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Can a Contact Get Lost in Your Eye?

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Dr. Marc Weinstein

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Many people worry about contacts getting lost in their eyes — but don’t worry, that’s not possible.

However, lenses can shift out of place and become temporarily stuck, and that can cause problems if not addressed.

Here’s the good news: with a few simple precautions, you can comfortably wear contacts and avoid stuck lenses. Here’s everything you should know about safely using contacts.

How do Contacts Get Stuck?

A stuck contact lens is uncomfortable, but it’s not typically a major problem. (You should contact an eye doctor if a lens is stuck in your eye and you can’t remove it safely.)

Contacts get stuck for many reasons, including rubbing the eyes while wearing lenses. In this case, the lens can fold over itself and end up stuck beneath your lower or upper eyelid. You can generally fix this by closing your eye and gently massaging it, pushing the lens out from under the lid.

Sleeping while wearing contacts is another big culprit. This is usually a problem among gas permeable contact lens wearers (GP lenses). Unlike a soft contact lens, GP lenses are firm and reusable. However, they have to be removed and cleaned at night. Leaving them in while you sleep leads to bacteria build-up and dryness, which could result in a stuck lens.

The same problem applies to soft lenses. Your eyes are exposed to particles in the air throughout the day. Eyes are good at cleaning out these particles, but adding contacts to the mix can cause trouble. Without removing your contacts at night, the lenses can grow bacteria and get stuck to your eyes.

Finally, contact lenses can get stuck if you deal with dry eyes. Contacts are designed with moisture in mind. If they get too dry as a result of dry eyes, the lens can become hard to remove.

How Can I Reduce the Risk of Getting Contacts Stuck in Eye?

So how do you avoid contacts getting stuck? The first rule is simple: don’t sleep while wearing contacts. Wearing contacts overnight increases the risk of stuck lenses and even infections. It’s not worth it.

Next, reduce the risk of stuck lenses by being mindful of how you touch your eyes. It’s completely normal to rub your closed eyes occasionally, but that can cause problems while wearing contacts. Be careful around your contacts, just like you’d be careful around a pair of glasses. Avoid excessively touching your eyes throughout the day, and be gentle when you do touch them. (Many people rub their eyes if they feel sore or irritated. You should talk to a medical professional if you regularly experience discomfort while wearing contacts.)

Lastly, you can avoid stuck lenses by addressing dry eyes. Talk to your doctor about eye dryness to get the best treatment. Your health care provider may recommend using eye drops to moisturize your eyes, which can reduce the risk of stuck lenses.

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You can avoid stuck contact lenses by following a few simple rules, including taking them out at night and maintaining healthy eye moisture.

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