Can contact lenses get stuck in your eye?

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closeup-of-womans-eye

Perhaps the most common misconception about contact lenses is that they can get stuck or lost behind the eye. Many people, especially new contact lens wearers, still believe the myth that contact lenses can disappear behind the eye.

Lens.com is here to dispel the controversy once and for all. Contact lenses cannot get stuck or disappear behind the eye.

The eye’s anatomy makes it impossible for contact lenses to get stuck behind the eye. The upper and lower eyelids cover the eyes. The inside of the upper and lower eyelids has a thin connective tissue called the conjunctiva that connects the two parts:

  1. Bulbar conjunctiva – The bulbar conjunctiva covers the front part of the sclera, the white portion of the eye.
  2. Palpebral conjunctiva – The palpebral conjunctiva covers the inner surfaces of the upper and lower eyelids.
bulbar-and-palpebral-conjunctiva
Source: All About Vision

These two parts connect, making it impossible for microscopic substances such as dust and bacteria, let alone contact lenses, to reach the back of the eye.

Despite it being impossible for contact lenses to get stuck behind the eye, contact lenses can sometimes get stuck on the cornea or surface of the eye.

Why do contact lenses get stuck on the eye?

Soft contact lenses contain a significant amount of water. When the water in the contact lens evaporates or dries out, the contact lens can get stuck on the eye and be difficult to remove.

There are many reasons why contact lenses dry out, but the most common reasons are:

How do you remove a contact lens that is stuck on the eye?

man-trying-to-remove-contact-lens

If you’re wearing contact lenses and find them hard to remove, don’t panic. It’s happened to all contact lens wearers at one point or another, and it’s nothing serious. To remove a stuck contact lens, just relax and follow these steps.

  1. Don’t force it. You might end up tearing or ripping your contact lens by trying to remove it by force. Furthermore, you could also cause severe damage to your eye.
  2. Wash your hands with antibacterial soap and water and dry them with fresh paper towels.
  3. Apply rewetting drops to your eye to lubricate both your eye and the lens. Don’t hesitate to apply more rewetting drops if necessary. The more lubricated the lens is, the easier it will be to dislodge it from your eye.
  4. Close your eye and gently massage your upper and lower eyelids until you feel the contact lens loosen and move.
  5. Once you feel it shift, move it back to its original position on top of your cornea so you can easily remove it.
  6. If the contact lens is still stuck, just apply more rewetting drops, close your eye, and massage your eyelids again.
  7. If you’re still unable to remove the contact lens despite your best efforts, consult your eye care professional immediately.

Conclusion

The myth that contact lenses can get stuck behind the eye is just that—a myth. It will never happen, so don’t worry about it. But if your contact lens gets stuck on top of your cornea, don’t panic. Breathe and follow the steps outlined in this post.