How do you know if you have a dud contact lens?

Have you ever opened a new pack of contact lenses, ready for the “I’m wearing a fresh contact lens” feeling, only to find that the new lens just won’t settle right on your eye? There’s a term for that. It’s not super technical. We call it a dud contact lens.

Every contact lens wearer will experience this at some point. It’s inevitable. Slight variances in the manufacturing of the lens, can make it off—ever so slightly—and this will make it uncomfortable to wear in some way.

How do you know if you have a “dud” contact lens? Here’s a few sure signs that there may be a problem with the lens and not with your eye.

Sign #1 of a Dud Contact Lens

It won’t “settle” in your eye right.

If you put the lens in and the lens doesn’t seem to fall in place, you may have a dud. A good contact lens will automatically rest in the right spot when you put it into your eye. Duds will “swim” around in your eye, sometimes even sliding up under your eyelid or down into your lower lid. You’ll want to get it out of your eye right away because it just won’t stay put.

DSC_0231Sign #2 of a Dud Contact Lens

Things Look Blurry

If you put in a contact lens and you can’t see well through it, there’s a good chance that it’s a dud. It’s possibly an incorrect prescription that’s making it difficult for you to see. If the contact lens isn’t helping you see better, it’s probably a dud!

Sign #3 of a Dud Contact Lens

It Flips Inside Out or Outside In

The lens may look like it’s going the right direction on your finger, but when you put it in your eye, it flips! You take it out, try to insert it again, and it flips again. Dud lenses don’t seem to have a correct shape to them. They oscillate between flipping inside out and back again and often won’t settle in your eye (see #1).

Sign #4 of a Dud Contact Lens

It Hurts

Sometimes a dud lens will actually have a slight imperfection on it that causes pain when you insert it. If this happens, take out the lens immediately. Since starting to wear contacts two decades ago, I’ve opened lens packages to find lenses with tiny rips in the edges and one with a jagged corner.

If you get a dud lens, you can often call the contact lens manufacturer and ask for a replacement with no hassle. Lens manufacturers know that not every lens is perfect and are usually quite happy to work with you to replace any “duds.” Talk to your America’s Best optician if you need help with this process.

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