In this page our principal optometrist has recommended the step by step fundamentals of how to safely and correctly insert and remove contact lenses, commonly known as insertion and removal or I&R for short.
We will start with how to put in contact lenses then, move onto removing contact lenses.
Before you begin, wash your hands thoroughly using antibacterial soap. Water can carry harmful bacteria, so you should always dry your hands thoroughly with a clean towel before touching your contact lenses.
Check that you have the correct contact lenses for each eye and ensure the lenses/packaging are in date and in very good condition.
Ideally hold the contact lens case or packet above a clean area then remove the lens from the packet and shake off excess solution from the lens and place the lens on the back of your opposite hand whilst you flick off the excess fluid from the pointer finger that you will be using for contact lens insertion.
Before proceeding to put in your lenses assess the surface for any rips, tears, or debris. If you discover a rip or tear, discard the lens. Rinse your lenses in the contact lens case sterile solution if there are any debris detected. Note: never use water for any contact lens cleaning or storage.
To make sure your lens is in the correct position, it should be bowl-shaped in appearance rather than a plate- shape appearance.
Place the lens, bowl shaped pointing up, as close to the pointer finger tip as possible, which allows for better control during application. To troubleshoot, if the pointing finger or lens is too wet, the contact lens sides will stick to the wet finger preventing successful application to the cornea. The cornea is the clear front part of the eye where the contact lens sits.
High powers means thicker contact lenses. So, for those with high contact lens powers, it is advisable to have the contact lens to sit between the closed junction of the pointer finger and thumb tip and have your eyes directly above the lens and insert them with you looking face down towards the lens, with a back lit magnified mirror laying flat on the table under your eyes and fingers.
For a right eye contact lens insertion, hold your right eye open with your right middle finger on the lower eyelid, and your left index finger holding your eyelashes against your brow. For the right eye use your right middle finger to hold open your right eye and use your left hand to insert. With the left eye simply reverse the process.
To help get the lenses easily onto your eyes, make sure you relax your facial muscles and keep both eyes wide open and use the other eye to look into the mirror so you can see, as your hand is in front of your eye that’s having the lens inserted.
Look straight ahead into the mirror, trying not to move or blink your eye. Gently press the lens onto the centre of your eye and the lens will suction into place, wait a few seconds for the lens to settle, then look left then right to allow it to sit comfortably. Finally, whilst looking down slowly remove your finger from your eyelid and gently close your eye. Looking downwards helps keep the lens centred on your eye as you remove your fingers.
If it feels like it isn’t sitting comfortably, there may be an air bubble. Keeping your finger on the centre of the lens, move the lens to the side of the eye then slide it back to the centre of the eye which will give instant comfort and dislodge any air that may be trapped underneath. You can also close your eye and gently massage your eyelid with your fingertip to move the lens to the centre of the cornea. If your lens still doesn’t feel comfortable, remove it, clean it with solution, and return to step 1.
Now you’ve mastered putting in your contact lenses, please continue reading on how to remove contact lenses.
You are almost there ! This is usually the faster half of insertion and removal. Once you’ve practiced a couple of times taking out your contact lenses, it will become very quick and easy. Our principal optometrist recommends this method of removing a contact lens, as it has a higher success rate for beginners.
Wash and dry your hands before touching your eyes.
Starting with the same eye every time, keeping your eyes open wide, use your dominant hand to gently pull down your lower eyelid with the middle finger, then pull up your upper eyelid with your non dominant hand to hold your eyelashes against your brow. This will result in your eyes having enough space to allow your thumb and pointer finger to come in and gently pinch the lens out.
Place the first finger and thumb of your other hand on either side of the contact lens, and then gently pinch it. Make sure you have constant contact with lens surface as you pinch the lens surface.
Look up and gently slide the lens down onto the white of your eye, then off onto your finger. Repeat for the other eye.
Now all you need to do is repeat these steps for your other eye and you’ve safely removed your contacts. Well done , you did it !
If you wear two weekly or monthly contact lenses, make sure that once removed they are placed in fresh multi-purpose solution and stored securely in a clean contact lens case. When wearing your two weekly or monthly lens, we advise throwing out the used contact lens multi-purpose solution and letting your case air dry. You should throw away your old case and replace with a new case every month. Note, do not use any water to store your two weekly or monthly lenses.
If you wear dailies, all you need to do is dispose of them.
For any advice or help on anything to do with contact lenses, eye care or eye drops, call our friendly customer support team on +61 2 80049449 in Australia or email [email protected]. We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.