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Six Methods for Determining if Your Contact Lenses Are Inside Out

woman holding up index finger with contact lens

Learning to put contact lenses into your eyes is not difficult. However, figuring out if your contact lenses are inside out can be a bit trickier. That’s because contact lenses are thin and flexible, and can easily turn inside out. Sometimes, even those who’ve been wearing contacts for years have difficulty knowing if the lenses are correct.

Of course, putting your contacts on inside out causes discomfort, but doing that will not damage your eyes. That’s because contacts fit your eye’s surface. When inside out, they do not fit as well, however, they typically allow you to see just as well.

Some people do not notice their contacts are inside out until they’ve worn them for a while. Others notice right away. Some of the signs that you’ve put them in the wrong way include:

So, if you do get your contacts in wrong, simply remove them and try again. However, before you do, try one of these methods to be sure you put them in right the next time.

1. Side View

contact lenses on fingertip

The simplest method to determine if your contacts are the correct way is to look at them from the side. To do this, follow these simple steps:

  1. Place the contact lens on your fingertip. The edge should be facing up.
  2. Hold your finger close to your eye.
  3. Look at the shape of the contact. When it is correct, your contact lens will have the shape of a cup. The edges will curve upright. If your contact lens is inside out, it will have the shape of a rimmed bowl.

This method gets easier with experience. As you come to know what a correctly positioned contact looks like, you can easily spot one that is inside out.

2. Taco Test

contact lens folded like a taco to see if they are inside out

This is an older method many people used when soft contacts came to the general public. However, it is still popular today. That’s because it is easy to do. Here’s how.

  1. Hold the contact with the tips of your thumb and forefinger.
  2. Pinch the contact lens in half to form a taco shape.
  3. Look at the edge of the contact. If the edge looks like a taco shell, then your contact is facing the correct way. On the other hand, if the shape resembles a soup spoon, it is inside out.

3. The 1-2-3 Approach

girl with contact lens on finger

Determining if your contacts are inside out is challenging. That’s why some manufacturers have worked to solve the issue. They did so by putting the numbers one through three somewhere on the lens.

If you have contacts with these markings, here is how to determine if your contact is inside out:

4. Tinted Edges

contact lens on edge of storage case

Some contact lens manufacturers solved the problem differently. Rather than use numbers, they tinted the inside edges of the contacts. This tinting helps people wearing contacts put them in more easily.

For those contact lenses with a green or blue tinted edge, do the following to determine if they are inside out:

  1. Place your contact lens on your fingertip.
  2. Place your finger below your eyes so that you look down at the contact.
  3. Look for the tinted edge. If the edge looks tinted, then your contact is the correct way. If you do not see a tinted edge, then your contact is inside out.

The best way to determine if your contacts have markings or tinted edges is to check the manufacturer’s website.

5. Easy Flip Test

The word ‘Test’ in red puzzle pieces

This method works better with some contact lenses than with others. However, the idea behind the method is that contact lenses do not flip over easily when facing the right way. In contrast, it will flip quite easily when inside out.

  1. Hold your contact lens in your palm.
  2. With your other hand, try to flip your contact ‘inside out’.
  3. If you can invert your contact easily, then the contact was inside out already. On the other hand, if it is difficult to invert, your contact lens has the right orientation.

This method takes some practice. Try flipping your contacts until you see how they respond. Also, be sure to wash your contacts thoroughly after using this method because your fingers will touch the surface of the contacts.

6. Orientation of Daily Contact Lenses in Packaging

daily contact lenses in the package

This method works best when using daily contact lenses. It will work whenever you place contacts in for the first time, straight out of the package. The directions are very simple:

  1. Look at the orientation of the contact in the package.
  2. Keep the orientation the same way as you place the contact lens in your eye.

The reason this works is that manufacturers place the contacts in the packaging the right way. You are unlikely to find an inside-out contact lens sealed in a blister pack, therefore, keeping the same contact orientation when you open the package, ensures getting it in the right way.

Over time, you will become more experienced with your contact lenses. You’ll know how they feel and may not need to use these methods to determine orientation. In fact, many people get so good at putting in their contacts that they don’t even need a mirror. Be patient as you learn. Be sure you have enough time to put your contact lenses in without rushing. And finally, when unsure, use these methods to determine if your contact lenses are inside out.

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