How to Put In and Take Out Contacts

Are you making the switch to contact lenses for the first time? Many contact lens wearers agree that there's nothing quite like the freedom and improved vision of wearing contacts, but if you've never used them before it can seem a bit daunting. 

Putting on contact lenses correctly is important to ensure healthy eyes and clear vision. If the process has you feeling intimidated, don't worry - at Hubble, we've created this step-by-step guide to help make getting your contacts in and out easier than ever! This comprehensive guide will cover all aspects of putting in and taking out contacts, including hygiene tips and how to avoid common mistakes. So don't hesitate any longer - let’s jump right into learning more about handling contact lenses safely and effectively. With a little practice, putting in contact lenses will become second nature!

What to Know Before Putting in Contacts

As a contact lens user, it is important to learn the basic safe handling practices for your lenses to reduce chances of eye infections. Keeping your lenses in a case with a fresh portion of cleansing solution each time you put in your contact lens is also a best practice. Knowing the proper way to insert your contacts is useful and will help your lenses stay put and feel comfortable. 

How to put in contacts step by step infographic

How to Put In Contacts: Step-by-Step

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly using antibacterial soap and water. Be sure to fully rinse the soap from your hands as you do not want to potentially transfer any soap onto the lens and then into your eyes. 
  2. Dry your hands using a lint-free towel or cloth. This ensures that lint will not transfer into your eyes from the contact lens itself. 
  3. Open the contact lens case and remove the lens with your index finger.
  4. Place the lens on the tip of your index finger and inspect it for any tears or imperfections.
  5. Ensure the edges of the lenses are not flared out. If this is the case, it indicates that the contacts are inside out.
  6. Sit the lens on your fingertip and not on your fingernail. You do not want to accidentally scratch the contact lens. 
  7. Rinse the lens with some contact lens solution. Do not use water for this step.
  8. With your dominant hand, place the lens on your fingertip. The way to tell is the lens should sit comfortably rounded side down on your fingertip. 
  9. With the non-dominant hand, slide your eyelid open.
  10. Place the lens on the white of your eye, near the iris.
  11. Gently move the lens around in a circular motion until it is centered.
  12. Once it's centered, close your eye and blink several times to help the lens settle into place.
  13. Repeat the same steps with the other lens for the other eye.

If you have any questions or difficulties with putting on your contact lenses, be sure to consult with your eye care professional.

How to Take Out Contacts: Step-by-Step

  1. Always begin with clean, dry hands. Use antibacterial soap and water to thoroughly wash your hands. Dry with a lint free towel to keep lint from transferring to your contacts and thus to your eye. 
  2. Get a firm grip on the top and bottom eyelid using the non dominant hand.
  3. With the dominant hand, reach into your eye and while looking slightly up.
  4. Slide the contact lens down.
  5. Reach in with your thumb and finger to pull the lens out.
  6. Place contacts in their case and add the eye wash solution to them.
  7. Make sure the lens is fully submerged. Tighten the cap on the case and store until ready to use again. Note that this and the preceding step only apply to reusable contact lenses. Daily lenses should be discarded after use and replaced with a fresh pair each day. 
  8. If you encounter any difficulty past the learning curve for contact lens insertion and removal, contact your optometrist for further demonstration. 

Putting in and Taking out Contacts: Frequently Asked Questions

Wearing contact lenses will sometimes present challenges that are common and with some preparation you can easily resolve these issues. Here are some common issues you might encounter, as well as their solutions.

If a lens is inside out 

  • If your lens feels strange while in your eye, if it feels like the lens is shifting, or the placement of the lens is uncomfortable, it may be inside out.
  • Carefully remove the lens and try to place them again.
  • Wash hands with each step if you have to repeat the process. 

If you have long nails

  • A good best practice is to keep your nails trimmed to a shorter length to help with ease of placement of your lenses. 
  • If you do have a longer manicure, to place your lens, be careful to not puncture or scratch the lens with your nails. 
  • Washing your hands thoroughly is also a good rule to ensure your lens placement will not bring harmful bacteria into your eyes from longer nails.

Steps to remove contacts if you have long fingernails:

  1. To remove contacts with long nails be sure to start with washing and thoroughly drying your hands first. 
  2. Place the contact on your finger pad and not the nail when you have removed the lenses from the case.
  3. To remove the contacts, use the middle finger of your non-dominant hand and pull the lower lid down. 
  4. Look up to the ceiling and position your index finger at the bottom of the lens.
  5. Move the lens down and use the pad of the fingers to remove the lens.
  6. Dispose of the lens if you use dailies or add fresh contact lens solution to your contacts case if you use long wear contacts

If your contact lens gets stuck

The key to removing a stuck lens is to not panic. The anatomy of the eye ensures that a lens cannot roll into the back of your eye. Since the lens will remain on the surface, you'll be able to retrieve it quickly and effortlessly. Here are a few different things you can do to mitigate the problem .

  • Beginning with clean and dry hands, look downward while moving your eyelid about to remove a lens stuck upward or off on the sides.
  • Blink several times to move the lens from the incorrect placement or until the lens falls out.
  • Massage your eyelid to encourage the lens to move to the correct placement or for it to fall out.
  • Lift eyelid up with a finger, look down, and then swipe your finger to move the contact lens down.
  • You can also use artificial tears  to remove the lens if you encounter a stubborn lens that will not move.
  • Do not use your fingernail or a cotton swab on your lens to remove the lens! These methods can cause damage to your eye or cause an infection. 
  • If all else fails, see your eye care professional or doctor with help removing the contact lens.

Tips for Putting In and Taking Out Contacts

Here are some additional tips that will help ensure comfort, trouble free use, and ease of wear of your contact lenses:

  • If you’ve read this far, you are already familiar with the first rule of contact lens wear – wash and dry your hands thoroughly!
  • Always rinse your contacts with contact lens solution. Do not take shortcuts by using water or saline solution.
  • Ensure that the tip of the bottle from the contact lens solution does not come into contact with your lenses.
  • When cleaning the storage case, place the case upside down to fully air dry.
  • Changing out the contact storage case every three months is a good way to ensure your lenses remain free from protein build up, or any debris or irritants.
  • Practice touching your eye until you build up confidence in putting in and removing your contacts. 
  • Do not rub your eyes when putting on the contacts. Try instead to blink gently to get the contacts to naturally place or settle into your eyes.
  • Do not be afraid to stop and start over, when placing in your contacts. Most of the time it takes trial and error to learn how to use your contacts.
  • Get your eyes checked regularly to ensure you always have the correct prescription.
  • Keep your eyeglasses on hand until you are used to contact lens wear.
  • Do not wear your contacts to sleep or beyond their wear limits. This can cause dry eyes which can lead to contacts getting stuck, eye fatigue, blurriness, or other problems. 

Get Started with Contacts from Hubble

With Hubble, it has never been easier to find affordable optical contact lenses. After you sign up by entering your Hubble prescription, our team contacts your eye doctor and lets you know via email when everything is all set. From there, we prep, pack and ship your contacts right to your door. And the best part? you can get your first 15 pairs of prescription contacts from Hubble for just $1.  

Hubble lenses are made from methafilcon A, a hydrogel material. With 55% water content, UV protection, and a thin edge, they're designed for easy insertion, all-day comfort, and crystal clear vision. Get your own box of Hubble contacts online today.