A torn contact lens is a real pain. Literally! It hurts and what’s more it can damage your eye. If you notice that your lens is torn, (and you won’t be able to help notice it) then you need to remove it as soon as possible.

Removing a Torn Contact Lens

  1. Find a well-lit area and a mirror.
  2. Wash your hands carefully and dry them with a towel or tissue that doesn’t leave any lint on your hands.
  3. If you have rewetting drops, place a few into the eye with the torn lens. If you don’t have rewetting drops, use a few drops of your multipurpose cleaning solution (if it is safe to use in your eyes), a few drops of saline solution or even water to wet the lens. A wet lens comes out much easier than a dry lens.
  4.  Pull your lower lid down with one hand and with the other hand, use a finger to slide the torn lens down to the white part of your eye
  5. Now use your thumb and finger to pinch the lens together. It will then fold and you can remove it from your eye.
  6. Wet the lens to unfold it again in the palm of your hand.
  7. Check the lens to ensure it is all there. If it isn’t then there are still some pieces of lens in your eye.
  8. To check for lost pieces of lens, firstly, hold your upper eyelid with your thumb and middle finger look down as far as you can. Any remaining pieces of the contact lens stuck here should now slide towards the centre of your eye. Remove these fragments with a wetted finger.
  9. If you still don’t have the entire lens, hold the lower lid open and look up as far as you can. This should bring any fragments back to the middle of your eye. Wet your finger and remove them.
  10. Repeat steps 8 and 9 until you’re sure you have the entire lens out of your eye.

Prevention is Better than Cure 

However, if you don’t want to have to go through all that, then take some simple steps to identify any torn lenses before you put them into your eyes and to prevent your lenses from tearing.

  1. Regularly Inspect Your Lenses. Look at them closely every day before you insert them into your eyes. It can be hard to spot tears, but a small line could be an indication that the lens is about to crack. Also if your lenses feel uncomfortable, remove them as they could be tearing.
  2. Never Wear Disposable Lenses Beyond Their Prescribed Time. This is one of the main reasons for contact lenses to tear.
  3. Keep Your Nails Short And Rounded. To avoid accidentally tearing your lens with your fingernails whilst handling it.
  4. Keep Your Lenses In Their Case When Not In Your Eyes. And make sure you don’t close the lid on the lens; this could tear it.

If, despite taking these precautions, your lenses keep tearing, speak to your optometrist or optical dispenser about changing to a more durable brand.