Can a Contact Get Lost in Your Eye? Updated 2024

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.

Whether you’re new to the world of contact lenses or a seasoned wearer, one lingering question often arises: Can a contact lens become lost in your eye? The short answer is no, but the sensation of a lost lens can certainly cause alarm among contact lens wearers . Let’s delve deeper into this query and provide a comprehensive understanding.

Understanding Stuck Contact Lenses:

Before addressing the notion of lost lenses, it’s crucial to grasp the concept of stuck contact lenses. These situations often occur due to various factors:

  • Rubbing the Eyes: Habitual eye rubbing, whether due to allergies, dryness, or discomfort, can dislodge a contact lens from its proper position.
  • Inserting Inside Out: Inserting a contact lens inside out can lead to discomfort and potential movement within the eye, prompting rubbing and further displacement.
  • Makeup Removal: Removing eye makeup, especially through vigorous scrubbing, may inadvertently dislodge a contact lens that remains in the eye.
  • Sleeping with Lenses: Sleeping with contact lenses increases the risk of lenses adhering to the eyelids due to reduced tear production and dryness during sleep.

Prevention Tips:

To minimize the risk of a dislodged lens, adherence to proper care instructions provided by your optometrist is essential. Avoiding excessive eye rubbing, ensuring correct insertion of lenses, and removing lenses before engaging in activities like makeup removal or sleeping can help prevent such occurrences.

Dispelling the Myth of Lost Lenses:

Despite anecdotes of lost contact lenses in the eye, rest assured that a contact lens cannot truly become lost within the eye. The thin, moist lining known as the conjunctiva acts as a protective barrier, preventing foreign objects, including contact lenses, from entering behind the eye.

While a contact lens may shift or become stuck under the eyelid, it remains within the accessible area of the eye and can be safely removed.

Responding to Discomfort:

In the event of discomfort or the sensation of a stuck contact lens, it’s essential to remain calm and avoid intense rubbing, which can exacerbate irritation.

Rinsing the eye with saline solution or rewetting drops can help add moisture, facilitating easier lens removal. However, it’s crucial to refrain from rinsing with tap water to prevent the risk of eye infections .

Locating and Removing the Lens:

Finding a dislodged contact lens may require patience and careful examination. Typically, the lens can be found under the upper eyelid. Gently lifting the eyelid and looking downward in the opposite direction can aid in locating the lens.

Using clean fingertips, gently manipulate the lens downwards, pinching or rolling it over the lower eyelid for removal. If the lens is stuck over the cornea, avoid attempting to grab or pinch it to prevent corneal abrasions .

Ultimately, with diligence and proper technique, a stuck or dislodged contact lens can be safely retrieved from the eye without complications.

In addition, let’s expand further to cover the importance of regular eye examinations, potential risks associated with contact lens wear, and the significance of proper lens hygiene:

Regular Eye Examinations:

Regular eye examinations are essential for contact lens wearers to ensure optimal eye health and vision correction. During these exams, your optometrist evaluates the fit of your contact lenses, checks for any signs of irritation or infection, and assesses your overall eye health. Routine check-ups also allow for adjustments in prescription and recommendations for any necessary changes in contact lens type or wearing schedule.

Potential Risks of Contact Lens Wear:

While contact lenses offer convenience and vision correction, it’s crucial to be aware of potential risks associated with their use. These risks may include:

  • Corneal Abrasions: Improper insertion or removal of contact lenses, as well as wearing lenses for extended periods, can increase the risk of corneal abrasions, which are painful scratches on the surface of the eye.
  • Eye Infections: Poor hygiene practices, such as failing to wash hands before handling lenses or sleeping in contact lenses, can lead to bacterial or fungal eye infections, including keratitis.
  • Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis (GPC): GPC is an inflammatory condition characterized by itching, redness, and discomfort caused by irritation from contact lenses. It often occurs due to protein deposits accumulating on the surface of the lenses.
  • Corneal Ulcers: Severe infections or untreated corneal abrasions can progress to corneal ulcers, which are open sores on the cornea that require immediate medical attention to prevent vision loss.


Proper Lens Hygiene:

To reduce the risk of complications associated with contact lens wear, it’s essential to practice proper lens hygiene. This includes:

  • Washing hands thoroughly with soap and water before handling contact lenses.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting lenses as directed by your optometrist using appropriate contact lens solutions.
  • Avoiding the use of tap water or saliva to rinse lenses, as it can introduce harmful bacteria.
  • Removing lenses before swimming or entering hot tubs to prevent exposure to waterborne pathogens.
  • Following the recommended wearing schedule and replacing lenses as prescribed by your optometrist.

By prioritizing eye health and following these guidelines, contact lens wearers can enjoy clear vision and minimize the risk of complications. If you experience persistent discomfort, redness, or vision changes while wearing contact lenses, it’s essential to seek prompt evaluation from your optometrist to prevent potential complications and ensure optimal eye health.

In Conclusion:

While the sensation of a lost contact lens may cause concern, understanding the anatomy of the eye and employing appropriate removal techniques can alleviate anxiety. Contact lenses, though capable of shifting or becoming stuck, cannot truly get lost within the eye.

If you’re considering transitioning to contact lenses or require assistance with your current lenses, a contact lens exam by a qualified optometrist is essential. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and embark on your journey to clearer vision through contact lenses. We’re here to support you every step of the way.