How to get a contact lens out from under my eyelid?
November 3, 2006 6:31 AM   Subscribe

How do I remove a contact lens that has stuck under my eyelid?

I put in my contact lens this morning and it slid under my eyelid. I've tried everything I can think of in order to get it out but it won't budge. This is hurting and my eye is very irritated! Any suggestions?
posted by irisell to Health & Fitness (13 answers total)
Put some (lots) of eye drops in and relax. Perhaps closing your eyes will help too. I've had this happen with mine before, and if I relax and give my eye plenty of lubrication it will work its way out - just like a piece of dirt. You could also try flipping your eyelid inside out (as best you can) and using the flipped eyelid to push it down the front of your eye.
posted by youngergirl44 at 6:35 AM on November 3, 2006

What kind of contact lens - daily/monthly disposable? soft? hard? This will have an impact on how you retrieve it.

Can you (or a trusted friend/relative with clean hands) see any part of it? If so, a cotton bud might be able to manipulate it out.
I find that placing a finger on the outside of my upper eyelid (towards the side) and then wiggling my eye around tends to help to shift recalitrant lenses.

It'll probably sound funny asking this, but are you absolutely certain that the lens is in and stuck? I've had a situation where I thought I'd put a lens in, but had actually dropped it at the last moment. I then literally poked my eye, causing discomfort. I thought that this was due to a misplaced lens, and spent 10+ minutes rinsing my eye, blinking, poking around, etc without any sign of it. Then I found it stuck on the front of my top. Doh.
posted by Chunder at 6:48 AM on November 3, 2006

This used to happen to me fairly regularly. What I do is pull out my eyelid, roll my eyeball up to sort of "catch" the (soft) contact, and then roll my eyeball down. That usually forces the contact out (and then usually down the sink, or on the ground, or whatever).
posted by flipper at 6:55 AM on November 3, 2006

Chunder's point about making absolutely sure the lens is in your eye is important, as I have also done the whole "painfully poke your eye" thing searching for a lens that wasn't there.

If the lens is above your eye (behind your upper eyelid) try gently pulling your upper eyelid down over your bottom one and letting go. This will usually dislodge stuck lenses for me.
posted by arco at 6:56 AM on November 3, 2006

Most drug stores will sell a very small suction cup that helps with this. When I wore Gas Perm contacts, this used to happen to me all the time. Get someone else to help, and roll your eye up all the way. They should be able to see at least the edge of the contact, and can use the suction cup to either gently move the contact up the eye, or pull it off altogether.
Just make sure they don't suction on to your eye by mistake, because that really hurts.
posted by Eddie Mars at 7:10 AM on November 3, 2006

How about going to the optometrist? They'd be able to look and make sure it's there, and probably get it out better than anyone else.
posted by jesirose at 7:25 AM on November 3, 2006

You should definitely see an optician. It's surprisingly common to have exactly what Chunder says happen and they won't think anything of it - it happens all the time whether it's there or not. They probably have someone come in every day for exactly this reason and will be able to sort you out in no time.
posted by edd at 7:47 AM on November 3, 2006

I also recommend just relaxing, although I know that's hard to do when you feel you have a piece of plastic lost in your eye. But if you can lie down for a few minutes with your eyes closed and just let things return to normal, you may find that the lens floats back into place.
posted by hsoltz at 8:20 AM on November 3, 2006

Thank you all. I tried your suggestions and am still having trouble. I think I am going to take the "go to the dr" advice.
posted by irisell at 8:22 AM on November 3, 2006

Here's the trick: get a q-tip, put it on the affected eyelid, and twist it. The eyelid will roll up like a window shade, exposing the foreign body.
posted by gramcracker at 8:25 AM on November 3, 2006

Pull your top eyelid over your bottom. This stimulates tears and will hopefully force the contact down. (this is what they teach you in the boy scouts)
posted by Fuka at 8:39 AM on November 3, 2006

This has happened to me several times. What's worked for me was to close my eye, put my index finger on the top of my eyelid, and make a couple of smooth motions downward. In that way, you are essentially moving the contact down from the top of your eyeball downwards with your finger.
posted by Pontius Pilate at 11:38 AM on November 3, 2006

Get the suction cup thingy for the next time this happens - works like a charm for me when this happens. Helps too if you have a friend help.
posted by vronsky at 1:17 PM on November 3, 2006

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