How to put in contacts is a question every first-time wearer—or potential wearer—asks.
If you’ve never done this before, the application process might sound a little strange at first. After all, our reflexes try to help us keep objects away from our eyes, right?
Relax. Putting in contact lenses is an incredibly easy process and we’re here to help walk you through every step. It will take some practice, but you'll soon be able to do it with ease.
How to put on contacts in five easy steps
First off, try not to think of it as putting contacts in your eyes—you’re not. You’re placing contacts on your eyes, where they rest comfortably and help you see clearly. Now let’s get to the actual process. This is probably the easiest way to put in contacts.
1. Wash your hands.
You want to ensure you don’t accidentally carry any dust, germs, or makeup to your contact lens as that could irritate your eyes. Also, use plain soap without any heavy moisturizers or perfumes. Rinse well and dry your hands. Again, this is to prevent transmitting anything unwanted to your eyes. Now let’s insert the contact lenses.
2. Start with the same eye every time.
Your contact lenses specifically fit each eye, left or right. Like your shoes, you can’t mix the two interchangeably. Since your contacts will look identical out of the box, starting with your right eye if you’re right handed, or your left eye if you’re left handed, and doing this every time you insert your contacts will help you keep which is which straight in your mind. This is the easy way to put contacts in for the first time, which is what we want.
3. Scoop out the lens carefully.
Place the lens on your index finger. Look at it. Is it curved upward, like a bowl? If so, great! You’re almost there. Just clean it with contact lens solution and you’re ready to put in the contacts and get on with your day.
4. Hold your eyelid and insert your contact lens.
Just use your free hand to hold up your eyelid and insert the lens. Many choose to look away as the contact lens goes onto the eye. You can do this, or you’re free to look straight at the lens, too. Either way is fine.
5. Blink and smile—that’s it!
That’s right. Blink naturally and maybe take a look in the mirror. If everything feels and looks fine, you’re done. Hey, we said this would be easy!
Common myths about how to put in contacts
Let’s take a moment to shatter some common contact lens myths about putting on contacts and wearing them:
What if my contact lens slides to the back of my eye?
Simply put, it won’t. It’s impossible. The conjunctiva membrane, which covers the white part of your eyes, prevents this.
What if my contacts will stick to my eyes and won’t come out?
Don’t worry. Your contacts won’t stick like miniature suction cups. They’re designed to stay in and also slip out easily when you need to remove them. Likewise…
Won’t my contacts constantly be popping out of my eyes?
Uh-uh. This is a myth, perhaps propelled by older movies or TV shows where a character might lose a hard contact lens. In reality, it’s highly unlikely to ever happen with today’s soft contact lenses.
We hope these tips for putting in contacts help you with your lenses and dispel some myths about them. As with almost any new activity, the more you do it, the easier putting in contact lenses becomes. Soon, you’ll be able to do it without a second thought.
If you need hands-on help, feel free to ask your eye doctor. He or she will be happy to help walk you through the process in person.
Nothing in this article is to be construed as medical advice, nor is it intended to replace the recommendations of a medical professional. For specific questions, please see your eye care practitioner.