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How to Tell If a Contact Lens is Still in Your Eye

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A young woman removing her contact lens in front of a mirror.

If you wear contact lenses, you may have experienced the uneasy feeling of possibly having a lens stuck in your eye. 

The first thing to do is to check that the lens is still in your eye, as it might have just fallen out, leading you to believe it’s stuck under your eyelid. A good way to check if it’s still present is by looking at where the colored and white parts of your eye meet.

Due to the structure of your eye, your lens can’t get lost. If you continue to struggle to find your lens, it’s important to know when to seek help from your eye doctor.

Can You Lose a Contact Lens in Your Eye?

Is it possible to lose a contact lens in your eye? The short answer is no.

The interior surface of your eyelids is coated with a thin, moist layer known as the conjunctiva. This layer extends from the back of your eyelids, folding back to form the exterior covering of the white portion of your eyeball, also known as the sclera.

Due to the conjunctiva’s continuous structure that extends from your eyelids to the sclera, it becomes impossible for a contact lens to go astray and get lodged behind your eye.

Recognizing the Signs of a Stuck Contact Lens

Identifying the symptoms of a misplaced contact lens is the first step. You need to ascertain that the contact lens is still within your eye. The lens might have fallen out, leading you to assume it has simply moved under your eyelid mistakenly.

The contact lens can only travel as far as the fold in the conjunctiva beneath the upper eyelids, and it cannot get lost behind your eye. You can determine if a contact lens is still present by examining the juncture where your eye’s dark and white portions meet.

If you spot your contact lens but cannot move it, it might have lost its flexibility due to drying out, often resulting from sleeping or napping with your lenses or not maintaining them properly.

What to Do if Your Contact Lens Is Stuck or Lost

Navigating the situation when a contact lens is stuck or lost in your eye can be stressful. However, knowing the proper steps can mitigate panic and prevent potential eye harm. Here’s what you can do in each scenario.

If Your Contact Lens is Stuck

Avoid prying it off when attempting to remove a stuck contact lens, as this could scratch your cornea. Instead, moisturize your eye until the contact is easier to remove.

You can use rewetting drops or artificial tears designed for contact lens wearers to help float the lens and lubricate the eye, making removing it safer and more comfortable. If this method fails, consult an eye care professional.

If Your Contact Lens Disappears

If your contact lens seems to have disappeared, check the area of your eye where the colored and white parts meet.

If you still can’t locate it, try flipping your upper eyelid to see if it’s hiding there, then use saline drops to flush it out.

Your contact lens cannot get lost behind your eye due to the structure of your eye and eyelid. So, keep searching and rinsing. Contact an eye care professional if you cannot find or remove the contact lens.

A young man using artificial tears to help him remove his contact lens safely.

When to See a Doctor

If you’ve exhausted all your efforts and still can’t locate the contact lens, it’s time to schedule an appointment with an optometrist.

Persisting in trying to remove a stuck contact lens might cause more harm than good. So, if you cannot get it out, it’s advisable to stop and reach out to an eye care professional. They have the expertise to safely remove the lens and guide you on avoiding such situations in the future.

Moreover, it’s equally important to seek medical attention if your eye is highly irritated or red or if you suspect you’ve scratched or damaged your eye, regardless of whether you managed to remove your lens or not.

Remember, optometrists are there to help and can provide valuable advice on preventing your lenses from sticking to your eyes in the future.

Trust Crum Optometric Group for Your Eye Care Needs

Your eye health is crucial to your overall well-being. If you’re in the Chino Hills community and need assistance with a stuck contact lens or any other eye care needs, don’t hesitate to contact us at Crum Optometric Group.

We are committed to providing personalized, effective treatments to each of our patients. Schedule an appointment today, and let us help you maintain your vision health.

Written by Total Vision

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