Can a Contact Get Stuck in Your Eye? 6 Emergency Tips if You Get a Contact Lens Broken or Stuck in Your Eye
Contact lenses are helpful alternatives to eyeglasses. However, they are fragile, and this means care is needed when handling them. Can a contact get stuck in your eye? The answer is yes but there is more to it than that.
Contact lenses are very easy to manage with a little care. Let’s take a look at what you should do if a contact gets stuck or breaks in your eye.
How Can a Contact Get Stuck in Your Eye?
Many people shy away from using contact lenses because they're afraid the contacts can fall out of place and get stuck behind their eyeballs. The good news is that's impossible.
Your eyelids connect to your eye by what is called the conjunctiva. This creates a barrier that keeps debris or objects from getting lost behind your eye. There is no way your contact lens can make it to the other side of your eyeball, no matter what happens.
The bad news is your contacts can get stuck on your eye. If they slip out of place, they might work their way up and under your eyelids. But that's as far as they'll go. While this might feel uncomfortable, it's not serious.
As long as the lens doesn't tear or break, a stuck contact lens won't cause any damage to your eye. And don't worry, it's not hard to remove a contact lens that's stuck under your eyelid. Whether you have soft contacts or gas permeable contacts, they will be easy to remove with a slightly different process for each type.
Can Contact Lenses Break?
If you don't handle your contacts in the proper way, they can rip or break.
A person who's new to wearing contacts and isn't sure what they're doing might inadvertently rip their contacts. Don't be hard on yourself if this happens. Contacts are delicate, and you handle them every day.
Almost every contact lens wearer deals with a broken lens at some point.
As contacts get older, they're more likely to tear. Because of this, you should always replace your contacts as directed. Your eye doctor can tell you how long your contacts may last. There are also several different types of contact lens materials, and some are more susceptible to tears than others. You can discuss which one is right for you with your eye care professional.
Emergency Tips for Broken and Stuck Contact Lenses
So what happens if your contact rips or gets stuck in your eye?
The most important thing is to stay calm. Remember, a stuck contact lens won't damage your eye.
Here's a quick look at six emergency tips for broken and stuck contact lenses.
1. Never Wear a Torn or Broken Contact Lens
Never put a ripped or broken contact lens in your eye. It might feel normal, but torn edges can scratch your cornea. The surface of your eye is delicate, and even a small tear can be painful and uncomfortable.
A ripped contact also can't keep the right curvature shape of your eye. This can make it slide around the surface of your eye, leading to blurry vision. Not only that, a lens that moves around too much can get stuck under your eyelid.
Pieces of a damaged contact can break off in your eye. Even after removing the lens, you might have small pieces of contact left in your eye. These pieces are sometimes hard to spot and difficult to get back out.
2. Inspect Your Contacts Before You Put Them in Your Eyes
Before you put your contacts in your eye, you should hold it on the tip of your finger and inspect it for rips or other damage. These tears, chips, or jagged edges will be small, so make sure you get a close look.
If you find any damage, throw the contact in the trash and get a new pair. It's always helpful to have a pair of backup eyeglasses with you in case your contacts rip.
It's also possible for a contact to rip after putting it in your eye. If this happens, take the lens out right away.
3. Remove Broken Pieces of Your Contact
You should remove any broken pieces of contact from your eye as soon as you realize it's there. This process can be difficult, especially if the broken pieces are small.
Try using the tip of your finger to push the piece of the lens to the edge of your eye. From there you might be able to pull it out. If you can't get the piece out on your own, make an appointment with your eye doctor as soon as possible.
They'll use different colored dyes and microscopes to find the piece and remove it safely.
If you notice a piece of your contact lens is missing but don't see it in your eye, you should visit your eye doctor anyway. The piece might be too small for you to find on your own.
4. Rinse Your Eye With Eye Drops
If your contact gets stuck under your eyelid, the best way to get it back out is by using eye drops.
Make sure you put enough drops in your eye so it is full of moisture. This will make it easier for the contact to move around.
After rinsing your eye with eye drops, start massaging your eyelid. Don't use any force. Instead, use gentle movements to dislodge the contact. Once the contact is freed, remove it like normal. Lift your eyelid and turn it inside out to make sure there aren't any broken pieces of contact left inside. Clean your eye out with a saline solution when you're done.
It’s important to note that using tap water is not recommended to moisten or flush out the eyes. This can lead to unwanted bacteria entering the eye and causing infection.
5. Learn How to Handle Contacts
If you're still learning how to use your contacts, you should keep your fingernails trimmed. Don't use your fingernails to grab the contacts when putting them in and taking them out.
Never pinch the middle of your contact lenses. Pinching can lead to tearing and breakage in the center of your contact.
Make sure each contact is floating in solution before you close your case. A contact lens that's hanging from the edge of your case could break when you close the lid.
6. Visit Your Eye Doctor
Don't hesitate to visit your eye doctor if you have a contact emergency. They'll be able to remove broken pieces of contact lenses and take out lenses that are stuck. In either case, they can assess the issue and manage it properly.
But don't wait.
If you can't resolve the issue on your own, you should make an appointment with your doctor as soon as you can or visit a medical facility.
It’s common for contact lens wearers to have to replace their lenses due to a break or scratch. With daily, weekly, and monthly wear contacts available, it’s not long before a replacement is on the way anyhow.
While contacts can get stuck on the surface of your eye, they can't slide around to the back of your eyeball. In this way, you don’t have to worry about whether a contact lens can get stuck in your eye without the chance of removing it. You can either remove stuck or broken pieces on your own or visit your eye doctor if necessary.
If you don't feel anything in your eye but can't find your contact, don't panic. There's a good chance it fell out without you noticing. Keep an extra pair of contacts or glasses with you at all times. Now you know what to do if you have to deal with a stuck or broken contact lens so you can wear your contacts worry-free!