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Insertion & Removal of Contact Lenses

Here are some tips and tricks for proper soft contact lens insertion and removal . These are a general guidelines - remember, contact lenses are medical devices and should be properly fit by your eye care professional including the prescription, specific lens brand/parameters/modality, wear-time, and solution. Contact lens misuse, and abuse, can lead to serious complications including infection and permanent vision loss. Please follow the instructions provided to you by your eyecare provider. 

For a video reference, check out:

How To Apply And Remove Contact Lenses - YouTube

Wash Your Hands

Before handling your contact lenses, wash your hands (preferably with unscented, non-moisturizing soap), be sure to rinse well and dry your hands with a lint-free towel.


Rinse the Contact Lens

Remove the Contact lens from the blister pack or lens case - typically the eye corresponding with your dominant hand (i.e., right lens if you are re right-handed or left if you are left-handed). This can help to avoid mixing up the lenses if you have differing prescriptions for each eye. Next, rinse the lens well with fresh solution or the solution from the blister pack (not from the storage case for multiday lenses). NEVER use tap water to rinse your lenses.


Inspect the Contact Lens

Place the contact lens on the index finger (or which ever finger you find easiest to insert the lens with) of you dominate hand. First check that the lens is clean and there is no damage to the lens. Next, make sure that the lens is oriented correctly on your finger, using the Bowl Test (when viewing from the side the lens should look like a bowl, if the sides of the lens are flared out the lens is inverted.)


Placing Your Contact Lens

  • Hold your upper eye lashes (not the lid) with your non-dominant hand to help prevent blinking

  • Gently pull your bottom lid down with one or two fingers of your dominate hand with the lens already in place on the tip of your finger.

  • Focus on a steady point with your other eye

  • Gently place the lens on your central cornea, or if its more comfortable, look up and place the lens just below the cornea (with this be sure to move your eye around to make sure the lens ends up on your cornea).


Check and Confirm

After the contact lens is fully in place, move your fingers away from your eye and try to slowly blink. This will help to prevent the lens from popping back off or moving away from the cornea.


Removing Your Lens - Wash Your Hands

Before handling your contact lenses, wash your hands (preferably with unscented non-moisturizing soap), be sure to rinse well and dry your hands with a lint-free towel.


Remove Your Contact Lenses

  • Confirm that the lens is resting directly on the cornea.

  • Gently pull the bottom lid down, look up and carefully slide the contact lens down to the white part of the eye. Newer contact lens wearers may find it easier to also secure the upper eyelid as well with your non-dominant hand.

  • Carefully squeeze the lens between you thumb and index finger to remove the lens. Be sure to use the pads of your fingers, not your fingernails, to avoid scratching/abrading your eye. If you have long fingernails you might have to cut them down while, particularly as a new wearer.


Dispose of the Lens (For Daily or at then end of the time frame for the Multi-Wear lenses)

Collect your contact lens waste (blister pack, foil and contact lens itself) in a ziplock bag and, when full, bring it back to Cordova Bay Optometry for recycling (they will be made into reusable plastics for such products as park benches!). If unable to participate our contact lens recycling program, please dispose of the lens in the garbage. NEVER THROW THE LENSES DOWN THE DRAIN as they may become a microplastic in the ocean.


Clean and Disinfect the Lens (Only for Multi-Wear Contact Lenses)

  • Place one lens in the palm of your hand with a couple of drops of fresh contact lens solution on it.

  • Gently rub the lens back and forth with your index finger for 20 seconds.

  • After rubbing, rinse the lens in your prescribed contact lens solution to disinfect the lens.


Store the Contact Lenses (For Multi-Wear Lenses)

  • Fill the contact lens storage case with fresh solution - never top up old solution. Place the clean lenses into the case. Also be sure to rinse out you case every use, store them open and upside down in a dry clean place. Replace the storage case every 3 months.


Other Pro Tips:

  • Don’t wear contact lenses on days when you are feeling unwell, or your eyes are red. Instead opt for your glasses instead.

  • If you rip a contact lens, do not put it on you eye.

  • Put on your contact lenses on before you put on your makeup, and remove the lenses before removing your makeup

  • Do not wear expired contact lenses. The expiration date can be found on the box as well as the blister pack.

  • Never sleep with your contact lenses in, including naps. If you accidentally fall asleep with your contact lenses in, we recommend moisturizing your eyes with a contact lens safe artificial tear prior to removing the lens, as they may have become stuck to your eye.

  • Never use contact lenses in water (ex: sauna, hot tubs, pools, showers).

Let's Work Together 

Created by eye care specialist Bausch + Lomb and recycler TerraCycle, contact lens wearers can now recycle their lenses and blister packs. Just collect your used contact lenses, blister packs and foils and bring them to your closest participating eyecare provider (including us!). Once collected, the contact lenses and blister packs are cleaned and separated by material type. The materials are recycled into raw formats that manufacturers use to make new products.

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