Inserting contacts

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Updated: 1/14/2003 1:31 pm Published: 1/14/2003 1:31 pm

If you've never worn contacts before, you may have an understandable fear of deliberately putting something in your eye. Inserting your lenses may take some practice at first, but it can usually become quite easy and routine once you've mastered the technique. Because there are so many different types of lenses, always follow your manufacturer's instructions. Get into the habit of washing and rinsing your hands before handling your lenses, preferably with a non-oily and non-creamy soap. Place the lens on your fingertip and examine it carefully before inserting it into your eye. Make sure there aren't any bits of foreign matter clinging to it and there are no chips or tears (TEHRZ). Check to see if it's right-side out. Putting your lens on inside-out won't hurt your eye, but it may feel uncomfortable. You may hold your upper and lower lids open with thumb and forefinger, or use other fingers. Some people look straight ahead, while others prefer to look up while inserting the lens. If you have long fingernails, you should take care when inserting your lens so you don't scratch your cornea or puncture the lens. It's likely that you'll drop a lens now and again while putting it in. If you're inserting your lenses over a sink, make sure the drain is closed. Inserting them over a towel, instead, may make it easier to find if you drop them and decrease the likelihood of damage to the lenses. A dropped lens can be difficult to find, because it may be colorless, and it can land far from where you think it is. Try using a flashlight if you can't immediately locate it. There are various techniques for actually inserting the lens into your eye, so experiment with what works best for you.

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