Many people mistakenly believe that contact lenses can become fully lodged in the back of the eye and become stuck in the brain, unable to be removed. However, this is not possible according to eye doctors. The first step is to remain calm. Most likely, the contact lenses have simply shifted out of place and need to be repositioned by an eye doctor in order to be safely removed.

Dried out contact lenses

When you are trying to remove your contact lenses constantly, and your eyes are getting all irritated, and you can clearly see the lenses in the center of your eyes, it is important not to keep poking at them, because you will further irritate your eyes. Make sure your hands are completely dry and clean. Afterwards, you can use artificial tears or sterile saline solution to flush out your eyes because sometimes if they're stuck in the center of your eyes and are hard to get out, that means your contact lenses have dried out. By lubricating your eyes, you can get rid of the suction and remove your contact lenses more easily. The easiest way to remove them is to flush your eyes, blink twice, and then make sure your hands are really dry before removing them. 

Displaced contact lenses

Alternatively, if the contact lenses actually fall to a position under your eyelid where you are not able to see them, close your eyes and gently massage your upper eyelid to force the contact lenses down to an area where you can see them and then gently massage your eyelid.

You can then also remove the contact lenses by using artificial tears or saline solution to flush out your eyes. In the event that you're gently massaging your eyelids but your contact lenses are still stuck in your eyes, then you can try to gently flip your upper eyelids. The best way to do this is to use a cotton tip or cue tip. You'll need to place it at the base of your eyelashes on your upper lid and while looking downwards, grab your upper eyelashes and then flip your eyelid towards the cue tip and while looking down and using the other eye that's open, you can try removing them. In some cases, if your contact lenses are stuck under your eyelid, you may actually want to look toward the contact lenses because they can reposition onto your eyes into the central part where you can see them so that you can remove them.

If, however, you wear hard contact lenses, you should avoid massaging your eyelids, since that could cause a scratch on the front part of your eyes.

Ten simple tips to remove a stubborn contact lens

  1. Blink frequently to help reposition the lens
  2. Use artificial tears or eye drops to moisten the eye
  3. Look up, down, and side to side to try to move the lens into a more accessible location
  4. Try to gently massage the closed eyelid to encourage the lens to move
  5. Use the corner of a clean, dry cloth to gently lift the lens
  6. Try to lift the lens using the suction of a clean fingertip
  7. Try to look upwards and then gently push the lens down with your eyelid
  8. Visit an eye doctor if the lens cannot be removed after several attempts
  9. Avoid using sharp or pointed objects to try to remove the lens
  10. Avoid rubbing your eye, which can cause damage to the cornea.
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