In this article, I will explain the easiest way to put contact lenses in and provide some helpful tips that will simplify the whole process for you.
Learning How To Insert Contact Lenses
When it comes to teaching someone the best way to put contact lenses in, sitting down and showing them in person is the most effective way. If that’s not a possibility, then the next best thing would be an instructional video.
The worst way to teach someone how to put in contact lenses is to just write a really long article about it (which is kind of my thing…).
So in order to help me teach you, I have searched for a good instructional video that I can use to show you, and then build off of that with my own tips and tricks.
The video I chose is called HOW TO: Insert / remove contact lens for beginners | NANCI from the YouTube channel NanciAndJoshi.
I chose this video because it is thorough, and the instructor, Nanci, uses a really good technique for inserting and removing the contact lenses. Also, the way that it was filmed allows you to clearly see where and how to place your hands, fingers, etc. during the process.
So lets watch the video first, and I will discuss it after.
Below I will give a time stamp each time I want to elaborate on something in the video and then give my own personal perspective on the matter.
Here Nanci uses the term ‘ECP’ in the sentence: “a pair of contact lens that was recommended to you by an ECP”. ECP simply means ‘eye care professional’ and can refer to an optometrist or an optician. Technically ophthalmologists are ECPs too, but they don’t do contact lenses.
I cannot over-state the importance of this step. Never insert or remove your contact lenses without first thoroughly washing your hands. When drying your hands (especially for inserting your lenses) make sure you dry them on a towel that won’t leave too much lint on your fingers. Lint can be transferred to your contacts and make your contact lenses feel very uncomfortable.
Here Nanci is giving you a simple but important tip. The biggest concern with contact lenses should be keeping them clean and free of contamination. The best way to make sure your contact lens solution doesn’t get contaminated is to always keep the cap closed.
Similarly, when you store away your contact lenses for the night, always make sure your contact lens case lids are tightly closed. While you’re wearing your contact lenses during the day, rinse your contact lens case out and let it air dry upside down on a clean sterile surface throughout the day.
In the shots leading up to 1:54, you see Nanci taking her contacts out of their original package and into her contact lens case instead of directly into her eyes. The reason she does this is because the solution in the original packages is not the same as the contact lens solution prescribed by your ECP. Contact lenses absorb the solution they’re in. Although it is acceptable to put contacts directly into your eyes from their original packages, it is better if they soak in your proper solution first.
For instructional purposes, Nanci is showing you how to clean the lenses before she puts them into her eyes. There is nothing wrong with doing this every day, though if you only clean them once per day, it should be after you remove them. This will remove all the build up that accumulates on the lenses after a day of wear and allows your cleaning solution to disinfect the lenses more effectively.
Here you see Nanci drying off the excess liquid on her fingers before she prepares to insert the contact lens. This is actually very important, and failing to do this can lead to a lot of frustration when trying to insert the lenses. The reason Nanci does this is because if the finger that holds the contact lens is too wet, it will cause the contact lens to stick to your finger instead of transferring to your eye.
The reason this happens is because the contact lens will be attracted to the object that is the wettest. Your eyes are intrinsically always wet because of the tears that cover them. But if your finger is wetter than your eye because you didn’t dry it off, it doesn’t matter if you have perfect technique otherwise, the contact lens will stay on your finger and you won’t know what you’re doing wrong.
The flip side of this is that if your finger is too dry, the contact lens might fall off your finger before you get it up to your eye. It takes a bit of experience to find the correct balance.
It may be difficult to tell if your contact lenses are inside out or not if you’re just starting out. The shape of the edge is a good way to tell, but with some brands it can be very difficult to see the difference. For up-close pictures of the difference between contacts that are correct and inside out, as well as other techniques you can use, check out my article: How To Tell If Contact Lenses Are Inside Out.
Notice here where Nanci holds the lid. She holds it as close as possible to the bottom of the eyelid. That is because that’s where you get the most control over the eyelid. If you hold it tightly at the bottom of the eyelid, you won’t be able to blink. But if you hold your eyelids up too high, you will not have much control over it, and when the contact lens gets close, you will still be able to blink and block the contact lens from going onto your eye.
In this view you can see how easily the contact lens transfers onto the eye if the eyelids are out of the way, and if you approach at the correct angle. Note that Nanci is never pressing onto her eye to get the contact lens on. Contrary to popular belief, ‘poking’ the eye is not part of inserting contact lenses. As soon as the contact lens gets close enough to the eye, it will latch onto it on its own. Nanci does a great job of showing you this here.
Here Nanci demonstrates a very important detail when removing contacts. DO NOT pinch them off without sliding them off the cornea (the centre clear part of the eye) and into the corner of your eye first. The cornea is very sensitive, and pinching the contact lenses off of the cornea can result in scratches and irritation to the cornea. First, place your index finger on the outskirts of the contact lens, then drag it off of the cornea, then bring in the thumb to gently punch it off.
Nanci uses her right hand to remove the contacts from both her right and left eyes. This is mostly a matter of preference. If you are comfortable doing this, you can. If you are more comfortable switching hands and using the left hand to remove the left contact lens, that’s also an option.
Remember that when the contact lenses are out, they need to be cleaned and store as demonstrated by Nanci at the beginning of the video.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial!
Remember to check out Nanci’s other videos on YouTube at NanciAndJoshi.