How to Tell if Your Contact Lens Is Inside Out [With Tips]

There are a few ways you can tell if your contacts are inside out.

If you’re new to the world of contact lenses, you’re probably concerned about accidentally turning your contact lenses inside out. Since contact lenses are extremely thin and very pliable, even experienced contact lens wearers can have trouble determining whether their contact lenses are inside out. While pain and discomfort upon insertion are tell-tale signs of a contact lens being inside out, here are a few ways to tell if your contacts are inside out before even inserting them into your eyes.

Method 1: The Side View

One of the quickest and easiest ways to check the orientation of your contact lenses is to examine them closely from the side. Place the lens on the tip of your finger with the edge facing upwards, and hold it close to your eyes so you can get the best view possible. If the lens is in its correct position, it will appear to be cup-shaped, with the edges curved upright. If the contact lens is turned inside out, it’ll look more like a bowl with a rim rather than a borderless cup. While this method may seem difficult at first, it’s actually the preferred method for many experienced contact lens wearers—give it some time, and soon it might be your favorite, too.

Method 2: The Taco Test

While the Taco Test may be an old-school way of figuring out whether your contact lenses are right side up or inside out, it remains one of the most popular approaches patients use to this day. To start the Taco Test, place the contact lens in question between the tips of your forefinger and thumb. Pinch the lens at the center to form the shape of a taco folded in half. If the edge that’s pointed up forms the shape of a taco shell, the contact lens is the right way. If the edge bends outward and looks like a soup spoon, the contact lens is inside out.

Method 3: The 1-2-3 Approach

Since inside-out contacts are a problem experienced by many contact lens wearers, contact lens manufacturers have gone so far as to mark their contact lenses with the numbers 1, 2, and 3. In order to use this method to determine if your lenses are inside out, simply place the lens on your fingertip and hold it up to a bright light. The 1-2-3 markings can be placed anywhere on the lens and vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, so be sure to examine the lens thoroughly. If you find the mark and it reads as normal, the contact is in its correct position. If the 1-2-3 is backwards, it’s safe to assume the lens is also backwards.

A contact lens with 123-type inversion markings.

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Method 4: Check for Tinted Edges

In addition to the 1-2-3 markings, many manufacturers also use tinted edges to help patients apply their contact lenses more easily. If your contact lenses have blue or green tinted edges, place them on your finger and view them from directly above. If you can see the lightly colored edge, your contact lenses are right side up. If you don’t see the tint, flip them over and check again. Note: if you’re unsure if your contact lenses come with 1-2-3 markings or tinted edges, check the packaging or the manufacturer’s website.

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