How To Remove a Contact Lens Without Pinching It

Medically Reviewed on 9/28/2022
Taking contact lenses out is one of the most important aspects of wearing contacts.
Taking contact lenses out is one of the most important aspects of wearing contacts.

Taking contact lenses out is one of the most important aspects of wearing contacts. The sliding down method is preferable. Below are the steps to remove a contact lens without pinching it:

  • Keep the eye open by using each middle finger to hold upper and lower eyelids.
  • The dominant hand may be usually used to pull down the lower lid.
  • Use the index finger of the hand pulling the lower lid down, while looking slightly upwards, and touch the lower portion of the contact lens. Slide the contact lens down onto the white of the eye.
  • Using the same index finger, and the thumb of the same hand, open the finger and thumb up to the width of the contact lens. Press on the edges of the lens and bring the finger and thumb together. The lens may usually come off the eye into the thumb and finger.

Advantages of this method:

  • Sliding the lens down onto the white creates a wrinkle in the lens, making it easier to grab.
  • It may be less painful and problematic to touch the white of the eye than the cornea.

What is a cornea?

The cornea is transparent and dome-shaped that covers the front of the eye and protects the pupil, iris, and eye chamber. The cornea plays a key role in a patient’s vision quality and optical health. The cornea works with the lens and anterior chamber of the eye to focus light that helps you see clearly. 

How is a contact lens useful?

Contact lenses are medical devices worn directly on the cornea of the eye. Contacts provide a safe and effective way to correct vision when used with care and proper supervision. They can offer a good alternative to eyeglasses, depending on the eyes, age, and lifestyle. A contact lens is usually helpful in correcting refractive errors, and it performs the function of adding or subtracting focusing power to the eye's cornea and lens.

The following are the conditions in which contact lenses may be considered helpful: 

Is it harmful to remove a contact lens using the pinching method?

Few people don't slide the lens down, but they just pinch it right off the cornea. This can be done as long as they are confident and gentle. However, the pinching method to remove the lens is not usually recommended to everyone because it may scratch the cornea and cause visual discomfort or impairment.


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What are the common precautions that should be taken before removing the contact lens?

Before handling or removing the contact lens, a person may need to follow a few precautions that include:

  • Hands need to be clean (use soap or alcohol-based sanitizer)
  • Dry the cleaned hands and fingers thoroughly
  • Decide which hand to use for removing the lens and which eye to start with; preferably, the dominant hand is recommended
  • Always start with the same eye, which makes it harder to mix up right and left lenses.
  • Get comfortable with a mirror in front of you; a magnifying mirror may be helpful
  • Be patient; do not rush while trying to remove lenses
  • If the lens does not come out the first time, or the second, do not panic; stop, take a deep breath, walk away for a few minutes, and try again
  • Practice wearing and removing the lens often till you become confident
  • If the lens seems to be sticking to the eye, take professional help rather than injuring the eye in the process

How to remove a contact lens that is stuck in the eye?

The most common problem with removing contact lenses is they may get stuck on the eye. This is usually caused due to dry eyes. Below are a few tips to remove contact lenses that may have stuck in the eye:

  • Apply some lubricating drops into the eye
  • Close the eye and move the eyeball in all directions to loosen the lens
  • Try using more drops and blink a lot after the drops have been applied
  • Once the lens is freed, it may be removed with the sliding method
  • Use prescribed eye drops regularly to prevent dry eyes

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Medically Reviewed on 9/28/2022
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