What happens if you cry with contact lenses in?
The Cons Of Crying With Contact Lenses & What You Could Do About It
So if you’re a contact lens wearer that loves weepy Hallmark films, then we’ve got good news: there’s nothing wrong with having a good cry while wearing your lenses. We can’t promise it will be the most comfortable experience, but it’s extremely common and harmless. The most common problems are:
1. Cloudy Vision
All soft contacts now on the market have been designed to handle a steady stream of tears without falling out of place. So, your contact lenses should have no issue clearing away the excess tears as you’re crying.
Remember, as you cry, the only thing that changes about your tears is that there’s more of them. As your contact lenses deal with this deluge of tears, you might experience temporarily blurred vision, but it should pass in a few minutes.
The best course of action is to gently dab away the excess tears with a tissue.
If you can’t stand this hazy sensation, then you could wash and dry your hands, pull out your lenses, and douse them with contact solution. Once you’ve finished your sob session, you could re-apply the contact lenses in your (hopefully) dryer eyes.
2. Lenses Falling Out
Unless you’re wearing rigid gas permeable lenses, it’s highly unlikely your soft contacts will fall out while you’re crying. It is common, however, for contact lens wearers to reflexively rub their eyes while crying and move their contact lenses out of place.
For this reason, optometrists strongly encourage contact lens wearers to avoid touching or rubbing their eyes when crying.
If they have moved out of place, the most obvious thing to notice is that you do not see so well! If you can, locate the contact lens in your eye and gently slide it back to the centre.
Instead of rubbing your eyes, consider using a tissue or a handkerchief to gently pat your eyes dry. Do not, however, wash your face with cold water while you still have your contact lenses in. Exposing your contact lenses to tap water significantly increases your risk of getting an infection.
If your lenses happen to fall out while you’re crying, you should immediately pick them up and place them in a container full of solution. Whether or not you should continue to use these lenses will depend on many specific circumstances such as where they landed and how damaged they look - for example if they have dried out or not. A soft lens that has completely dried out can be rehydrated by putting it back into contact lens soaking solution, and it may look normal to the naked eye - but, there is a very high chance that there will be edge tears or other defects in the lens. Better to throw it away. Please ask your doctor for guidance if you’re not sure about re-using lenses that fell out of your eyes.
3. Lenses Clinging To Eyelids
Another common phenomenon for contact lens wearers is lenses getting stuck on their eyelashes.. This is especially common when you’re crying because the increased tear production makes it easier for lenses to fall out of place and cling to the upper eyelid.
This is actually fairly common - the biggest clue is you cannot see clearly out of that eye! It can be a great help for a friend to have a look at your eyes to see if they can see the lens on your eyelid - or use a mirror. Simply take the lens off your eyelid or lashes, clean it and reinsert it again.
4. Lenses have moved and stuck under the Eyelid
Obviously, crying produces a higher amount of tears in the eye. This increased dose of tears isn't enough, however, to make the contact lens fall out of place. The extra tears will just wash over the surface of the lens. You should experience no abnormal problems if you cry with contact lenses on your eyes.
However, if you have found that the contact lens has vanished - that it is not stuck on your eyelashes or simply been rubbed out of your eye, there is a chance that it has moved under your upper lid. This is rare - especially for soft lenses. Sometimes, if you have rubbed your eyes vigorously enough the lens can fold over and lodge under the upper lid.
Don't panic - it will do no harm under your lid! You don't need to go to casualty! If you have sterile contact lens saline solution, get in front of a mirror and pour some into your eye. Do not squirt saline solution into your eye from a pressurized can - but squirt some into your contact lens case or other sterile container and gently pour it into your eyes. This can be enough to flush it out and you will often find it moves to the inner corner of your eye, where it can be removed.
Do not poke your fingers into your eyes in the hope of hooking it out. If you cannot get it out, you can go to your Optometrists and have it removed. If it is late at night, it is safe to sleep with the lens under your eyelid - it will not harm your eyes at all and you will not feel it. Often, in the morning, the lens will be found in the corner of your eye or on your pillow (dried out).
If you cannot find it, make an appointment with your Optometrist to see if the lens is still in your eye. If it is, they can safely remove it.
We have a great selection of contacts for everyone’s eye type and preference. Whether you’re looking for daily lenses, continuous wear contacts, silicone hydrogel lenses for astigmatism, or monthly wear contacts, we’ve got what you’re looking for on our site. Plus, we has a fantastic assortment of all-in-one solutions, re-wetting drops, and even sunglasses to help keep your eyes safe. Please take a few moments to look through our website to find the perfect lenses for your lifestyle.
Author: John Dreyer Optometrist Bsc(Hons), MCOPTOM, DipCLP
Created: 29 Jul 2017, Last modified: 4 Mar 2020