• Why can’t I remove my RGP contact lens?


    Question:

    I have worn rigid contacts for 40 years and normally have no trouble removing contacts. However, one of the contacts in my newer pair is very difficult to pop out. The other contact pops out on the first try, like they have for 40 years. But the one which pops out easily slides off the center of my eye, sometimes getting painfully stuck and other times even comes completely out when I blink normally. What might cause these issues? Could the base curves be incorrect?

     


    Answer:

    Rigid gas permeable (RGP) corneal contact lenses are designed to freely move inside the eye, but they should re-center with each blink. They float on a bed of tears that allows them to move without damaging the eye. If your contact lens gets stuck, or if it pops out easily with blinking, then both the lubrication of the eye and the fit of the lens needs to be reexamined.

    For the eye where the lens is stuck, you can try to re-lubricate the eye with artificial tears or sterile saline. In some cases, the lens is very difficult to remove and your eye doctor can show you how to use a suction device called a “plunger” to safely remove the lens. For the lens that pops out too easily, you should return to your eye doctor to reexamine the fit of the lens.  It may be that the base curve of the lens needs to be adjusted, or you may need to be switched to a different type of contact lens such as a scleral lens.


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