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How to Put in Contact Lenses

Putting in your contact lenses may seem difficult and even a little scary at first, but don’t worry. Once you get a bit of practice, it will be simple and painless. To put a contact in your eye, hold your eyelid open so it's easier to place it onto your eye. When you’re ready to remove your contacts, use a similar process to take them out. Additionally, make sure you use your contacts correctly to help maintain your eye health.

Placing the Contacts onto Your Eye

  1. 1
    Wash your hands with fragrance-free soap and warm water. Wet your hands, then apply soap and scrub for at least 30 seconds. Rinse your hands thoroughly to get rid of any soap residue. Pat your hands dry on a clean microfiber towel to avoid lint.[1]
    • Always use a clean, dry towel to dry your hands.
    • Microfiber towels are your best option because they’re less likely to leave lint or fuzz on your hands, which might get on your contacts. If you don’t have a microfiber towel, you might consider letting your hands air-dry if your eyes are sensitive.

    Remove the lid on 1 side of your contact lens case and set it aside. Only open 1 side of your contact case at a time to help you avoid mixing up your contacts or accidentally damaging one. Get into the habit of always doing the same side first. For instance, you might do your right eye and then your left.
    Use your fingertip to slide the contact lens from the case. Tilt the case toward you, then lightly press the pad of your finger over the contact lens. Once the lens is on your finger tip, slowly pull your finger out of the container and transfer the lens to the palm of your hand.[3]
    • Don’t use your nails to get the contact, as this may damage it.
    • Be very careful with your contacts because it’s easy to damage them.

    Tip: If your contact gets stuck to the side of the case, gently shake the case to dislodge it. You might also spray the contact with more solution to moisten it.

    1. 4
      Rinse the contact lens with your contact solution. Position the contact in the center of your palm, then spray a stream of contact solution over it. Do a visual inspection to make sure your contact is free of debris. You don’t need to rub the contact unless you see some debris on it.[4]
      • If you see any debris on the contact, apply more contact solution to it and lightly rub it with your fingertip to remove the debris.
      • Never, ever use tap water on your contacts. Only use contact solution to rinse your contacts.
    2. 5
      Place the contact concave side up on your index finger. Put the contact on the skin of your finger, not your nail. Make sure that the contact is sitting hollow-side up on your fingertip with none of the side walls sticking to your finger. It should look like a tiny bowl.[5]
      • If the edges are flaring out, then it is inside out. Put it back on your palm and use your fingertip to gently flip it right side out.
    3. 6
      Hold your eye open with your middle finger and opposite hand, if necessary. Look in the mirror. Then, gently pull your eyelid down using the middle finger of the hand that’s holding your contact. If your eyes are very sensitive to touch, you may also need to hold your upper eyelid open. Use your opposite hand to gently lift and hold the upper eyelid to keep it from blinking. This will expose more of your eye, allowing you to more easily place the contact onto it.[6]
      • You only need to hold your top eyelid open if it keeps blinking or your eye is very small. This is normal when you first start wearing contacts, as you’re not used to putting things in your eye. Over time, you may not need to hold your upper eyelid open anymore.
    4. 7
      Move the contact towards your eye calmly and steadily. Try not to blink or move jerkily. It may help to look upwards so that you don’t accidentally blink on reflex. Additionally, do your best not to focus on the eye you’re putting the contact into, which will make it easier to not blink.[7]
    5. 8
      Place the contact on your iris gently. Put the contact up close to your eyeball and lightly press it in place. The contact should easily go onto your eye, as it will be attracted to the moisture. Then, remove your finger from your eye.[8]
      • The contact needs to be over your iris, which is the colored part of your eye. Try to put it directly over this area, if you can.

      Variation: If you can't stop blinking, look upward and place the contact on the white part of your eye. Hold your eye open and roll your eye down toward the contact. Then, gently lift your upper eyelid and bring it down over the contact. Finally, lightly press over your eyelid to remove any air bubbles so the contact stays in place.

    6. 9
      Let go of your eyelids and blink slowly until the contact is comfortable. Blink slowly several times, careful to not dislodge your contact. Look in the mirror to check that the contact is in place and that you can see. Notice if you feel any pain or irritation in your eye. It should feel comfortable.[9]
      • If the contact feels itchy or painful, remove it and clean it with solution. Then, try inserting it again.
    7. 10
      Repeat the process with the other contact. Once both contact lenses are in your eyes, look around to make sure you can see well. When you’re finished, pour the contact solution from the case into the sink, rinse the case, and close the contact case.[10]
      • Never reuse old contact solution, as it increases your risk of getting an eye infection. Always use fresh contact solution.