A common concern many people have when they consider starting to wear contact lenses is whether or not they will be hard to put in. Considering that, in a general sense, we are advised
To avoid touching our eyes and certainly to avoid putting anything in our eyes, it isn’t an unexpected question.
The vast majority of the time, contact lenses are not hard at all to put in. In fact, they are generally easy to both apply and remove. However, this at least partially relies on other factors, such as a bit of practice at putting them in, and the contacts being fit properly.
For many parents, the question of the difficulty putting in contact lenses arises in regard to their kids preferring contacts over glasses.
Fortunately, recent studies show that most kids have no problem when it comes to applying and removing contact lenses. In fact, in one recent study involving kids between the ages of 8 and 17 who were given soft contact lenses for the first time, the vast majority of them have no trouble with the contacts. And following the study, more than eighty percent of the kids involved stated that they felt the contacts were easy to manage.
While most people don’t find contacts difficult to put on, there are some concerns people often have that should be addressed, if only to provide assurance that these aren’t things to worry about.
This is a common fear with contacts, and if you’ve ever seen a contact lens flip under somebody’s eyelid, it can look a little disconcerting. However, it is technically impossible for a contact lens to actually get behind your eye, due to a thin membrane in the eye specifically designed to prevent objects of any kind from getting back there.
While it is possible for a soft contact lens to become stuck to the surface of the eye, it will always be removable. In most cases, all you will need to do is apply a few eye drops, and the moisture will help get it loose.
It is reasonable for someone new to wearing contacts to be concerned that it’ll feel uncomfortable once they put it in. After all, if a speck of dust gets into an eye it can be annoying enough.
While there may be some mild discomfort the first few times you wear them, during which time you’re acutely aware of their presence, it should pass quickly. After wearing the contacts a couple of times, you won’t even notice they’re there.
In the unlikely event that they still bother you after a few days, you should contact your eye doctor, as this could be a sign there is an issue with the fit of the lenses, or the type or brand of the lenses is not ideal for you. In addition certain conditions may need a more customized contact lens to ensure comfort. If you find contact lenses uncomfortable you should discuss that with our eye doctor as this may be a sign of an underlying condition such as; dry eye disease, keratoconus, or corneal irregularities.
Contact lenses shouldn’t be hard to put in, generally speaking, but there are things that can be done to make an issue even more unlikely.
Making sure you have properly fitted contacts is important. Improperly fitted lenses are much more likely to be uncomfortable and cause other problems.
A fitting will be done by an eye doctor, and depending on the amount of space between your upper and lower eyelids when they’re open normally, the doctor may recommend a smaller or larger lens size. The doctor may also recommend exercises to ensure you don’t feel a need to blink while inserting the lenses.
It might take some practice, but it will get easier as time goes on.
If you’re having concerns about putting in your contact lenses, a dry run can be a good way of overcoming the fear of putting them in. This is done by practicing touching your eyes in a manner similar to what you’ll need to do when you start putting in your lenses.
To do this, you’ll first need to wash your hands, and then start slowly, touching first the eyelashes, then the upper and lower eyelids, finally working up to the white part of the eye. This will help desensitize your eyes and metnally get you used to the idea of touching your eye itself.
You can also practice holding the eyelid open and miming putting in a contact lens.
As with many things, it’s all in your head.
Your eye doctor can also help with this. Additionally, if you’re worried this might still be an issue, you can opt for lenses like overnight contacts, to limit the amount of time you’ll need to put them in and take them out.
As strange as it might sound, looking away as you put in the lens can help. While for most people, looking directly at the finger with the contact lens on it works just fine, it’s not for everyone.
To help yourself look away, find a mirror that you can sit close to, and position your face near it, and focus on the process of applying the lens as opposed to touching the eye.
Once the time comes to put the lens in, focus your gaze on a spot above you as you put the lens in. If the lens doesn’t land on the precisely right spot immediately, don’t worry. You can easily reposition it by closing your eyes and looking around.
Contrary to what you might think, contact lenses aren’t hard to put on, and the difficulties that most people experience are psychological in nature, easily overcome by preparation. And, of course, your eye doctor will have to provide any assistance and guidance needed if you are having trouble. If you have any questions, or if you would like to schedule a contact lens exam, you can reach out to your nearest Amplify EyeCare practice either via a call or in-person visit. Our team of eye care professionals is ready and equipped to provide you with the care you need.