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How to Put Contacts in (and Take Them Back out Again!)

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Over 60% of the population currently wears some form of corrective lenses, while 21% of them wear contacts at least part of the time. With all of the amazing benefits they offer, it's not hard to see why.

Contacts allow you to increase your field of vision and also save you the hassle of picking out frames. Plus, you don't have to worry about them cracking or breaking if you play sports.

But, you might feel a bit nervous about how to put contacts in. The truth is, putting in contacts isn't as hard as it seems. Taking them out is also pretty easy; you only need to practice to get the hang of it.

Ready to learn how to put contacts in and take them back out? This post is here to break it all down for you.

Preparing to Put Your Lenses In

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First things first—wash your hands! Unscented soap and water are your best friends since there is less of a chance of having a reaction. Also, try to avoid soaps that contain moisturizers. After all, you don't want any type of residue left over on your hands. This residue could transfer onto your lenses and cause irritation.

Next, you'll need to make sure that the lens isn't backward. The easiest way to do this when you're putting in contacts is to place the lens on your fingertip in a well-lit room. If the edges of the lens are a bit turned down, you have the wrong side up, which means it’s inside-out. The contact lens needs to look like a perfect cereal bowl before placing it in.

Next Steps for Contact Lens Wearing

woman putting contact lens in right eye in the mirror

Once you've washed your hands and ensured that the lenses are the right side up, you're ready to put them in your eyes. Use your dominant hand to pull your eyelid up. This will feel strange at first, so take your time (and if needed, a few deep breaths!).

Try not to blink while you hold your eye open. Then, use your other hand to pull your lower eyelid down slightly. While you do this, make sure that the lens is still balanced on the tip of your finger.

Next, slowly bring the lens up toward your eye. It's important that you look as far upwards as you can. Then, very gently, just put the lens on your eye. You'll likely be surprised by how naturally and easily it fits. You should blink or close your eye for a moment after placing it so that the lens can position itself.

When to Take out Your Contacts

woman with contact lenses case in mirror taking contact lenses out

Now that you've mastered how to put your contacts in, let's see how and when you can take them out! In general, this will depend on the type of lenses that you've purchased. For example, if you've purchased daily disposables, as the name implies, you'll need to take them out at the end of every day.

Even if you've invested in extended-wear lenses, you should still take out and clean your lenses at least once a week or more if possible. Sleeping in your contacts can damage your eyes due to hypoxia, or lack of oxygen. Lenses that are in for too long can also collect deposits, a buildup of dirt and dust, and other junk that you just don't want near your eyes for very long.

Even more important to remember is that in addition to extended wear, improper cleaning of contacts can lead to eye infections too.

In most cases, you need to take out your contacts before hitting the shower. Shower water comes with a bunch of bacteria and microorganisms, which can get underneath your contacts and infect your eyes.

Make it a point to clean your contacts every day. Also, always put new contact solution into the lens case when you’re cleaning your contacts. Using the old solution is basically like creating a cauldron of bacteria.

How to Take out Your Contacts

close-up of finger holding contact lens and contact lens solution bottle and drop

Now, after a day of wear, it's time to learn how to properly take your contacts out. As you did when you put them in, make sure you've washed your hands before starting the process. Also, wait until you're certain that your hands are all dry to minimize slippage.

Next, look up toward the ceiling, and pull down your lower eyelid. Using your index finger, touch the lens delicately, and move it down to the whites of your eyes. As it gets closer to the edge of your eye, delicately squeeze it between your pointer finger and thumb. Doing this will help the lens fall out more quickly and easily. Then, repeat the process on your other eye.

We've mentioned the importance of cleaning extended-wear contacts after daily use. But it's essential that you use only the contact solution to do so. Never fall into the routine of using tap water to clean out your lenses, since you’ll introduce bacteria and pathogens to them.

Make sure that you also clean your lens case with contact solution at least once every three or four days to prevent bacteria from building up.

You've Mastered How to Put Contacts In

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We hope that this post has shown you that learning how to put contacts in isn't as difficult as you might have thought. Yes, when getting started, it might feel a bit scary and uncomfortable, but it will become second nature before you know it. Take your time, go slow, and remember that practice makes perfect.

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