Any tips for using contacts for someone having trouble getting them in?

I have mild myopia, the only thing I have trouble with is reading at a distance so I’d prefer contacts but my god is it a pain to put them in, I’ve had ophthalmologists struggle with it and just say maybe I should wear glasses.

I’ve got a prominent brow and prominent orbital bone?, plus deep set eyes and it means putting a contact on it like sliding something under and up.

I spent thirty minutes today trying to put in one contact again before giving up.

This also means I usually wear them til they fall out and replace if I’m wearing them(yes yes bad bad but getting them out is usually as hard as getting them in, not doing that daily).

My technique was to pull down my lower lid, look up, and place the contact on the lower curve of my eyeball, on the white. Then look down so that the contact slides over my iris and let go of the lower lid. You can also pull the lower lid out and up and place it over the contact. Lessens the likelihood you’ll just blink the contact off your eye.

Not sure if this method would work for you, but give it a try if you haven’t yet.

Taking them out was a similar method. Look up, place your finger on the contact and slide it down onto the lower curve of your eyeball. Pinch and remove.

I am assuming you’re using soft lenses. If not I’m not sure whether my methods will work at all.

I don’t think that brows and orbital bones have anything to do with it since you are putting your contacts on your eyeball. It doesn’t really matter what shape the surrounds of your eye might have.

It’s one of those frustrating things that the more you do it the better at it you get but it’s very hard to say what specific things you start to do that make it work. Leaving them in till they fall out is as I understand it immensely dangerous and is leaving you open to infections that may damage your sight.

I wore contacts for about a week back in the 1980’s.

They were called “Hard, gas permeable” Good lord, it was a nightmare.

Like putting sandpaper in your eyes.

the Dr gave me this technique:

Putting in:

  • Look up, place the contact on white of eye. Look down, and they are in place.


  • Look up.
  • Pull bottom eye lid tight to the side.
  • Look down.
  • The contact flicks out as it comes in contact with the taut edge of your eye lid
  • contact goes flying off in some unknown direction or gets pressed even harder
    onto your eye ball from the lid pressure if it didn’t catch the edge.

All in all, very useless way of removing. Dr told me I would not be able to stand
hard contacts. He was correct. Back to glasses ever since.


Huh I was googling and found this:

No one has ever told me about this, I didn’t even know these were available.

That is NOT how you should put in gas permeables. That’s a great way to get them stuck on the whites of your eyes, though. (Luckily, they sell little suction cups to remove them if they do that, but the suction cups are hard to find.)

I love gas perms because I cannot touch my eyeball, and with gas perms, I don’t. The surface tension of the contact solution just sucks 'em on when I get them close. To remove them, I just pull the corner of my eye and blink the contact out into my palm. No touching, ever.

Gas perms aren’t as popular, and you shouldn’t sleep with them in, which kind of sucks, but they’re much easier to place and remove. Maybe see if they’re an option for you.

I was short of time before so my first post in this thread was incomplete.

I found that as I got more used to touching my eyes things got better. What works for me for putting my contacts in is to pry my eyelids apart with one hand, then touch the contact fairly gently right over my pupil. There is a little dimple right in the middle of your pupil which you can actually feel through the contact lens, assuming you are talking about soft lenses. Slide the contact around till it is centered on that dimple, then take your finger off and the contact sticks. That’s what works for me as far as putting them in is concerned.

As to taking them out, my optometrist (who is superb) taught me thuswise: with one hand hold your top eyelid up and out of the way as far as you can. Use your third finger on your other hand to pull your bottom eyelid down and place your first finger on that hand in the centre of your pupil (ie right in the middle of the contact) and draw it downward. Then pinch it off your eyeball using that first finger and your thumb. Using this technique I went from finding removing contacts difficult to finding it easy as pie.

Moved MPSIMS --> IMHO.

This is how I always did it. I never could go right at my pupil. One tip is to make sure your eyes are well moistened. Use drops if you need to. Oh, and make sure the contact hasn’t flipped inside out. It’s hard to see unless you look at the rim from the side.

OMG I hated gas perms. They hurt all day long. I have astigmatism, so for the longest time I couldn’t wear anything but. When they got soft contacts for the likes of me I rejoiced!

Good advice about the moisture. It also works well for me to have a tiny puddle of lens solution in the contact as I put it in so that it’s well lubricated as it’s inserted.

One thing my optometrist pointed out to me is that if you take a soft contact lens and lay it across one of the creases in your hand (well washed, of course), and squeeze it together, a contact that’s right-side up will tend to curl inward, while a backward one will tend to want to curl outward.

Once you get it right, you put the contact in your eye with the inward side up.

As for the actual insertion, I usually grab my upper eyelid with my index and middle finger of my left hand, and my lower eyelid with my middle finger of my right hand, and put the contact in with my right index finger.

My optometrist told me that the reason they’re hard to find is that if you miss the contact and suction onto your eye, you can damage it trying to get the suction cup off.

I wore gas perms for years, and while I adapted to them pretty well, I never, even for a second, forgot that there was a piece of plastic in my eye. And they’d get increasingly uncomfortable after 10 or 12 hours. It usually takes weeks or months for people to get used to wearing them full time, and many people can just never do it.

As long as I care for my soft contacts and am not in a particularly dry or dusty environment, I literally forget that they’re there unless I think about it.

I didn’t know soft contacts could deal with astig, which I have.

What is it I should google… a type, brand, or … what??

Will be interesting to learn what’s out there now…

Go for contacts with the smallest diameter you can find - used to be Focus Dailies were the smallest, I have been out of the optometry biz now for a long time though.

Make sure you’re not part of the problem, squinching your eyelid closed when the contact is close to the eyeball - it’s involuntary and some people have a stronger reaction than others, but it can be overcome with practice. Wash your hands thoroughly, dip your finger in contact lens solution, and just practice gently touching your eyeball until you can do it without flinching.

I always found that men had a harder time with their first set of contacts than women, on average, probably because women are more desensitized to close-up touching around their eyes to apply makeup. A lot of girls already trained themselves out of flinching at things near their eyes back when they were learning to put on mascara as tweens, so the leap to actually touching things to their eyeballs was not as great.

And yes, eye size played a role as well. Prescription strength as well, because it’s simply more difficult to see what you are doing in the mirror without your glasses if you have a big prescription or a lot of astigmatism. Usually the most difficult scenario was something like this:

[li]Male[/li][li]Older than 20 [/li][li]Small eyes[/li][li]Flincher[/li][li]Big prescription[/li][li]Astigmatism[/li][/ul]

Someone that had most (or all) of these traits, yea - they had an uphill battle getting into contacts. The bigger the learning curve was, the more likely they were to say, “to hell with all that!” and just go back to glasses.

They do make contacts for astigmatism, they’re called Toric lenses. They work by actually having a tiny weight placed inside them which rotates the lens to the correct direction on your eye to cure the astigmatism. So you put them in your eye and then you feel them rotating. You blink hard, they rotate. Rub your eyes, they rotate. It’s weird at first, but you get used to it. It can be off-putting though.

Plus they’re pretty expensive, usually twice the price of regular lenses. There are so many possible combinations of prescription+astigmatism that optometrists aren’t as likely to have your exact prescription on hand, so it’s likely to be something they need to order in before you can even try it on.

Many optometrists won’t suggest torics for people who have just a little bit of astigmatism - like, if you have less than 1.00 worth, they might just think, meh, too much trouble, and steer you towards something else.

Back when I still wore contacts my prescription called for an uncommon axis, and there were (and still are) only a few companies that manufacture soft lenses with that axis, so we had only two choices for companies to buy from, and one of them were made of a material that my eyes didn’t like.

Definitely not true. I sympathize with the OP, having deep-set eyes myself. Many people can pull their eyelids apart and expose nearly an entire hemisphere of their orbit. For me, getting one in is like playing Operation. Even with me pulling my eyelids apart as far as they’ll go, there’s barely any clearance.

It is helpful to look away and place the lens on the sclera. The sclera is less sensitive than the cornea, so you won’t flinch as much. It’s also helpful to have a drop of contact lens solution or eyedrop in the lens.

For taking them out, I disobey what I was initially taught at the optometrist’s. They told me to place a finger directly on the lens and swipe it down. No way in hell I’m doing that–I can’t aim anything directly at my cornea, even when I know there’s a contact lens over it. Instead, I look up, and pinch the very bottom of the lens, the part over the sclera.

The weird tip I learned was to put a small mirror on a surface, like a table or desk, and lean over it, looking down. For some insane reason, it’s easier to orient yourself (and your eye) when you’re doing it horizontally as opposed to vertically (standing in front of the bathroom mirror).

My eye doctor swore this method resolved about the 80% of the complaints he had from patients who were having a hard time getting contacts in.

I never tried that method, but it sounds like it has the added advantage of when you drop a lens you have a better idea where it can be found.