Contact lenses can tear for a number of reasons. Dry eyes, frequent eye rubbing, handling them with long fingernails, and less-than-gentle cleaning can all lead to microtears that may eventually cause the lens to tear.
How can you tell your contact lens is torn? Chances are, your eye will feel irritated and you may experience blurred vision.
If you look in the mirror and notice that the lens looks torn or there are small pieces detached from the contact lens — don’t panic. Contact lenses can’t get stuck in or behind the eye, whether they are whole or torn.
Here’s what you need to know about torn contact lenses and how to prevent future tears.
How To Remove A Torn Contact Lens
First, wash your hands with soap and water to remove microbes and dirt. Dry them thoroughly with a lint-free towel or a paper towel.
Then, apply rewetting drops to your eye and remove the large pieces of the lens from your eye, just as you would remove a whole lens. If small lens fragments remain, try and move them to the white part of your eye and carefully remove them with your thumb and index fingers. Be sure to use your dry fingertips, not your nails.
If it feels like the lens fragments are still stuck in your eye, try lightly massaging your eyelid to dislodge the pieces. Rinsing your eye with sterile saline solution can help flush away any remaining pieces.
You may still feel like a piece is stuck in your eye, even after you’ve removed all the fragments. This could be due to eye irritation. If the irritation doesn’t resolve within a few hours, contact your eye doctor.
Once you’ve removed the contact lens pieces — throw them out! Never try to rewear a torn lens, even if it is only minimally damaged. Torn lenses can damage the cornea with their jagged edges.
Minimize Your Risk of Future Lens Tears
The longer you wear contact lenses, the more familiar you’ll become with lens wear and care guidelines. Here are some tips that may help prevent lens tears in the future.
- To minimize eye rubbing due to lens discomfort, ask your eye doctor about soothing eye drops.
- Schedule an eye exam to determine the cause of your discomfort. Dry eye syndrome or allergies might be the culprit.
- When you clean your lenses, use very light force when massaging the lens in the palm of your hand.
- Consider switching to daily contact lenses instead of monthlies or biweeklies if your lenses tear frequently.
- Ask your eye doctor about upgrading to stronger contact lenses.
- Keep your fingernails short.
If your contact lenses are giving you any trouble, we can help! At Optix Family Eyecare, we offer a wide range of contact lenses that combine comfort and clarity.
To schedule your contact lens consultation, call Optix Family Eyecare in Plainview today!
At Optix Family Eyecare, we put your family's needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 516-252-0725 or book an appointment online to see one of our Plainview eye doctors.
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