Are Contact Lenses Hard to Put In?

A common concern many people have when they consider starting to wear contact lenses is whether or not they will be hard to put in. Considering that, in a general sense, we are advised 

To avoid touching our eyes and certainly to avoid putting anything in our eyes, it isn’t an unexpected question.

Are Contact Lenses Hard to Put In? in Olympia

Can Putting in Contact Lenses be Difficult?

The vast majority of the time, contact lenses are not hard at all to put in. In fact, they are generally easy to both apply and remove. However, this at least partially relies on other factors, such as a bit of practice at putting them in, and the contacts being fit properly.

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Kids and Contacts

For many parents, the question of the difficulty putting in contact lenses arises in regard to their kids preferring contacts over glasses. 

Fortunately, recent studies show that most kids have no problem when it comes to applying and removing contact lenses. In fact, in one recent study involving kids between the ages of 8 and 17 who were given soft contact lenses for the first time, the vast majority of them have no trouble with the contacts. And following the study, more than eighty percent of the kids involved stated that they felt the contacts were easy to manage.

Concerns Regarding Applying Contact Lenses

While most people don’t find contacts difficult to put on, there are some concerns people often have that should be addressed, if only to provide assurance that these aren’t things to worry about.

Concerns Regarding Applying Contact Lenses
Can a Contact Lens Go Behind my Eye?

Can a Contact Lens Go Behind my Eye?

This is a common fear with contacts, and if you’ve ever seen a contact lens flip under somebody’s eyelid, it can look a little disconcerting. However, it is technically impossible for a contact lens to actually get behind your eye, due to a thin membrane in the eye specifically designed to prevent objects of any kind from getting back there.

Can a Contact Lens Go Behind my Eye?

Can a Contact Lens Get Stuck on My Eye?

While it is possible for a soft contact lens to become stuck to the surface of the eye, it will always be removable. In most cases, all you will need to do is apply a few eye drops, and the moisture will help get it loose.

Will the Contacts be Uncomfortable to Wear?

It is reasonable for someone new to wearing contacts to be concerned that it’ll feel uncomfortable once they put it in. After all, if a speck of dust gets into an eye it can be annoying enough.

While there may be some mild discomfort the first few times you wear them, during which time you’re acutely aware of their presence, it should pass quickly. After wearing the contacts a couple of times, you won’t even notice they’re there.

In the unlikely event that they still bother you after a few days, you should contact your eye doctor, as this could be a sign there is an issue with the fit of the lenses, or the type or brand of the lenses is not ideal for you. In addition certain conditions may need a more customized contact lens to ensure comfort. If you find contact lenses uncomfortable you should discuss that with our eye doctor as this may be a sign of an underlying condition such as; dry eye disease, keratoconus, or corneal irregularities. 

Concerns Regarding Applying Contact Lenses
Can a Contact Lens Go Behind my Eye?

Putting on Contact Lenses: Ensure That They Aren’t a Challenge to Put in

Contact lenses shouldn’t be hard to put in, generally speaking, but there are things that can be done to make an issue even more unlikely.

Ensure Proper Fit

Making sure you have properly fitted contacts is important. Improperly fitted lenses are much more likely to be uncomfortable and cause other problems.

A fitting will be done by an eye doctor, and depending on the amount of space between your upper and lower eyelids when they’re open normally, the doctor may recommend a smaller or larger lens size. The doctor may also recommend exercises to ensure you don’t feel a need to blink while inserting the lenses.

It might take some practice, but it will get easier as time goes on.

Do a Dry Run 

If you’re having concerns about putting in your contact lenses, a dry run can be a good way of overcoming the fear of putting them in. This is done by practicing touching your eyes in a manner similar to what you’ll need to do when you start putting in your lenses.

To do this, you’ll first need to wash your hands, and then start slowly, touching first the eyelashes, then the upper and lower eyelids, finally working up to the white part of the eye. This will help desensitize your eyes and metnally get you used to the idea of touching your eye itself.

You can also practice holding the eyelid open and miming putting in a contact lens.

As with many things, it’s all in your head.

Your eye doctor can also help with this. Additionally, if you’re worried this might still be an issue, you can opt for lenses like overnight contacts, to limit the amount of time you’ll need to put them in and take them out.

Looking Away

As strange as it might sound, looking away as you put in the lens can help. While for most people, looking directly at the finger with the contact lens on it works just fine, it’s not for everyone.

To help yourself look away, find a mirror that you can sit close to, and position your face near it, and focus on the process of applying the lens as opposed to touching the eye.

Once the time comes to put the lens in, focus your gaze on a spot above you as you put the lens in. If the lens doesn’t land on the precisely right spot immediately, don’t worry. You can easily reposition it by closing your eyes and looking around.

Common Questions

First try not to panic! Some people may fear the contact lens may be trapped and go behind the eye into their brain, but don’t worry that’s impossible! If your contact lens is in the center of the eye and it’s just not coming off, then most likely the cause of your contacts getting stuck (if it’s a soft lens) is because the lens probably dried out. To help resolve this you can rinse your eye with a steady stream of sterile saline solution or use artificial tears, then close your eyes and gently massage your eyelids until you feel the lens move, then blink a couple of times and once the lens moves more freely then try again to remove your lens like you normally would. In the event your contact lens is dislodged from the center of your eye, then try to look in the opposite direction of where your lens would be. Again you can rinse your eye with sterile saline solution and gently massage your eyelids and blink to allow the lens to re-center and then remove like you normally would. In the event that you can’t get your contacts out, be sure to go to your eye doctor so they can help you remove it.
Are Contact Lenses Hard to Put In?
Dr. Zurcher cartoon


Contrary to what you might think, contact lenses aren’t hard to put on, and the difficulties that most people experience are psychological in nature, easily overcome by preparation. And, of course, your eye doctor will have to provide any assistance and guidance needed if you are having trouble. If you have any questions, or if you would like to schedule a contact lens exam, you can contact American Family Vision Clinic at (360) 491-2121 to make an appointment. Patients who need medically necessary contact lenses, myopia management, or have difficulties wearing contact lenses visit our clinic from all over Washington, and we are proud to be a leading provider of contact lens services for patients from Olympia, Lakewood, Tacoma, and Lacey.



Such a nice optician. My grandson is only 4 and needs glasses. We were so sad, but he explained the issues, and we will follow up as he suggested.

Anna P.

I had such a good experience with the clinic. Very friendly staff and doctor, did not have to wait for long to be called, and was treated respectfully. Thanks, American Family.

June S.

Dr. Zurcher has gone above and beyond what any other eye doctor has ever done to figure out what is going on with my eyes. Very happy with American Family Vision.

Christine R.

Family Vision Clinic changed our lives! My daughter was frequently car sick, and she was getting headaches every day, often painful enough that they brought her to tears. We saw a string of doctors and therapists, but we made no progress. Finally, we found Dr. Levi Zurcher and his eye therapist Rain. After ten weeks of eye therapy my daughter no longer gets headaches, and she no longer gets car sick. Daily tears are a thing of the past. I really can’t say enough about this clinic. It was fascinating to watch Dr. Zurcher work. For the first time, someone who knew what they were doing was intently studying my daughter, really trying to figure out all of her eye issues, and his therapist Rain is one of the most patient and lovely people that I’ve ever had the good fortune to meet. We’re finished with eye therapy—yay!—and I have switched to American Family Vision Clinic for all of my family’s other eye health needs.

Lars Wulff

Very professional, yet kind and helpful. They do what they can to make the appointment comfortable. I was running a bit late, I made sure ti call. They were able to switch me with a patient who was already there, they treated me with respect, and helped my son have confidence by getting him the eye care he needed that day. Thank you so much! Would recommend to anyone. It's a blessing that they care enough to work with people who have all different types of insurance from work to state coverage.

Justin E.

The staff is friendly. The Doc is very knowledgeable. The office is family friendly and everyone is so patient with the little ones.

Amy Fagerness
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