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You’re trying to take your contact lenses out after a long day, but you did something wrong and now one of them is torn. Is a torn contact lens a bad thing? What should you do about it?

Can I wear a torn contact lens?

Wearing torn contact lenses is not safe, since the torn edges could scratch your cornea. Also, the lens won’t fit properly, so your vision could be blurred.

How do I get a torn lens out of my eye?

First, wash your hands and apply some rewetting solution to them. Then, holding your eyelid down, slide the largest part of the torn lens to the lower part of your eye and gently remove the lens with your fingers. Examine the lens and your eye to make sure you removed all the pieces.

If a piece does remain in your eye, try to gently remove it, but be careful not to scratch your cornea. If you can’t easily remove it yourself, or if you can’t find the missing piece at all, make an appointment with your eye doctor. They can help safely remove it from your eye.

What can I do to avoid tearing my contact lenses?

Try to avoid using your fingernails when removing your lenses. Instead, slide your contacts along your eye with your finger until they come off your eye. Putting an artificial teardrop into your eye and waiting 10 minutes before removing the lens can help it glide off the cornea.

If your lens becomes folded after taking it out, don’t try to unfold it manually. Instead, put the lens in saline and move it around until it loosens.

Keep your lenses moist, as dry lenses can be damaged easier.

Also, don’t try to wear them for longer than recommended. Contact lenses that aren’t replaced by the time the manufacturer recommends can tear from age.

Finally, if your lenses are regularly tearing when you try to remove them, you may have dry eye, CEENTA Certified Ophthalmic Assistant Lisa Deans said.

“Consider switching to two-week or one-day replacement lenses and using artificial tears,” Ms. Deans said. “If you have dry eyes, a daily lens could be the best option for you. Also, artificial tears specifically for contact lenses could help with comfort and tearing.”

If you have issues with tearing contact lenses and either want to be checked for dry eye or need helping removing one, don’t hesitate to call CEENTA today.

This blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consult your physician. CEENTA has eye doctors in 12 locations across North Carolina. To schedule an appointment with one of them, call 704-295-3000. You can also schedule an appointment online or through myCEENTAchart.


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