Eye Health Central

Can a Contact Lens get lost or stuck in my Eye?

Can I lose a Contact Lens in my Eye?

It’s physically impossible for contact lenses to get stuck behind your eyes. A contact lens can get trapped under your eyelid, because the clear conjunctiva that covers the outer surface of the eye, also wraps around the back of the eyelids, but this fold in the conjunctivas (called the fornix) creates an impenetrable barrier for contact lenses and any other debris that might get caught in your eyes.

Can I lose a Contact Lens in my Eye?

Can A Contact Lens Get Stuck In Your Eye?

It is possible, to get a contact lens stuck or trapped under the eyelids. Most of the time this happens when a contact lens wearer gets hit in the eye or rubs the eye aggressively. Whatever trauma happens to the eye, when a contact feels "lost" it nearly always ends up folding in on itself and getting stuck behind the upper eyelid. 

How Do I Know If My Lens Is Stuck In My Eye?

The first thing you will notice is a lack of clarity in your vision once the lens moves off-center. You will probably feel a faint sensation under your upper eyelid this is called "foreign body sensation."

How Do I Remove A Contact Lens Stuck In My Eye?

Don't panic, the lens can not get lost behind your eye, so it's in there somewhere.

Thankfully, it’s pretty easy to dislodge one of these contacts by closing your eyes and gently guiding the contact back into place with your fingers. You might have to use quite a few re-wetting drops to properly move the contact lens into place.

The most common way to remove a stuck contact lens is to put a few rewetting eye drops into the affected eye and then close the eye for a few seconds. You can also massage the upper eyelid with your eye closed to help the contact lens move to the centre of the eye. The folded lens tends to gravitate towards the cornea using this method. Once you feel it is near the centre of your eye, you should be able to easily take it out. 

Be sure to wash the lens thoroughly in solution before putting it back into your eye. 

 What If I Can Not Get My Stuck Contact Lens Out Of My Eye?

If it's late at night or before you rush off to the Optometrist you could try the following steps:

  • Cover your other eye and check if you can see through the eye that you think you have lost a lens in. If you can see clearly, then the lens is probably in place, but maybe 'stuck' on the cornea, usually because it has dried out a little. Use rewetting drops to loosen it up and remove it.
  • Get someone else to have a look under your eyelid by holding the lid up and shining a good light into your eye. This may help you locate the lens.
  • If you can’t get the contact lens out of your inner eyelid on your own, it could be that you have dislodged it and it has fallen out on its own.
If it is not obvious where it is, and you are still worried, make an appointment with your Optometrist, who can have a look under your lid.

Can I Go To Bed With A Contact Lens Under My Eyelid?

If possible a trapped contact lens should always be removed before going to bed. However, if you have come home late at night and 'lost' your contact lens and tried your best to get it out, then just poking your eyes for a long time will not help the situation and just make your eyes redder and make you more convinced that you can feel the lens under your eyelid. 

If it can't be seen - forget it and go to bed. IT WILL NOT HURT YOU LEAVING IT IN YOUR EYE OVERNIGHT.  In the morning, if the lens was under your eyelid, you will probably find it dried out on the pillow, or in the inner corner of your eye. 

There is a very real chance that your contact lens may not be under your eyelid at all, but has fallen out, and all you are feeling is the irritation of having poked your eyes for half an hour trying to get the 'stuck' lens out.

A stuck or trapped contact lens should always be removed, as they can remain in your eye undetected once they settle down, in an extreme case a lady discovered she had 27 contact lenses stuck under her eyelid!! 

If you cannot remove a stuck contact lens we recommend making an appointment with your Optometrist to be sure the contact lens is no longer in your eye. 

Author: John Dreyer Optometrist Bsc(Hons), MCOPTOM, DipCLP
Created: 29 Jul 2017, Last modified: 20 May 2024