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Many vision-impaired individuals opt for the style and convenience of contact lenses, often referred to simply as contacts. Over the years, contacts have advanced in design and comfort. Soft contact lenses, which were first marketed in the United States in the early 1970s, come in varying colors and can be worn for extended periods. Even when lenses are fitted correctly, proper handling of contacts is essential. Blinking or rubbing the lens out of or around the eye can cause irritation, infection and blurred vision. So how can you tell if your contact lens falls out?
Close each eye and focus on an object with the other eye to tell which one has been affected. Then carefully look down and around you for the expelled lens. Poor or blurred vision is the first indication that a lens may have fallen out.
Use a mirror to check the affected eye. The lens may have dried to the inside of the eyelid, away from the cornea. In this case, with clean hands, gently rub the top of the eyelid to work the lens back down over the cornea. Or, flush the eye with contact lens re-wetting drops or saline solution to loosen the lens.
Check the contact lens fit by removing it and checking for the correct "bowl" shape before reinserting it in the eye. One reason for the lens falling out of the eye is fitting. Most soft contact lenses are tinted soft blue to make them easier to see. Your contacts may also have letters or numbers to indicate the correct side when inserting. If your contacts don't stay in place, see your ophthalmologist for a proper fitting.
Wash your hands with soap and water before handling lenses. Do not use soap with lotion or perfumes that could stick to the contact lens and cause irritation or blurred vision. Use a clean towel to dry your hands. Do not wear your contacts longer than the time recommended by your doctor. Apply make-up after inserting your lenses to avoid eye irritation.
For contact lens wearers, oxygen permeation is key to optimal eye health. The more the better, so don't sleep in your contacts unless they are specifically prescribed extended-wear contact lenses. Let your eyes "breathe."
Do not use saliva or tap water to clean your contacts, as they can cause infections. Use designated contact lens cleaning solution or plain saline solution. Clean, rinse and dry your contact lens case with each use and store lenses in fresh solution.