Ask an Eye M.D. Answer Archive

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Question:
How do I get a contact lens out from the top of my eye?  

Answer:
Contact lenses can often become displaced. The first step is to be sure the contact lens is still on the eye. The contact lens can fall out of the eye and it may be assumed that it has merely moved under the eyelid. It is important to note also that the contact lens can only go as far as the crease in the conjunctiva under the upper eyelids and it cannot go behind your eye.

To remove the lens you should first wash your hand carefully and relax the eyelid and see if you can feel the lens through the eyelid. It may help to apply some sterile saline or artificial tears to help float the contact lens out from under the eyelid. If a corner of the lens can be visualized in a mirror you can use a finger to slide it back down over the cornea where it can be removed normally. If the lens is suspected to be under the upper eyelid, it may also help to bring the lens in to view by looking downward as far as possible. Another technique is to gently massage through the eyelid down towards the cornea or you can try to lift or "flip" the eyelid to make the lens visible. Lastly, if you cannot retrieve the lens or if the eye is bothersome, you should call and schedule an appointment to see your Eye M.D. as soon as possible.

Answered by: Louis B. Cantor, MDDr. Louis B. Cantor

Categories: Vision Correction

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Answered: Sep 18, 2012

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