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    How to Put In Contact Lenses

    Reviewed By Brenda Pagan-Duran MD
    Edited By David Turbert
    Apr. 18, 2023

    Are you a new contact lens user? Here are steps to safely and successfully put contacts in your eyes.

    1. Wash hands (but don’t use soaps that have added oils or fragrances as they can stick to the surface of the lens)
    2. Gently shake the lens storage case to loosen the contact lens if it is sticking to the container. Carefully slide the lens into your hand. Use your fingertips (not your nails) to handle the lens.
    3. Fully rinse the lens with contact lens solution. Do not use tap water to rinse the lens.
    4. Place the contact lens on the tip of your pointer (index) or middle finger of your dominant hand (the hand you write with). Look closely at the lens to check for torn or damaged areas. Also, make sure it the lens is right-side-out. If the lens forms a bowl and the edges turn up, it is ready to be placed on the eye. If the lens looks like a lid (edges turn out), it needs to be reversed.
    5. Hold your upper eyelid open with your other (non-dominant) hand while looking in the mirror. Hold down your lower eyelid with your middle or ring finger of the dominant hand (whichever finger is not holding the contact lens). Or, you may also use your thumb and fingers of your non-dominant hand to open your upper and lower eyelids very wide instead.
    6. Place the lens on your eye. You can look in front of you or up toward the ceiling while putting the lens in.
    7. Close your eyes slowly and roll them in a full circle to help settle the lens properly in place. You may also gently massage your closed eyelid. Then open your eyes and gently blink a few times. Look in a mirror to see if the lens is centered on your eye. 

    If the lens is inserted and centered properly in your eye, your eye should feel comfortable and you should be able to see clearly.

    Remember: when you are ready to remove your contacts, always start by washing your hands.

    Helpful tips for new contact lens users

    • As a beginner contact lens user, consider keeping your fingernails short to prevent accidentally scratching your eye.
    • Always put the first contact lens in the same eye, either left or right. That way you won’t mix up the lenses for the right eye and left eye.
    • Keep your eyes moist and healthy so dry eyes don’t bother you. Use rewetting drops as your eye doctor recommends. Drink lots of water. And don’t forget to blink when using a computer, smart phone or watching TV.

    Can you lose a contact lens in the back of your eye?

    No. You cannot lose your contact lens in the back of your eye. This is because there is a membrane back there connecting your eye to your eyelid.