Top Tips and Hacks to Get Over Your Fear of Contact Lenses
With millions of wearers around the world, contact lenses are one of the most convenient and easiest to use methods of vision correction. And with the world slowly returning to normality again, many of us are once again reaching for our contacts instead of our glasses.
However despite being loved by many for their ease and convenience, the process of inserting and removing contact lenses can be a tricky task - even feared by some with many avoiding wearing them completely due to horror stories often featured in the media.
With this in mind, Lenstore has teamed up with expert optometrist Roshni Patel, BSC (Hons) MCOptom and Yorkshire lifestyle and health Instagrammer, Hayley Anne to highlight their top tips on making the experience of using contact lenses as stress-free and simple as possible.
Optometrist reveals top tips when inserting and removing contact lenses
Experiencing fear while inserting your contact lenses is much more common than you may think, with so many of us struggling with the process. Lenstore’s expert optometrist Roshni Patel, BSC (Hons) MCOptom suggests this step-by-step guide for inserting and removing contact lenses:
Inserting contact lenses
- Always use paper towels to dry the hands (after washing) as this avoids getting fluff/lint on the fingers, which can transfer onto the lens.
- Check the lens for any rips or tears before inserting. Discard if any are spotted.
- Once the lens is in, do not let go of the upper lid straight away (the upper lid is strong and by letting go you can blink the lens out), instead let go of the lower lid and look down, left and right (helps remove air bubbles) and then gently lower the upper lid.
- If the lens is feeling uncomfortable (feels like there is something under the lens) hold your lids again, use your finger to slide the lens onto the white of the eye and give it a little massage. They can then slide the lens back on the cornea.
- Always get into the habit of putting the lens in the same eye each day - for example, if you decide to insert the lens in the right eye first, carry on doing that every day (this avoids mixing up the lenses if the prescription is different).
- If the lenses are feeling really uncomfortable and the eyes are red, just remove the lenses and wear glasses. If the redness still persists after an hour or so, speak to your optician.
- If using reusable lenses, once the lenses have gone in in the morning, discard any solution in the lens case and let it air dry. Do not rinse it with tap water. If you want to rinse your case, use the contact lens solution you have been provided with.
Removing contact lenses
- If using reusable contact lenses, never top-up solution in the case with a new solution. The solution in the contact lens case should be discarded as soon as the lenses go in, leaving the case to air dry. When removing them in the evening, the best way to keep your lenses clean is by filling up the cases with fresh solution.
- Check the lenses for any rips and tears. Daily lenses get binned regardless, but if they are reusables, bin them straight away, as they should not be going back into the eyes.
- If you are struggling to remove the lenses, chances are that they have dried out a little after a long period of wear. Adding eye drops can sometimes surprisingly make it even harder to remove the lens straight away (as it reduces the friction on the lens for gripping). In this situation, you should either:
- Use lubricating drops, but wait 15 mins before trying to remove
- Use the lower lid to gently massage/nudge the bottom edge of the contact lens for 10-15 seconds. This will help loosen up the lens.
Debunking the greatest contact lens myth - losing them behind your eye
Roshni Patel states, commonly the biggest contact lens myth is the fear the lens will go behind their eye – although she adds this is not physically possible as there is a membrane around the eye that prevents it. The worst case is that the lens is just folded up and trapped under the upper lid.
The best thing to do in this situation is to gently massage the upper lid in a downwards motion to help bring the lens down. If this does not work, just pop into the opticians, and they can easily help remove it.
Instagrammer Hayley Anne reveals her top tips for inserting and removing contact lenses
Hayley has been a contact lens wearer for six years but previously had a fear of inserting them, stating, “I was nervous that I would use them incorrectly and somehow cause damage or infection to my eyes”. However, after educating herself on proper contact lens care and practicing the process, she now loves wearing them and has even said they have helped make her feel more confident. Hayley followed Roshni’s tips, and shared some of her own tips she’s learned along the way. To see how she got on, watch the video below.
Hayley’s top tips:
- Always carrying a mirror and some eye drops when out and about wearing contact lenses.
- Ensure you have the right lens prescription and eye matched up as well as checking the lens is positioned the right way up.
- Look directly at the contact lenses when inserting them to ensure the lens is in the correct position.
In conclusion: don’t be nervous, take your time and practice
Although the prospect may be daunting at first, the process of wearing contact lenses is really nothing to be scared of. Allowing yourself time to adjust to the process and taking things at your own pace is important. By applying these tips and repeating the process your confidence will grow significantly, both in wearing lenses and in yourself.