Whether you’ve worn contact lenses for a long time or you’ve just started using contact lenses, occasionally, you might find your contact lens becoming challenging to remove. This week, we’ll explore the options, giving you some handy tips and hints on how to remove these contact lenses.
If you find yourself having difficulties and spent almost two hours trying to remove your contact lenses, here are a few steps you can follow.
- Verify you have the lenses in your eye. This may seem obvious. However, if you have worn the lenses for most of the day, it may not feel like you’re wearing the lenses at all. Occasionally, the contact lenses may have popped out during the day, and you might find yourself trying to remove a contact lens that is not in your eye, to begin with. Your vision may or may not be affected, especially if the contact lens is still in the other eye. Depending on your prescription, you may need to go quite close to the mirror and verify the contact lens edge. The contact lens has typically a light blue tint which can be easily seen against the white conjunctiva.
- Wet the contact lens with a contact lens solution (Not AOSept or similar) or lubricating eye drops. Throughout the day, your contact lens could dry up. When the contact lens dries up, it shrinks and acts like a shrink wrap around your eye. If this is the case, the contact lens will get quite difficult and uncomfortable to remove. Using either your multipurpose contact lens solution (not AOSept or similar) or, even better, lubricating eye drops, instil a couple of drops in your eye. Blink a couple of times as this helps to spread the drops evenly across the contact lens. The contact lens might start to loosen up. You may need a couple of more eye drops to achieve this.
- With your clean fingertip and contact lens verified on your eye, touch the contact lens in the centre directly and move it off-centre. As you do this, you may feel the contact lens gliding gently across your eye. As you let go of the contact lens, it should resettle back to the centre of your eye. The goal of this is to help loosen the contact lens. You might find you may need to repeat step 2 above and put in more eye drops if the contact lens is still sitting tight on your eye.
- Once the contact lens is loosened, use your technique to remove your contact lenses. This is the technique you were taught initially by your optometrist. Only try to remove the contact 5 mins at a time. If you’ve been trying to remove the contact lens for the last hour, you should stop and give your eyes a break. By only trying to remove your contact lens in 5-minute increments reduces your eyes from becoming increasingly irritated and becoming overly challenging to remove.
If you can’t verify your contact lens in the eye, it may have folded as you attempted to remove it. This may cause the contact lens to fold in half and allowing it to sit between your eyelid and your eye. If that’s the case, you will likely feel irritation whenever you blink, and your vision is blurry. You can remove this troublesome lens by vigorously irrigate your eye using a commercial eye bath. The contact lens will fall out, and the feeling of irritation ceases immediately.
Contact lenses are designed to fit the front part of your eyes, your cornea. They are designed with a curvature to be compatible with your eyes. The curvature or the base curve of these lenses can vary between different contact lens brands. This means that some brand of contact lenses may suit you better than others. Your optometrist will determine which brand would best suit you during your initial contact lens fitting appointment.
If All Else Fails, See Your Optometrist
If you’re finding your contact lenses lately have become increasingly difficult to remove, feel uncomfortable, or feel dry towards the end of the days’ wear, you likely need to be refitted with a new contact lens. A type and brand of contact lenses that suited your ten years ago may not be suitable for you today. More recent, more biocompatible contact lenses are released into the market each year and will benefit you.
The Bottom Line
If your eyes are feeling painful, very red, blurry vision and some sensitivity to light, these are symptoms of contact lens intolerance, and you should see your optometrist immediately. If you’re continuing to wear your contact lenses and ignoring these symptoms could lead to further issues with irreversible damage.
After removing your contact lens, you should make an appointment with your optometrist to have the contact lens fit re-evaluated and check if the irritation needs further treatment.
At Capital Eye, we routinely see poorly fitted contact lenses with these issues outlined above. Primarily due to contact lenses being ordered inappropriately online and switching between brands without your optometrist’s knowledge. If you feel that you may benefit from a contact lens refitting appointment, we are located in Barton, Canberra, and we are more than happy to help you.