before we get into the specific ways you can correct common contact lens issues, it's important to make sure you're not doing anything on a regular basis that could increase your chances of dealing with them.

The following are some common practices that lead to irritation, stuck lenses, and other lens problems:


Improper Care

Are you taking proper care of your lenses? Chances are you might have one or two bad habits. In a study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 99% of those surveyed admitted to having at least one bad habit when it came to contact lens hygiene! If you don't clean your contact lenses properly, or if you have a habit of letting them dry out, you're more likely to deal with stuck lenses and other issues when you wear them.

You're also more prone to irritation and discomfort if you don't wash your hands thoroughly before inserting your lenses.

Cleaning your lenses regularly with contact solution (never use tap water) and storing them in their case can go a long way in keeping them (and your eyes) safe.


Forgetting to Replace Lenses Regularly

It's also important to replace your contact lenses regularly, whether you have disposable lenses or extended-wear lenses. Pay attention to the replacement schedule that your doctor recommends and stick to it.

If you find yourself reusing lenses because you run out of them, consider arranging to have them auto-shipped to your house. That way, you don't have to worry about remembering to reorder them.


Poor Fit

If you're regularly dealing with pain or other issues with your contacts - despite cleaning and handling them properly - they may be the wrong size. Visit your eye doctor about getting them adjusted so that they fit more comfortably.

woman blowing on dandelions spreading pollen in the air

Environmental Allergen Exposure

If there's a lot of dust, pollen, dander or other common allergens in the air, you could end up with redness, dryness, and other issues. This is because it's easy for these particles to stick to your lenses.

You can wear contacts while dealing with allergies, but you may need to take some extra precautions to avoid discomfort.


Eye Infections

Finally, eye infections caused by bacteria can make your contact lenses extremely uncomfortable. If you've tried every other potential remedy and your lenses are still bothering you, visit your doctor to rule out an infection or get medicine to clear it up.


How to Fix Contact Lens Mishaps

Now, it's time to get down to business. If you're dealing with a stuck contact lens or another common issue, here's a step-by-step guide on how to fix the problem.


Stuck Contact Lens

A stuck contact lens is often caused by dryness. Dryness can be brought on by napping in your contacts, not cleaning them properly, or being exposed to allergens.

If your contact lens is stuck, the first thing to do is wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Then, figure out where your lens is located on your eye. Hold your eye open and look closely in the mirror to find it.

Once you've located your lens, rinse your eye with a saline solution. Then close your eye and gently massage your eyelid.

woman rinsing her eye with saline solution

When you feel the contact move, gently coax it toward the center of your eye. Continue rinsing with the solution and massaging your eyelid until it gets to a place where you can easily remove it.


Torn Contact Lens

If you're dealing with a lot of pain or discomfort, remove your lens and check for tears. If you notice one, don't put your lens back in. This could scratch your cornea and increase your risk of infection.

Throw away the torn lens as soon as possible.

It's also not a good idea to put a new lens back in right away. Give your eyes a break and wear glasses for a few hours or days instead.

Be on the lookout for signs of a corneal abrasion (scratch), too. Common symptoms include redness, a "gritty" feeling on the eye, and sensitivity to light. If you notice any of these signs, don't put your lenses back in. Make an appointment with your eye doctor right away.


Burning or Stinging

If you're feeling a burning or stinging sensation while wearing your contacts, exposure to allergens could be to blame. If you don't live in a place where there are lots of allergens in the air, you may also have developed a sensitivity to your contact lens solution.

Try switching to a cleaner that doesn't contain any preservatives and using lubricating eye drops for extra moisture. It's also best to take a break from your contact lenses if you're struggling with a lot of burning or stinging.

If the issues persist, visit your eye doctor to rule out more serious issues like abrasions or infections.


Contact Lens is Inside Out

If you put your contact lens in inside out, you'll know right away. You'll likely experience a lot of discomfort, and it may also pop out shortly after you put it in.

This issue happens most often to new contact lens wearers who are still getting the hang of putting their lenses in.

To avoid putting them in inside out, place it on the tip of your finger with the edges pointing up (be sure to wash and dry your hands thoroughly, first). Once you've placed it on your finger, look at the lens from the side and make sure the edges aren't flaring out. It should form a perfect cup shape.

contact lenses with drops on blue background