In this post, the Oregon Eye Specialists doctors answer your most common questions about contact lenses.

How do you remove a contact lens that is stuck or gets lost?

First of all, a contact lens cannot get lost inside your eye. The natural structure of the eye keeps contact lenses from getting into or behind the eye.

If a soft contact lens is stuck on the center of the eye, follow these steps: 

  • Wash your hands with soap and water and dry them with a clean towel.
  • Rinse your eye with sterile contact lens solution, saline solution or contact lens rewetting drops.
  • Close your eye and massage the upper eyelid gently.
  • If the lens does not come loose, rinse your eye again with drops or solution.
  • Repeat these steps as necessary until the lens moves. When it does, take it out as you normally would.

If a contact lens is stuck somewhere else in the eye, follow these steps:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water and dry them with a clean towel.
  • Look in the opposite direction from where you feel the lens. For example, if it seems to be stuck near your nose, look away from your nose.
  • Rinse your eye with sterile contact lens solution, saline solution or contact lens rewetting drops.
  • Close your eye and gently massage your eyelid over the area where the lens feels stuck.
  • Repeat these steps until the lens comes loose. When it does, take it out as you normally would.

If a contact lens stays stuck, you can try putting a new lens on your eye and blinking. The new lens can help pull the stuck lens to the center of your eye, where you can remove it more easily.

If you wear rigid gas permeable contact lenses, also called hard contacts, try these tips from the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

If the lens is still stuck, call Oregon Eye Specialists at 503-935-5580 for help.

How do I take care of my contact lenses?

Proper contact lens care is important for avoiding eye infections and irritation. You can find instructions and a video here.

Are eyeglass prescriptions the same as contact lens prescriptions?

No. Prescriptions for eyeglasses and contact lenses both contain information on vision correction. But a contact lens prescription also contains fitting information, because contact lenses are worn directly on the eyes.

To prescribe contact lenses, the doctor needs to check the health of your cornea (the front part of your eye where the contacts rest). If the cornea is not healthy, contacts might not be a good choice for you.

Are “no prescription” Halloween contacts safe to wear?

No. Contacts are not safe without a doctor’s prescription. This includes novelty contact lenses such as colored contacts, circle lenses and Halloween contacts. Before you wear any contact lenses, a doctor needs to make sure your cornea is healthy enough for contacts. (The cornea is the front part of your eye where the lens rests). He or she will measure your eye so the contacts fit correctly. This is why an eye exam is so important before getting contacts. You should also see the eye doctor after you wear your new contacts for a few days. The doctor will check that the lenses fit well and your eyes are healthy.

Prescription contacts are tested to make sure they are safe to wear, but “no prescription” contacts are not. This makes them much more likely to cause eye infections, allergic reactions and scratches or cuts on the cornea (the clear front part of your eye). Your eye doctor can prescribe colored contacts and Halloween lenses, so there’s no need to risk your eye health with “no prescription” contacts.

I wear bifocal glasses. Can I wear contact lenses?

Yes. There are different types of bifocal contact lenses. Some people also choose to wear a contact lens for near vision in one eye and a contact lens for distance vision in the other.

All types of bifocal contact lenses can take some getting used to, but your eye doctor can help you decide which type is best for you.

Are disposable contact lenses better for your eyes?

In general, the more often you replace contact lenses, the better. With daily wear disposable contacts, you get a fresh, sterile lens every day. This lowers your risk of eye infections and other problems.

Weekly or monthly disposable contacts can work well if you take good care of them. Learn about good contact lens care from the experts at the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Can contact lenses go bad?

Unopened contact lenses can last several years. This means you can use your flexible spending account (medical savings account) to stock up at the end of the year. If you have unopened lenses, check the expiration date on the package to make sure they are safe to use.

If contact lenses have been sitting in the case for a while, the solution can evaporate and the lenses can dry up. Throw out the lenses and open a fresh package.

How frequently should you get a contact lens exam?

You need a contact lens exam at least once a year. This is because contact lenses come into direct contact with your eyes. It’s important to make sure your eyes stay healthy. If you wear specialty contacts or have other eye conditions, you might need exams more often.

Get a contact lens eye exam

Oregon Eye Specialists has 8 convenient locations in the Portland metro area, so there is an eye doctor near you.

Our contact lens specialists include:

Questions about contact lenses? Learn more on our website page about contact lenses.