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  • Writer's pictureAtanas Bogoev M.D. and Maria Cholakova

Is There a Contact Lens Lost in Your Eye?

Contact lens wearers often live with a subtle fear of losing a contact lens in their eye or it getting behind the eyeball. That feeling usually heightens in cases when the lenses are difficult to remove or hard to locate. In this article, we will explore the truth behind this fear. We will also shed light on the steps you can take to address any concerns you may have.

Table of Content

The Reality of a Lost Contact Lens

The fear of losing a contact lens in the eye is somewhat irrational.

Due to the natural structure and anatomy of the eye, it is theoretically impossible for a contact lens to get lost behind the eyeball or stay stuck inside.

The conjunctiva, a thin membrane lining the inner surface of the eyelids and covering the sclera (the white part of the eye), acts as a barrier to prevent foreign objects from entering the eye.

However, keep in mind contact lenses can occasionally move around or dislodge during wear. Such a situation may result in discomfort, scratchy feeling, or blurry vision.

If this happens, the lens typically rests on the surface of the eye or migrates under the eyelid.

In these cases, it is possible to locate and remove the "lost" lens easily with the proper technique. Sometimes you may need the help of a professional (emergency doctor or eye doctor).

Why a Contact Lens Might Get Stuck Under the Eyelid

Sometimes, a contact lens might feel like it's stuck under your eyelid. This can happen because the eye is a sensitive and well-protected organ.

Each of us has a natural blink reflex. Meaning that when something touches the eye or around it, the body's natural response is to blink. This reflex causes the eyelid to close quickly, trapping the contact lens underneath the eyelid.

Another factor, potentially contributing to a contact to get stuck under the top or bottom eyelid, is eye shape. It isn't perfectly flat and has a little curve, like a hill. Sometimes the shape can make the contact lens get caught in the fold of the eyelid instead of going onto the eye's surface.

Moisture and friction are other big contributing factors to having a contact lens lost under the eyelid. The eye surface is wet, which makes the lens stick to it. But the inside of the eyelid is also wet, and sometimes the lens may stick there instead of moving over the eye.

contact lens lost in eye

Steps to Address Concerns

Here is what to do and how to remove a contact lens stuck in the eye:

  1. Relax and stay calm

  2. Wash your hands

  3. Examine your eye in the mirror

  4. Blink and flush with artificial tears or saline solution

It's only natural to worry if you think a contact lens is out of place, but staying calm is crucial. Anxiety can make it more challenging to locate and remove the lens.

Before attempting to take the contact out, make sure to thoroughly wash and dry your hands. This step ensures cleanliness and reduces the risk of introducing contaminants into your eyes.

Next, examine your eye in a well-lit area using a mirror. Gently lift your upper and lower eyelids to look for any signs of the contact lens on the surface of your eye. You can use a clean finger or damp cotton swab to move the lens into view.

If you still cannot locate the contact lens, try blinking several times or use artificial tears or sterile saline solution to rinse your eye. These actions ought to dislodge the lens and bring it to a more accessible position.

When to Seek Professional Assistance?

If you fear there is a contact lens lost in your eye but you can't find it, do not hesitate to seek medical help immediately. The longer a lens stays under the eyelid, the more risks there are of eye infection, inflammation, abrasion of the cornea, or other complications.

If you can see the lens but are unable to take it out, try to moisturize your eye with artificial tears and try again. Be careful not to scratch your eye in the process. In case you are still struggling, get in touch with your eye care professional. They have the expertise and tools necessary to examine your eye thoroughly and safely retrieve the lens.

Preventive Measures for Contact Lens Wearers

To minimize the risk of dislodging a contact lens or losing it during wear, consider the following preventive measures:

  • Follow proper lens insertion and removal techniques

  • Avoid rubbing your eyes vigorously, as this can dislodge the lenses

  • Adhere to the wearing schedule recommendation for your specific type of contact lenses

  • Keep your contact lenses clean and properly disinfect them according to the manufacturer's instructions

  • Attend routine eye examinations to ensure the health of your eyes

In summary...

While the fear of a contact lens getting lost in your eye is understandable, we must recognize the structure and protective mechanisms of the eye make such a scenario highly unlikely. By remaining calm, following proper techniques, and seeking medical assistance, you can address any concerns and continue enjoying the benefits of clear vision with contact lenses.

Checked by Atanas Bogoev, MD.

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