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Five Tips for Inserting and Removing Contact Lenses

Everyone who has ever tried contacts knows the feeling: The first time you attempt to get them in at home is so frustrating. How is it possible that you mastered it in the office and now at home its been an hour and they're still not going in? Its like you forgot everything the doctor told you. Just relax. Here are a few pointers:

1. Keep both eyes open. Your eyelids operate in sync with each other, so if you are trying to insert a right contact and your left eye is squeezed shut, you are making it a lot harder for yourself. Keep your left eye open so the right follows suit.

2. Keep you contact WET and your finger that its resting on DRY. The reasoning is simple if you think about it: wet things love to stick to other wet things. So a wet contact will want to get right on your wet eyeball. But if your finger is also wet, it will never want to leave.

3. Don't break eye contact with yourself. If you start to panic when the lens approaches your eye and your eyes roll back, suddenly you can't see what you're doing in the mirror and just aimlessly pushing the contact towards your eye. If you don't watch what you're doing, this will never work.

4. Practice with eye drops first. Part of the struggle is simply getting comfortable with something going in your eyes. It is an unnatural thing, if you think about it. Our instinct is to be protective of our eyes and shut them tight if anything gets close. A great way to get more comfortable is to practice putting artificial tears in your eyes. Once you've mastered eye drops, the next step is contacts.

5. When removing lenses, don't delay between the "slide" and the "pinch." You probably remember being taught to pinch the lens off. But first its important to slide the lens away from the center and onto the white part of your eye (because if you accidentally scratch or pinch the white of your eye it is not as bad as if you accidentally pinched the center). The problem is, you have a very small window of opportunity to pinch the lens after sliding it. Because if you wait too long, or take your finger off, the lens goes right back to the center, exactly where it is designed to fit. Practice getting the slide and the pinch in a single, continuous motion.

If you need more practice, we are here for you! Don't hesitate to make another appointment for more in-office training!

One more thing: Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands.

It's my job to tell you that and to show you this photo from a study done at the University of Waterloo after handling contact lenses with washed and unwashed hands.

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