Not As Scary As It Seems: How to Put In Contacts for the First Time

woman putting in contacts

45 million Americans wear contact lenses.

Most of them wear soft lenses that mold to the eye, and are fairly easy to put in and take out. That is, once you've gotten the hang of it.

If you're considering wearing contacts, the idea of touching your own eye might make you a little squeamish about using them.

While the process can seem intimidating, you'll be a pro in no time with just a little practice. And once you're wearing them every day or often, you'll be totally comfortable with your lenses.

Read on to learn how to put in contacts.

1. Wash Your Hands

Seriously. Wash your hands and dry them with a paper towel or a towel that doesn't have lint fluffing off. You should take your eye health seriously, and you'll need clean hands to avoid infection.

2. Figure Out Which Contact Goes in Which Eye

Most people have different prescriptions for each eye. As a result, you'll have a right and a left contact lens. If you don't wear daily contact lenses, you'll store them in a container that says "left" and "right." If you do wear disposable lenses, the packaging will say which eye it is for.

3. Put Your Contact On Your Finger

Once you've opened up the contact lens case or opened up the packaging, press down gently on the contact so it molds to your finger. Or, you can softly pinch the contact and place it on your index finger.

At this point, ensure there is no debris on the contact lens. Sometimes, you can accidentally get an eyelash or eye makeup stuck to your contact lens while taking it out, and it might stay there overnight. If this is the case, take out your contact solution and squirt it on the contact to remove the debris.

If the debris isn't coming off easily, you can rub the contact with gently with your thumb and forefinger while continuing to lubricate it with the solution.

At this stage, you should also ensure that your contacts are not torn in any place.

If you notice a tear or the debris stuck on the lens does not remove easily, throw it away and open a new pair. Even if you have long wear contact lenses, most people get several at a time so that they can throw them away at regular intervals.

4. Make Sure It's Right Side Up

Soft contact lenses have a distinct look when they're inside out, but it takes a while to recognize this. Once you've been wearing contacts for a while, you'll figure out quite easily if the contact is inside out, but it might take a bit of practice. If you put in a contact inside out, it's not a big deal, as you can just remove it, turn it around and place it back in your eye.

At this point, some people like to squirt a little bit more contact solution on the lens to keep it moist.

5. How to Put in Contacts: Going in For the Kill

This is the part that freaks people out: touching your own eye! But really, it's not that bad. If you're really sensitive about it, you can practice by touching the whites of your eye gently with the tip of your finger. You can also try using rewetting drops in your eyes to get used to something foreign being placed on your eye.

Place the contact lens on your dominant hand's index finger. Use your middle finger of the same hand to pull your eyelid down. Use the index or middle finger of the opposite hand to pull your eyelid up. This way, you expose as much of the eye as possible.

If you're a novice, you'll probably need to look in the mirror for this part. Gently move the contact toward the center of your eye and place it on your eyeball. When a small part of the contact touches your eye, the rest should suction to it. This makes your job relatively easy.

You also don't need to worry about centering the contact. Just blink a few times and it'll center itself.

Many people have trouble with the not blinking aspect of putting in contact lenses. Having something come toward your eye and not blinking is difficult, but once you're used to it, it will be relatively natural for you.

6. Optional: Contact Solution or Rewetting Drops

If you have dry eyes, some people like to rewet their eyes with eye drops purpose made for contact lens wearers after putting their lenses in for the day. This keeps your eyes moist.

Rewetting drops are a must have for people who work long hours staring at screens or who are prone to dry eye. Older people, in particular, are prone to developing dry eye, so it's never a bad idea to have the drops at hand.

7. Finish Your Morning Routine

You've now got your contact lenses in! As you get used to them, you'll figure out when you'll put them in during your daily routine. You may want to shower before putting in the contacts or shower after. Most women prefer to do their makeup after they've put in their lenses to prevent messing up their makeup with contact solution, but how you do it is totally up to you.

Final Thoughts

Now that you've read this guide for how to put in contacts, you're ready to put them in your eyes. Well, kind of. It does take a lot of practice and patience at first. It may even seem impossible. But when you feel frustrated, remember that millions of people do it every day, and you can too.

For more tips, tricks and how to's, visit our site.

 

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