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Can Contacts Get Lost in Your Eye?

Apr 10, 2008
For those who have never had contact lenses before, the thought of putting something in your eye, even to help with vision, can be rather scary. Fortunately, wearing contacts is not as bad as you might imagine. One of the common myths associated with contact lenses is that they can get slide behind your eye and get lost, which contributes to a lot of fear about using them!

Losing your contact lens in your eye isn't a big deal. First of all, the contact lens simply can't slide around the eyeball and into the space behind it. Your eyes are made to resist any intrusion. There is a transparent membrane that covers the inside of your eyelids called the conjunctiva. This membrane is very strong and it actually folds back to cover the front part of your eye. The white part of the eyeball is protected by the conjunctiva and it is literally impossible for a contact lens to just slide through it.

However, it is possible for your contact lens to get dislodged from its centralized position and become lodged under an eyelid. This can be pretty uncomfortable, if you have hard contact lenses. If this does happen, don't panic, it's a fairly simple maneuver to get the lens back into place and anyone can do it. Your contact lens won't get stuck under your eyelid unless there are other factors like chemicals in your eye as well.

First, locate the lens. If you aren't sure where it is, feel with your fingertip on the outside of the lids. Then look in the direction the contact lens is. For example, if the contact lens has moved up, look up. Since the lens cannot go behind the eye, this gives it the chance to reposition itself correctly. Most of the time, this is all you need to do in order to move the contact lens back into place. But sometimes it won't work, particularly if you wear hard contact lenses, which are more resistant to movement. In this case, you will need to manipulate the contact lens under the eyelid so that you can gently push it back out with your fingertip.

Don't worry, the contact lens can't get lost in your eye, only moved around a bit. There are a few reasons why a contact lens might shift out of position. Probably the most common is when you rub your eye carelessly. This can move the contact lens and lodge it under your eyelid, or even knock it right out of your eye! Care needs to be taken when rubbing your eye, rub around the contact lens if possible, rather than across the eye like you normally would.

If you are outdoors on a windy day, it is easier for the contact lens to move around, as well. The wind tends to make your eyes water and this, as well as any time you have excessive tears, can cause the lens to float, making it easier to dislodge when you blink. Sometimes the lens will actually fall out of your eye, but occasionally it will be caught under the eyelid during a blink and will need to be moved back into place.

When shifting your contact lens manually, take care not to press it into your eye. Scratches on the eye can be very painful, even if superficial and may make it impossible to wear contact lenses for some time. Being careful not to put yourself into situations where you may move your contact lens is probably the best way to avoid this problem. Don't rub your eyes too hard and be careful on windy days or anytime you tend to tear up, to avoid losing your contact lenses.
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