How To Replace Contacts

By John Dick ABO, FNAO


After making the decision to wear contact lenses, the next step is to learn the proper way to insert and remove them. Let’s get started.

Insertion of Soft Lenses

1. Always wash your hands before handling your lenses. This will prevent harmful bacteria and other debris from getting into your eye.

2. Stopping up the sink will prevent you from losing your lens (and money) down the drain.

3. Start with the right lens first every time. This will prevent mix-ups such as putting the wrong lens in the wrong eye (and an embarrassing trip to your eyecare professional).

4. Check the lens to make sure it is not inside out. If you fold the lens between your thumb and index finger, the edges should touch, not flare out.  This will prevent discomfort after lens insertion.

5. Place the right lens on the tip of the index finger of your writing hand.  Using the middle finger of your other hand, pull and hold your upper eyelid open, so you cannot blink.

6. Pull down your lower eyelid, using the middle finger of your inserting hand.

7. Look up and place the lens gently on the lower white part of your eye. Or, look straight at the lens, and place it directly on the center of your eye.

8. Look down to position the lens correctly. Release your eyelid, and close your eye for a moment. Repeat with the left lens.

Removal of Soft Lenses

1. Start with your right eye. Have your lens case open and ready, with fresh contact lens solution waiting.

2. Make sure the lens is centered on your eye. If your eye feels particularly dry, insert a few rewetting drops to lubricate your lens before removal.

3. As you look up, pull your lower eyelid down with the middle finger of your inserting hand.

4. Use your index finger to slide the lens down to the lower white part of your eye.

5. Gently squeeze the lens between your thumb and index finger, and remove it from your eye.

6. Rinse the lens with contact solution, and put it into your lens case.

Insertion and Removal of RGP (Hard Lenses)

1. Rinse the lens with tap water.

2. Clean with RGP cleaner and warm (not hot) water for at least 20 seconds.

3. Put two drops of RGP condition solution on both sides of the contact and gently massage it on the surface.

4. Insert the lens as you would soft lenses.

5. Rinse out your case and let it air dry.

6. At day’s end, replace the conditioning solution and store your lenses. Remove your lenses as you would a soft lens.