Uncooperative Contact Lenses: How to Fix the Three Most Common Contact Lens Problems


For the most part, wearing contact lenses is easy peasy. But, every once and a while, we contact lens wearers experience a challenge that stumps us. Fortunately, most of these brief problems have simple solutions.

Problem 1: Your contacts have folded over in your eye

and just sliding your finger over your eyelid won’t smooth them out. Chances are the problem here is dry lenses (and likely dry eyes). Whenever my lenses fold it’s because they are really dried out. First, make sure that the lenses are still good. Ask yourself when the last time you changed lenses was and make sure you aren’t trying to extend the lens’ wear beyond their recommended usage period.

If you’ve decided your lenses aren’t too old, or if you are somewhere that you need to keep the lenses in for the rest of the day no matter how old they are, then find some saline solution or eye drops you can use. I’d pull the lens out and try to moisten and flatten it on my (clean) finger first and then put it back in my eye. If you are short on drops, then you can try to put the drops directly in your eye to see if that will help the lens naturally go back into place.

Problem 2: You dropped a lens in the sink that you need to wear that day.

Ideally, the lens in the sink would get put in that case to be sterilized overnight. Your sink is a dirty place. But, if time is not on your side, then just spread as much saline solution on that contact lens, front and back, as you can. Look for obvious signs of debris and remove them. With your very clean fingers, try to swish the saline solution over the lens to try to get it as clean as possible before putting into your eye. Then, make sure you remove and clean that lens overnight as soon as you can.

Problem 3: You can’t find your contact…in your eye.

This problem happened to me a lot when I first started wearing lenses and would freak me out. My contact would slide up under my eyelid or fold in the far corner of my eye and I would panic. The reason for the movement is likely dry eyes or you are wearing a lens that is not properly sized for your eyeball. In either case, use saline solution, moisten your eye, and then, with your finger, gently move your eyelid around while looking in the mirror until you can see part of the lens. If the lens is caught in the corner of your eye, close your eye completely and gently try to maneuver the lens back to your cornea.

The good news is, these contact lens problems should be rare. Ask your America’s Best optometrist if he has any other helpful suggestions should you experience any of these problems regularly.

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