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How to put in and take out contact lenses

Putting in and taking out your contact lenses can seem quite daunting for first-time contact lens wearers. Most people struggle with it at first, but it’ll become second nature once you get used to it.

This article takes look at several tips that will help you put in and remove your contact lenses safely and hygienically.

How to put in your contact lenses

  1. Find a clean and well-lit area with a mirror.
  2. Wash and dry your hands thoroughly before touching your eyes or handling your contact lenses. Antibacterial soap and lint-free towels are highly recommended.
  3. Check your contact lens is the correct way round. Place the lens on your index finger and examine the edges. If the edges of the lens are curved outward with a lip at the top, it is the wrong way round. Simply flip the edges around to get your contact lens ready to use.
  4. Use the hand with the contact lens already on to pull your lower lid down creating room for the contact lens to sit on the eye comfortably.
  5. Carefully pin back your upper lid and eyelashes using all four fingers of your free hand - make sure all eyelashes are securely out of the way.
  6. Watching the mirror, slowly and gently move your index finger towards the centre of your eye. Without blinking, place the contact lens directly onto the centre of the eyeball or onto the white of the eye just below - whatever feels best for you.
  7. Before releasing your eyelids, slowly move your eyes around and look in different directions to centre the contact lens.
  8. Slowly release both lids and blink a few times to let the lens settle.
  9. Once your vision has settled and you feel comfortable, repeat the steps for your other eye.

How to take out your contact lenses

  1. Wash and dry your hands thoroughly before touching your eyes or handling your contact lenses.
  2. Gently pull your lower lid down with your middle finger, creating room for your index finger and thumb.
  3. Carefully pin back your upper lid and lashes with your free hand, making sure all eyelashes are securely out of the way.
  4. Use your index finger and thumb to gently slide the contact lens on to the white of the eye just below where your contact lens normally sits. Very gently, squeeze each side of the lens between your index finger and thumb to lift the lens away.
  5. Slowly release both lids and repeat for the other eye.

If you wear daily lenses, throw them away once you’ve taken them out. If you wear two-weekly or monthly lenses, storing and caring for your lenses properly is essential for good eye health.

If you're still having issues, contact your local optician for face-to-face advice.