Exactly How To Put In and Take Out Contact Lenses

This is what it looks like to put in a contact lens.

Are you new to wearing contact lenses? Maybe you’ve worn them before and need a refresher on how to properly do so? Regardless of your experience level, below is a simple, step-by-step guide to putting in and taking out contact lenses!

In the video below, Dr. Ryan Corte outlines easy to follow instructions on exactly how to put in and take out your contacts.

If you don’t like the video or want more information, continue reading.

Putting In Your Contact Lenses

Step 1: Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water

Washing hands to put in contact lenses

Step 2: Dry your hands with a clean towel

Drying hands to put in contact lenses

Step 3: Remove your contact lens from its package or case

Note: If you wear contact lenses stored in a case, rinse them off with contact lens solution.

Washing off contact lenses

Step 4: Check to make sure your contact lens isn’t inside out by doing one of the following:

Option A: Look for a “U” over a “V” shape

Do this by placing the contact lens on the tip of your finger. Carefully assess the lens to make sure it makes a “U” shape. If it makes a “V” shape or flares out, it’s inside out.

Contact lenses U shape (correct) Contact lenses V shape (incorrect)

Option B: Perform the “Taco” test

Do this by putting the contact lens between your pointer finger and thumb. Next, pinch the lens together and look to see if it makes the shape of a taco. If it appears the lens is bowing out, it’s inside out.

Contact lenses taco test

Option C: Look for a number or branded laser marking on your contact lens

Place the lens on the tip of your finger and look for a number or branded laser markings. If they’re backward, your lens is inside out. *Not applicable to all contact lens brands.

Contact lens number laser markings (123 vs 321) Contact lens number laser markings (OK vs KO)

Step 5: Hold your upper eyelid with your alternate hand to prevent blinking

It’s best to hold your eyelid as close to the white part of your eye as you can.

Step 6: Use the hand you’re putting in your contact lens with to pull down your lower eyelid

Again, it’s best to hold your eyelid as close to the white part of your eye as you can.

Step 7: Place the contact lens onto the front of your eye

Note: Some people find it easier to look up or down and place the contact lens on the white part of their eye instead.

Step 8: Release one eyelid THEN your other eyelid (but not both at the same time)

From there, gently close your eyes and slowly move them around – this allows your contact lens to settle.

Step 9: Open your eyes, blink a few times and enjoy clear, comfortable vision wearing your contact lenses!

Things to remember

If a contact lens is irritating your eye after putting it in, take it out and make sure it’s not inside out or defected.

Also, keep in mind, astigmatismmultifocal, and specialty contact lenses often take a couple minutes to settle for clear, comfortable vision!

Taking Out Your Contact Lenses

Step 1: Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water

It's important to wash your hands before putting in contact lenses.

Step 2: Dry your hands with a clean towel

It's also important to dry your hands to put in your contact lenses.

Step 3: Fill your contact lens case with fresh contact lens solution

Note: You can skip this step if you wear daily contact lenses.

Filling contact lens case

Step 4: Hold your upper eyelid with your alternate hand to prevent blinking

It’s best to hold your eyelid as close to the white part of your eye as you can.

Step 5: Use the hand you’re taking out your contact lens with to pull down your lower eyelid

Again, it’s best to hold your eyelid as close to the white part of your eye as you can.

Step 6: Slide the contact lens off the center of your eye using your pointer finger

Note: Some people skip this step and simply proceed to step 7.

Step 7: Pinch the contact lens between your thumb and pointer finger and remove it from your eye

At first, this is easier said than done. Therefore, be patient with yourself and take a break if you start to get frustrated.

Step 8: Place the contact lens in your contact lens case for proper storage

Note: You can place your contact lens in the trash if you wear daily contact lenses.

That’s it! You’re now ready to put in and take out your contact lenses like a pro! If you have any questions, make sure to talk with your eye care professional. Good luck!

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Ryan Corte, OD
Dr. Ryan Corte was born and raised in Novi, MI where he attended Novi High School. He graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutritional Science in 2008. He also attended The Ohio State University College of Optometry where he graduated with a Doctor of Optometry degree in 2012. Dr. Corte completed an Optometric Residency in Primary Care and Ocular Disease at the Illinois College of Optometry in 2013. During his residency, he obtained advanced clinical competency to practice optometry at the highest level as well as provided educational assistance and supervision of third and fourth year students as a clinical faculty member. He now practices just north of Charlotte, NC at Northlake Eye. In addition to his clinical expertise, Dr. Corte has contributed to optometry through multiple leadership roles. He is a former Executive President of the American Optometric Student Association and is currently serving on the Young ODs and Membership committee of the North Carolina Optometric Society Optometric. He also was a senior journalist for NewGradOptometry.com and is a co-founder of CovalentCareers.com. Dr. Corte thrives on involvement and looks forward to remaining very active throughout his professional career. Outside of work, he loves spending time with his wife, family and friends as well as continuing to stay active in his community and in life.