Almost fifty million people wear contact lenses, in the United States alone. Strangely, almost two-thirds of those people are women.
The average age of contact wearers is 31, which means you’ll probably need them sometime in your life. If you just got a prescription, you’re probably wondering how to put in contact lenses.
We’ve got your answers here!
How to Put in Contact Lenses
It’s only scary the first couple of times. After that, it’s a breeze. Ace your first try with the ten steps below.
1. Wash Your Hands
Your eyes are sensitive membranes. They have an eyelid and eyelashes for the sole reason of protecting them from foreign objects.
But what about when you’re inserting a foreign object (contact lens) into your eye? You use your finger for the best dexterity and ease of use.
You need to wash your hands before you touch your eye. There are approximately 3,000 bacteria on your hands at any time. Don’t put that in with your lens!
2. Take out Your Lens
If you have different prescriptions for your eyes, make sure you’re getting ready to put the right lens in. Take it out of the solution and place it on your clean index finger.
Use the finger that matches your dominant hand, so right index finger if you’re right-handed, etc.
Don’t use your nail to scoop out the lens. It can damage the soft plastic and make it uncomfortable to wear or see through.
Check to make sure the lens is clear. Do you see any debris or dust? If so, pour some fresh contact solution over it.
Make a note to change your contact solution in your case if your lens was dirty
3. Make Sure It’s Right Side up
When your contact sits on your finger, it should look like a bowl or a sphere cut in half. You do not want the sides wavy or flaring out.
If they’re not cupped and smooth, it’s inside out.
If you’re having trouble getting the contact to stay on your finger, put a little solution on your finger pad. It’ll give the contact something to hold on to.
4. Pull Your Eye Apart
That’s not as violent as it sounds. To put in your contact lens, you need to make sure your eye is as open and ready as possible.
With your contact-holding hand, pull your lower lid down by placing your finger about half an inch below your lower lid. Use your middle finger, the one next to the finger holding your contact.
Then, with your other hand, pull your upper lid up by placing another finger a little lower than your eyebrow.
During this process, look straight ahead. Try to not focus the eye that you’re about to put the contact in. That will help you not freak out when your finger comes towards your eye in the next step.
5. Place the Contact In
When you put your contact in, you want to make sure it’s right over your iris.
The iris is the colored part of your eye that sits around your pupil, the black spot in the middle.
Your finger should already be close to your eye, as you’re holding it open with your closest finger. Take a deep breath before you start moving towards your open eye.
You want to use a stead and efficient motion up and into your eye with the contact-holding finger. Place your contact over your pupil and press gently.
You’re only pressing until you feel the contact lens adhere to your eye. This is a tiny amount of pressure, you shouldn’t feel like you’re rubbing your eye.
6. Move It Around
To make sure your contact is centered, take your finger away from it and look in the mirror. Do you see the ring of your contact around your iris?
The eye is self-correcting, so if you’re not feeling like it’s in the right place, close your eye. Blink a few times and see if it falls into place.
If you’ve blinked and it still feels off, look up, down, then from left to right without moving your head. This moves the eyeball itself and should settle the contact into place.
If you need to adjust it further, place your fingers on your eye again like they were when you put it in.
7. Blink Slowly
Once it feels like it’s in place, blink slowly and deliberately. This helps lubricate the contact lens so your eye doesn’t get dry.
It also uses the pressure and traction of your eyelid to ensure the contact is in place. If you blink and you feel the contact dislodge, you may have to start the process again.
8. Start over If Need Be
If you find that you’re in pain or it doesn’t feel centered, start over. Make sure you rinse the contact lens in fresh solution again.
If you’ve touched the counter or mirror (etc) with your hand, wash it again before picking up the contact.
9. Repeat with the Other Lens
If you haven’t touched anything but your eye, great! You can start with the other lens and skip washing your hands.
If you don’t want to wash them twice, make sure you’re not resting your fingers on the counter or sink when you’re in between application steps.
Start with step one on the other eye, so you can see out of both!
10. Keep Eyedrops with You
Contacts can irritate and dry out your eye, even if you get the Perfect Lens. Keep a bottle of lubricating tears with you at all times.
You can buy some at the drugstore, but your eye doctor will happily give you a few sample bottles. Throw one in your purse, car, pocket etc. in case things start to itch.
Leave It Alone!
As you go through your day, don’t mess with your contact. If you find you need to readjust it, try giving it some lubricating drops first.
It may fix itself with a little fluid. If you really need to fix it, wash your hands before you start the how to put in contact lenses process again.
Speaking of processes, do you want to learn more about health and fitness articles? Check out our lifestyle section.