What to do if your contact lenses get stuck in your eyes

Published on
January 31, 2023

Many people mistakenly believe that contact lenses can become fully lodged in the back of the eye and become stuck in the brain, unable to be removed. However, this is not possible according to eye doctors. The first step is to remain calm. Most likely, the contact lenses have simply shifted out of place and need to be repositioned by an eye doctor in order to be safely removed.

Dried out contact lenses

When you are trying to remove your contact lenses constantly, and your eyes are getting all irritated, and you can clearly see the lenses in the center of your eyes, it is important not to keep poking at them, because you will further irritate your eyes. Make sure your hands are completely dry and clean. Afterwards, you can use artificial tears or sterile saline solution to flush out your eyes because sometimes if they're stuck in the center of your eyes and are hard to get out, that means your contact lenses have dried out. By lubricating your eyes, you can get rid of the suction and remove your contact lenses more easily. The easiest way to remove them is to flush your eyes, blink twice, and then make sure your hands are really dry before removing them. 

Displaced contact lenses

Alternatively, if the contact lenses actually fall to a position under your eyelid where you are not able to see them, close your eyes and gently massage your upper eyelid to force the contact lenses down to an area where you can see them and then gently massage your eyelid.

You can then also remove the contact lenses by using artificial tears or saline solution to flush out your eyes. In the event that you're gently massaging your eyelids but your contact lenses are still stuck in your eyes, then you can try to gently flip your upper eyelids. The best way to do this is to use a cotton tip or cue tip. You'll need to place it at the base of your eyelashes on your upper lid and while looking downwards, grab your upper eyelashes and then flip your eyelid towards the cue tip and while looking down and using the other eye that's open, you can try removing them. In some cases, if your contact lenses are stuck under your eyelid, you may actually want to look toward the contact lenses because they can reposition onto your eyes into the central part where you can see them so that you can remove them.

If, however, you wear hard contact lenses, you should avoid massaging your eyelids, since that could cause a scratch on the front part of your eyes.

Ten simple tips to remove a stubborn contact lens

  1. Blink frequently to help reposition the lens
  2. Use artificial tears or eye drops to moisten the eye
  3. Look up, down, and side to side to try to move the lens into a more accessible location
  4. Try to gently massage the closed eyelid to encourage the lens to move
  5. Use the corner of a clean, dry cloth to gently lift the lens
  6. Try to lift the lens using the suction of a clean fingertip
  7. Try to look upwards and then gently push the lens down with your eyelid
  8. Visit an eye doctor if the lens cannot be removed after several attempts
  9. Avoid using sharp or pointed objects to try to remove the lens
  10. Avoid rubbing your eye, which can cause damage to the cornea.

Visit our eye doctor in New York for professional assistance with stuck contact lenses or a comprehensive contact lens exam

If you have tried all of these methods but the contact lenses are still not coming out. You can always go to our eye doctor so that they can safely remove them. Additionally, if your eyes feel irritated and in pain after you remove your contact lenses, you might have scratched your cornea while removing your contact lenses. In that case, visit our eye doctor so that they can properly give you antibiotics and take whatever steps need to be taken to ensure that an open wound does not become infected. To schedule an eye exam, contact lens exam, or emergency eye exam in Manhattan, call (212) 752-6930 or fill out this form https://amplifyeyecare-manhattan.com/appointment-request-form/ 


At Amplify with Dr Wernick I was seeking help for seemingly intractable, probably age-related dryness. I've seen other doctors about it, and that has been helpful, but what he explained to me about it and the careful way he answered all my questions gave me so much more of a clear understanding of what is going on (and is not) that I am more able to implement all his and others' recommendations than I was before. And he gave me additional resources for further follow-up. I am most grateful.

Cynthia Norton

Wow! This is a great Eye Care medical facility. I was thoroughly examined by Dr. Pinkhasov for over 2 hours. She made sure to check my eyes for pretty much everything and patiently explained proper care for my eyes. They definitely know how to provide great care and treat their patients right. Now I know why they have such a great reputation and been around for so long.

Steve Fay

Dr. Kavner is a gifted diagnostician and orthoptic therapist. He treated me several decades ago for a condition similar to dyslexia. I was having migraines five times per week. I worked with him for about a year and I experienced tremendous improvement (down to 3-4 per year) that has lasted.

Mary K.

Dr. Kavner recommended two types of eye therapy for my daughter. One of them using bio-feedback. In just three sessions she is seeing considerably better. She shouted this morning: Ooh my God! I could not see these letters with my glasses on, and now I can see them without my glasses. If you are willing and able to invest in improving your vision, this is a good place to go to!

Peter G.

Dr. Kavner recommended two types of eye therapy for my daughter. One of them using bio-feedback. In just three sessions she is seeing considerably better. She shouted this morning: Ooh my God! I could not see these letters with my glasses on, and now I can see them without my glasses. If you are willing and able to invest in improving your vision, this is a good place to go to!

Kinkie F.

I have always found Dr Kavner's work, expertise and wisdom of the highest caliber. As one of the fathers of OT, occupational othomology, his depth and breadth of knowledge about the eyes' health and wellbeing of the patient is exemplary. Cannot say enough good things about him.

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