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  • Writer's pictureMaria Cholakova

What to Do If You Can't Get Your Contact Lens Out?

Updated: Oct 23, 2023

Do you have trouble removing a contact lens from your eye? Are you frustrated or in pain from all the failed attempts to take the lens out? Maybe it's time to take a break from irritating your eyes, take a deep breath and read this short informative article.


Here we will tell you what to do in order to remove your contacts, how to ease the discomfort, and when it is time to escalate the matter and ask for medical assistance.


Table of Content:


Easy Guide to Get Your Contact Lens Out by Yourself


Removing contact lenses could be hard. Especially if you have been trying to do that for a while without a result. Well, we are here to ask you to try one more time, following these doctor-approved steps of how to get your contact lens out:


Step 1: Wash your hands


Before attempting to remove your contact lenses, it is important to thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water. This will prevent the spread of bacteria and reduce the risk of infection. Make sure to dry your hands thoroughly with a clean towel before proceeding.


Step 2: Relax your eyes


If you are struggling to remove your contact lenses, it may be because your eyes are tense or dry. To help relax your eyes, try closing them and gently massaging the lids in a circular motion. Do not rub your eyes!


Step 3: Use eye drops


If your eyes are dry, you may find it difficult to remove your contact lenses. Using lubricating eye drops or artificial tears could moisten your eyes and make it easier to remove the lenses by hand. Simply place a few drops of the solution into your eyes and wait for a minute or two before attempting to remove the lenses again.


Step 4: Use techniques for removing a contact lens

The pinch and slide technique


The pinch and slide technique is a common method to get your contact lens out with ease. To do this, place your index finger and thumb on either side of the lens and gently pinch it. Then, slide the lens down towards the white of your eye and remove it. Be sure to do this slowly and carefully to avoid damaging your eye or the contact lens.


Suction cup technique

If the pinch and slide technique did not work and you are still having difficulty removing your contact lenses, try using a suction cup. It's the easiest way to take out your contact lenses. This small device grips the lens and helps you remove it from your eye. To use a suction cup, simply place it on the lens and gently pull it away from your eye.


The suction cup is the best contact removal option for people with sensory problems and those who are reluctant to touch their eyeballs at all. It's also a solution if you need to take out contacts with long nails. Now you can do it without scratching your cornea or accidentally poking your eye.


You can purchase a suction cup to get your contact lenses out in any optician’s office or online store for eyewear and contacts.


If your lens got under your eyelid…


Look in a mirror and try to locate the contact lens. You may need to use a bright light to help you see better. With a clean finger, gently lift the upper eyelid and look down.

  • If the lens is on the upper part of your eye, try to move down it onto the white of your eye.

  • If the lens is on the lower part of your eye, use your lower eyelid to slide it up onto the white of your eye.

Put artificial tears to ease the process. Proceed with the pinch and slide technique or the suction cup technique we mentioned above. The lens should get out easily.



Time to Seek Professional Medical Help


If you have tried all of the above steps and are still unable to remove your contact lenses, seek professional help. Your eye doctor or optometrist can provide you with specialized tools and techniques to safely remove the lenses without causing damage to your eyes.


In case the irritation and redness are too much for you to handle or you cannot find the contact lens in your eye at all, here is what to do:

  • Use artificial tears to temporarily soothe the pain

  • Get to a doctor’s office or an emergency room

A lost contact lens in the eye is typically not a cause of serious concern if you react fast! The good news is, you can’t really lose a contact lens behind your eyeball. This is physically not possible, so put this eye health myth to rest.


The lost lens in your eye is probably scrunched up somewhere under your eyelid. An ophthalmologist or an ER doctor should be able to locate and remove it in a matter of seconds, without causing you any extra pain.

In some cases of lost contact lenses, the contact lens has fallen out of the eye on its own or the lens wearer has pushed or taken the lens out without even noticing. But due to the irritation, redness, and pain, they might feel a foreign body sensation and not realize that the contact lens is out and might think that the contacts are still in the eye.

With that in mind, if you have very long nails, please do not attempt to remove 'lost contacts' by yourself. The risk of scratching the surface of your eye is very high. That would cause you more pain and might even lead to more serious or long-term eye problems.


In summary...


We understand that getting a contact lens stuck in your eye is an uncomfortable experience. And it is even more frustrating trying to get your contact lens out. However, in most cases, with the right techniques and tools, it is possible to safely remove the lens and avoid any potential complications.


Remember to always wash your hands thoroughly before attempting to remove your contact lenses and to use gentle and steady pressure when manipulating the lens. If you find that you are unable to get it out on your own, do not hesitate to seek the help of an eye care professional.


Ophthalmology24 is here to ensure your contact lens-wearing experience is safe, comfortable, and hassle-free. We hope this guide has provided you with the information to successfully remove a contact lens from your eye.


All medical facts are checked by Atanas Bogoev M.D.

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