Contact lenses are a very popular, versatile, and convenient way to correct a wide range of vision problems. While they are designed to go into and come out of the eye easily, there are none-the-less going to be times a contact lens gets stuck in your eye. When this happens, it can be just as uncomfortable and irritating as it is worrying.
People who are relatively new to wearing contact lenses are understandably prone to having one get stuck in their eye. Though even some people who have been using contact lenses for years will occasionally have one get stuck.
In a time like this, it is best to keep a cool head and use the following information and tips to help remove the stuck contact lens.
What Causes A Stuck Contact Lens?
There are a few different things that can cause a contact lens to get stuck in your eye. This is particularly likely to happen if you have a bad habit of not taking good care of them, frequently sleeping with your contact lenses in your eyes or you have another eye condition that causes dry eye. People who struggle with chronic or acute dehydration can be increasingly prone to having a stuck contact lens.
Relationship Between Dehydration, The Eyes & Contact Lenses
The eyes have a high moisture content. As such, they can be very prone to dehydration and other conditions that can cause dry eyes. When the moisture content of the eyeball starts to dry out, it can make a contact lens increasingly likely to get stuck to the surface of the eye on or near the lens.
In a situation like this, you might be tempted to grab some eye drops. This might work in a pinch, but you could accidentally apply too much eye drop solution, which could possibly wash the contact lens lose in a way that makes it equally difficult to remove.
If you have the time, and you strongly suspect that dehydration is the primary cause of your stuck contact lens, then you might want to try drinking some water and waiting for 20 to 30 minutes. Something high in electrolytes like a sports drink might help boost hydration levels, as could something as simple as eating a banana with a glass of water.
Can A Stuck Contact Lens End Up Behind The Eyelid?
The human eyelid is designed to keep material of any kind from migrating to the back of, or behind the eyeball. Though it is possible for a stuck or loosened, yet stuck contact lens to get stuck near the edge of the eyelid, in a way that is both uncomfortable as well as hard to deal with.
Are Some Types Of Contact Lens More Prone To Getting Stuck?
In general, a soft contact lens is more likely to get stuck in or on the surface of the eye than a gas permeable contact lens. Though it is indeed possible for both types of contact lens to get stuck on the eye. It’s also worth noting that you might need to use different methods to remove a soft contact lens is very different from removing a rigid gas permeable lens.
Preparing To Remove A Stuck Contact Lens
While there might be different methods to try depending on the type of contact lens, there are a few early steps that are universal when it comes to removing a stuck contact lens.
Step One: Don’t panic, and keep a cool head.
Step Two: If you think dehydration is part of the problem drink some water or a sports drink, then wait 20 to 30 minutes.
Step Three: Thoroughly wash your hands. Then collect any necessary supplies like your contact lens kit, contact lens solution, or rewetting solution.
Best Way To Remove A Soft Contact Lens From Your Eye
After you have checked your hydration level, washed your hands, and collected all your necessary supplies, you can set to work trying to remove a stuck soft contact lens from your eye. If possible, it helps if the stuck soft contact is already centered on your cornea.
Apply a small volume of rewetting solution, then close your eye. Wait a minute or two and then gently massage your eyelid until you feel the contact lens release. It’s important to note the word “Gently” here. If you are too aggressive you could irritate your eye and possibly damage the stuck soft contact lens.
If your eyes start watering heavily, it can make getting the stuck contact lens out a little more difficult. In a moment like this, try gently wiping your tears away before attempting to remove the stuck lens with the tip of a thoroughly washed finger.
Best Way To Remove A Stuck Gas Permeable Contact Lens From Your Eye
When it comes to removing a stuck gas permeable contact lens, you need to take a different approach. It’s important to note that the same “Gentle Eyelid Massage” used to help release a stuck soft contact lens could cause abrasions on your eye, irritate the eyelid and potentially even damage the gas permeable contact lens!
Instead, it might be possible to use a tiny suction cup to remove the stuck gas permeable contact lens from your eye. If you don’t happen to have one, try applying some rewetting contact lens solution and holding your eye closed. Wait 10 to 20 minutes to see if the eyeball itself will gently rehydrate enough for the stuck gas permeable contact lens to release of its own accord.
When Should I Seek Medical Attention For A Stuck Contact Lens?
If thoughtful rehydration and the above steps don’t help release the stuck contact lens then you should consider seeking medical advice. A call to your eye doctor can help assess the severity of the problem and any tips that might help release the stuck contact lens.
Tips For Preventing Stuck Contact Lenses
There are a few things you can do to help prevent suffering from a stuck contact lens. This includes taking good care of them and always storing them properly when the contact lenses aren’t being worn. If possible try to avoid sleeping in your contact lenses, as this increases the chances of them getting stuck on the surface of the eye. If possible, try to avoid wearing your contact lenses when dealing with an eye infection like conjunctivitis.