The First Thing You Should Do After You Lose A Contact In Your Eye

Contacts hit the market in the 1950s and have been changing lives ever since (via VOPA). Athletes don't have to worry about breaking their glasses, teenagers can avoid the usual "four-eyes" jokes, and wearers can change their looks in an almost literal blink of the eye. It's hard to ask for more from an invention first dreamed up by Leonardo da Vinci.

These tiny medical devices aren't all sunshine and roses, though. Unless fitted properly they can shift around on the eye or scratch your cornea (via the Mayo Clinic). Both situations can lead to a nasty eye infection (or worse if you're wearing colored contacts). The CDC states that each year, one in every 500 contact users develop an infection that jeopardizes their sight.

Even properly fitted contacts carry risks when they are not properly cared for. One risk that any long-term contact user knows all too well is the feeling that a contact has gotten lost under an eyelid or "behind" their eye. Health, thankfully, explains that contacts can't really get lost behind our eyes thanks to the way the human eye fits in its socket. But that doesn't stop contacts from shimmying under an eyelid and leading to discomfort, irritation, and even a little bit of panic that cannot be shaken off until the contact is removed.

Try to remove it

Most of the time, an ill-fitting or lost contact causes physical discomfort. It's the eye's way of telling a person that something is wrong. But there are instances where a person can either shrug off the discomfort or may not even feel it, as was the case with one British woman who had 27 contact lenses in her eye, leading to a delay in cataract surgery when eye doctors had to remove the dangerously overloaded mass (via TIME). On the off chance you, like she, can ignore the discomfort, avoid putting a new contact in until you get the old one out. Nothing good comes from having multiple contacts in one eye.

To get a contact out of your eye, Health suggests using saline or rewetting drops to make sure the contact is not stuck to your eye and to help ease its way out from under a lid if it has slid behind one. Then, as All About Vision suggests, wash your hands and massage your eyelid to try and loosen or shift the contact. If you can flip your eyelid, or even pull it away from your eye while blinking, the site recommends doing so to help the contact slide forward again. After a few tries, if the contact is still "lost," it is best to call or make an emergency appointment with an eye doctor so they can locate and remove the contact lens.