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Why do my right contact lenses keep ripping?
May 1, 2009 5:19 PM   Subscribe

Why do my right contact lenses keep ripping?

I wear soft, daily wear, disposable contacts. The right one keeps ripping while I'm wearing it, and I end up removing half a lens from that eye. Why does this happen? Why just in the right eye? How can I make it stop? Is this something I have to see my eye doctor about?

Is it possible that I'm walking around with five halves of contact lenses in my right eye, and they're causing the new lenses to rip? I've done an eye wash from time to time and never seen a part of a lens come out, but my eyes aren't irritated and I've always presumed the partial lenses came out without my noticing.

My left and right contacts are the same prescription and come from the same box. I'm right handed. I keep my fingernails fairly short. I've been wearing contacts for decades and this has never been a problem until recently; it's happened five times in the past few months.
posted by The corpse in the library to Health & Fitness (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Parts of lenses can get stuck behind the eye. Try really rolling your eye around with no lens in and see if anything comes out.
Do you wear a different strength in the right eye compared to the left? You could have a bad batch or something.

I'd talk with your eye doctor about this and see if he thinks a new brand would be a good idea.
posted by zephyr_words at 5:24 PM on May 1, 2009


Do you rub your eyes a lot? Even with your eyes closed? This could rip them.

Whenever I got a lens stuck in my eye socket, I find that it's very hard to ignore. It's not irritable, but I could definitely feel it.

Definitely talk to your eye doctor about the ripping..
posted by nikkorizz at 5:33 PM on May 1, 2009


Do you rub your eyes? I wear Focus Dailies, and they are very fragile. Also, if your right eye is drier for some reason, I imagine the lens would be more prone to ripping.

I doubt you have contact fragments in your eye, you would notice this.
posted by cj_ at 5:36 PM on May 1, 2009


I wonder if this is because of the correction needed for your right eye. Maybe the lense for that eye is thinner, and thus more easily torn.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 6:22 PM on May 1, 2009


I wear Focus Dailies, too. I hadn't considered that my right eye might be drier -- interesting.

The contacts are the same for my left and right eye, so that's not it.
posted by The corpse in the library at 6:28 PM on May 1, 2009


If all the contacts came from the same batch, maybe it's poor Quality Control? I just had this happen to me last night for the first time ever, incredibly annoying (just glad I was watching TV instead of, say, driving somewhere FFS.)

It might not be a waste of time to contact the lens manufacturer and ask about it- worst case scenario, nothing happens, best case scenario, they give you a coupon or something for your next refill.
posted by ambrosia at 6:29 PM on May 1, 2009


Do you take the lens out of that eye differently from the other eye? I pull my right lens in toward my nose, whereas I pull my left lens toward my ear, when taking them out.
posted by biscotti at 6:56 PM on May 1, 2009


Also, if your right eye is drier for some reason, I imagine the lens would be more prone to ripping.

FWIW my right is a a lot drier than my left. My optometrist called it 'dry eye' when talking to me but I noticed she wrote a scientific name when she gave me a copy of my prescription when I moved cities, so it's bad enough to be a specific 'thing' in that one eye (the other is normal). I'm very right eye dominant and my left has a higher prescription than my right (although the right has worse astigmatism), so I'm guessing it gets used differently or more somehow. You could definitely have something similar going on and your eye doc can help (mine changed the type of lenses I use and also changed the storage solution I used, the latter had a surprisingly large effect). I wore lenses for about eight years without a problem before this started btw, so things can change.

It is also possible you're just taking them out differently as biscotti suggested. Some physical difference in handling could definitely cause this problem. Either way I'd get it checked if it was me since this seems to have become a trend.
posted by shelleycat at 7:10 PM on May 1, 2009


If this is a recent problem, I'd have to agree with ambrosia that you may have just gotten a bad batch.
posted by maudlin at 7:29 PM on May 1, 2009


I used Focus Dailies for a while and had a similar problem, changing to another daily lens with more of a moistener helped immensely. (The daily lenses seem to be thinner and less moist in general). (And as another aside, the Focus Dailies do seem to have a quality control issue, frequently I would open up a lens package and there would be 2 or 3 lenses stuck together).
posted by miscbuff at 8:41 PM on May 1, 2009


I think Shellycat is on the right track. I have a very similar problem myself--I wear the 2-week disposable lenses and have found that the right lens almost always goes bad first (starts irritating my eye, but not actually tearing). The prescription for my left eye is stronger, but my right eye has a slight astigmatism. I think this could be the problem--if the surface of the cornea is misshapen it seems reasonable that this would affect the contact lens sitting on top of it. They make special disposable contacts for astigmatism which would probably be better, but I've never bothered because they're more expensive and my optometrist didn't seem to think it was necessary. Maybe you should check with your doctor about that, though, if it's causing such frequent problems.
posted by Jemstar at 9:19 AM on May 2, 2009


Well, I've had a problem with lenses ripping when I have a tiny amount of perfume residue on my fingers. As in, I touched my neck where I'd sprayed perfume 12 hours ago without realizing it and then I remove my lenses. If you take the right contact out first, that might be the one that gets ruined. Perfume will shred lenses!

Washing your hands thoroughly with soap will take care of this (I used to just rinse with water but this won't remove all of the perfume oils).
posted by mintchip at 8:37 PM on May 2, 2009


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