When you first start wearing contacts, it can be difficult to keep your hands away from your eyes. Not only will rubbing your eyes cause your contacts to get dirty, but if you rub too hard you could lose your contacts in your eye. This moment is terrifying – but don’t start panicking right away. The contacts can’t go very far – so they won’t cause any damage.

Moisten Your Eye

As soon as you’ve lost your contact, you should aim to fix the problem. The longer it goes unresolved, the more uncomfortable it will become. Start by lubricating your eye. Use rewetting drops or saline solution to loosen the contact. However, you should not use tap water. This can irritate your eye further.

Look the Other Way

When your contacts get lost, you may be able to see or feel where it is hiding. It will hopefully become more clear after you have moistened your eye. One you think you have located the contact look in the opposite direction. If you think it is in the right corner of your eye – look to the left. Similarly, if you think it is above your eyelid – look as far down as possible. If you find it, you can grab it with clean hands.

If you are moving your eyes around but still aren’t finding the contact, a flashlight may be able to help. Most contacts have a small blue ring around the outside. This is so you can find the contact in these situations. Have a friend or family member shine the light near your eye and look for the blue ring. If you find the contact but it is too far over to grab, add a little more solution to your eye then slowly drag the contact back in place before removing it.

When in Doubt, Call a Doctor

If your contact is really far in the back of your eye, it can take hours for it to come out. Generally, your body will know the contact is a foreign object and will utilize mucus to push it out. However, if you are extremely uncomfortable or haven’t seen the contact in several hours, it may be time to call the doctor. Eye doctors have seen this before and can walk you through the best options for your situation.

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