Can a Contact Get Lost in Your Eye? Updated 2022

guy holding a contact lens


Whether you’re considering them, or you’re a seasoned wearer, there’s one question you likely have about contact lenses.

Can a contact get lost in your eye?

The short answer is no, but everyday contact lens wearers experience situations where they’re certain they’ve lost a lens and it’s floating in the recesses of their eye.

We’ve put together the long answer to your questions about whether or not you can lose one of your contact lenses in your eye.

Take a minute and read our mini-guide. Then, sit back, relax, and put that lens back where it belongs—in your eye!

The Stuck Contact Lens

Before we talk about lost lenses, we’ll look at the stuck lens.

A contact lens can get dislodged or stuck in your eye. Let’s look at why that happens.

The easiest way you can dislodge your contact lens is by rubbing your eye. You may have seasonal allergies and your eyes itch. Maybe you suffer from dry eyes and instinct makes you feel like rubbing. All the rubbing can move the lens enough that it dislodges or gets stuck.

For the seasoned contact lens wearer, have you ever inserted a lens inside out? Instead of adhering to your eye as it should, an inside-out lens moves around in your eye. Now you have discomfort and, naturally, you rub.

Another common cause of a dislodged lens is removing eye makeup with the lens still in your eye. Removing makeup often includes scrubbing, which can dislodge the lens.

Finally, those people who sleep in their lenses, risk a lens sticking to an eyelid. This happens because when you sleep, you don’t produce as many tears and your eyes naturally get dry. Not an ideal environment for a contact lens.

Avoid a dislodged lens by paying attention to the care instructions given to you by your optometrist.

Why You Cannot Lose a Contact Lens in Your Eye

We’ve all heard the stories about people losing a lens in their eye and never finding it.

Keep calm. You can lose a lens in the sink, on the floor, or in your hair if it’s long enough. Losing a contact lens in your eye simply can’t happen.

You can’t lose a contact lens in your eye.

We don’t mean to be redundant but since this causes a high level of panic in people who wear contacts, we wanted to assure you—one more time.

Here’s why you can’t lose a lens in your eye.

The thin, moist lining of your inner eye, called the conjunctiva, prevents a lost lens. The conjunctiva is a nifty little shield in your eye. It folds into the back portion of your eye, covering the white part of the eyeball.

Nothing, not dirt, not an eyelash, and certainly not a contact lens gets past the conjunctiva. Now, the conjunctiva won’t stop a lens from moving or sticking under your eyelid. But it won’t let anything go behind your eye.

There’s another reason we suggest remaining calm when wearing contact lenses. If you do end up with a foreign object in your eye, if you stay calm, you’re less likely to rub your eye. And of course, you know what intense rubbing does, right?

Keep Calm and Rinse Your Eye

There’s another reason we suggest remaining calm when wearing contact lenses. If you do end up with a foreign object in your eye if you stay calm, you’re less likely to rub your eye. And of course, you know what intense rubbing does, right?

The first home remedy for a dislodged lens is rinsing. When you rinse the eye you add moisture. Moisture usually helps loosen the lens so that you can remove it easily.

The only precaution we have about rinsing is this: don’t rinse with water from the bathroom faucet (or the kitchen)

If you’ve worn contacts for any length of time, you already know not to rinse your lenses with tap water. By not rinsing your eyes, or your lenses, in tap water, you help prevent contracting a nasty eye infection.

Instead, use either rewetting drops or saline solution. Pay attention when you grab the bottle and make sure you haven’t reached for your cleaning solution. Many cleaning solutions contain hydrogen peroxide and it’s the last thing you want in an irritated eye.

How to Find a Dislodged Contact

Locating the stuck or dislodged contact may take a few minutes, especially if you’ve been rubbing and pulling on your eye.

You’ll likely find the lens under your upper eyelid. Once you determine whether the lens in the right or left part of the eye, lift the eyelid and look down in the opposite direction.

Once you see the lens, use a fingertip and touch it gently. Now, gently drag it down, pinch or roll it over the lower eyelid, and take it out of your eye.

Sometimes a lens gets stuck over the cornea. If that’s the case with yours, don’t attempt to grab or pinch it. Avoid scratching your cornea by gently pulling the lens toward the white part of your eye.

Don’t hesitate to flush your eye several times during this process. Flushing with saline or rewetting drops can make pulling the lens down much easier. Plus, your eye won’t feel as irritated.

How Can a Contact Get Lost in Your Eye?

Remember, the conjunctiva in your eye prevents a lens from getting lost. With patience, you can locate a stuck, or dislodged contact lens and remove it from your eye without too much trouble.

So, how can a contact get lost in your eye? As a reminder, a contact lens can feel like it’s lost, but it’s only stuck. Feel better?

If you’ve decided to move forward and start wearing contact lenses, congratulations! Great decision, but you’ll still need a contact lens exam.

We love helping our patients see the world through a fresh set of eyes. Or at least, a fresh set of lenses. Contact us today and schedule an appointment. We look forward to seeing you!