Can Contact Lenses Fall Out?
Contact lenses are designed to fit perfectly in your eyes, it's highly unlikely that they will just randomly fall out during the day. The only times contacts actually fall out of a person's eyes are connected with some kind of external stimulus. With normal use, soft contact lenses will stay firmly in position. Soft contact lenses are particularly stable, and are unlikely to dislodge, even during active sports.
However, contact lenses can fall out under certain conditions:
Can High Winds Cause Your Contact Lenses To Fall Out?
High winds can cause the eyes to water and this causes the lens to move more, increasing the chance of losing your contact lens. This can of course come from being out on a windy day, or being on a motorbike or pushbike without a visor or sunglasses that can cause the eye to water more than normal. It is unusual for the eyes to water so much that a contact lens will just fall out, but add wiping away the tears, and the lens can easily be dislodged, folded over or simply slide out. Skiing is another good example of where, without a good ski mask, increased winds can cause the contact lens to fall out.
Will Sports Cause A Contact Lens To Fall Out?
Your contact lenses should not fall out whilst participating in sport, in fact they are often recommended over glasses for athletes, sportsmen and women. Daily disposable contact lenses in particular are well suited to most sports. If you are wearing contact lenses whilst participating in sporting activities there are some things to be aware of.
Make Sure Your Contact Lenses Are Well Fitted
Contact lenses are designed to move on the eyes and a well-fitting lens will move just enough to allow for an exchange of air and tears. Too much movement, however, can cause the lens to slide around which can increase the risk of it being dislodged particularly with active sports. If your contact lens seems to be moving too much or falls out easily, have a word with your Optometrist who may be able to rectify the situation by altering the fit of the contact lens.
Highly Active Sports
Sports like martial arts, boxing and rugby are ideal for soft contact lenses - and far safer than glasses. However, there is a chance that a finger or an elbow can catch your eye and cause the contact lens to be dislodged or fall out. It is always best to have a spare on standby.
Scuba Diving Or Swimming:
If you are wearing contact lenses when scuba diving or swimming and your goggles or mask are dislodged, or if you open your eyes underwater, or get water splashed into your face, you may lose a lens. This increases the possibility of getting an infection from the water, particularly from swimming pools and you can find that the contact lenses absorb chlorine, which can then be bound into the contact lens and released into your eye later, resulting in discomfort. Optometrists generally advise that if you swim or dive a lot, to get a pair of prescription goggles or diving mask, rather than wear contact lenses.
Gas Permeable Contact Lenses & Sport
Gas permeable contact lenses are much more mobile than soft lenses and can be more easily be dislodged with sport and fall out of your eyes. Soft lenses are recommended for most sports, due to their stability in the eye.
Can Contact Lenses Fall Out When I Rub My Eyes?
Rubbing your eyes should generally be avoided, as it can introduce bacteria to your eyes, you can also inadvertently displace or fold your contact lenses and cause them to fall out.
Can I Blink Out My Contact Lenses?
Contact lenses will not normally fall out of your eyes when you blink. They are specifically designed to have a smooth edge that slides under your lids when you blink. However, when your eyes are watering a lot, then a blink may be all it takes to cause your contact lens to fall out.
My Contact Lenses Fall Out Just After I Put Them In.
This normally happens more commonly when you are new to contact lenses and your insertion technique is not yet smooth and automatic. In the first few days of learning how to handle your contact lenses you will inevitably not get them in on the first attempt. All that extra poking about will cause your eyes to water more than normal and this can cause the lens to fall out. After a week or two of practicing, you will be able to put them in like a pro and your problems will be behind you.
Another reason your contact lens may move around and feel like it is going to fall out is if it is inserted inside out, to make sure your lens is the correct way around before insertion check out our helpful guide 'Are My Lenses Inside Out?'.
Will Crying With Contact Lenses Cause Them To Fall Out?
Crying can cause contact lenses to fall out as crying increases the flow of tears, which causes contact lenses to move more and that can cause the a lens to fall out. When you cry, try dabbing the corner of your eyes with a tissue to absorb tears, rather than rubbing them vigorously
What Should I Do If My Contact Lens Falls Out Of My Eye?
Find the lens and carefully inspect it. Is it damaged, torn or dried out? If it is do not put it back into your eye, but throw it away.
Once you have retrieved your lens you can assume it is no longer clean or sterile. You will need to clean it with a good All-In-One solution and reinsert it in your eye. If you don't have this available, do not rinse your lenses in tap water or simply spit on them and reinsert them (take it from us people do do this!) as you can easily get an infection. Do not store your lens in tap water for the same reason. Unfortunately once a lens has fallen out and if you can't disinfect it you will have to discard your lens and use a fresh one.
Contact lens safety is very important, this is why it is always a good idea to have a spare pair of contact lenses to hand and one of the reasons daily contact lenses are so good.
My Contact Lenses Keep Falling Out
If you have any problems with your contacts falling out frequently, you should discuss this with your Optometrist right away. Contact lenses should fit comfortably in your eyes and they should only become more fixed and stable with time. The fact that your contact lenses are falling out frequently is a sign that something may have gone wrong at your fitting. Call your Optometrist immediately to reassess your fitting and handling techniques.
Author: John Dreyer Optometrist Bsc(Hons), MCOPTOM, DipCLP
Created: 19 Oct 2017, Last modified: 3 Jan 2023