My Contact Lens Has Ripped! What To Do Next
It’s Friday night, and you’re ready to hit the town. Everything is ready: your hair, your makeup, and you’ve picked out the perfect outfit. All that’s left to do is put on your colored contacts to complete the look, but just as you go to apply them, you notice one of them is ripped! The panic starts to sink in, and you start wondering if it’s even worth going out anymore. Do you still wear them? What should you do if you’ve already applied it? Or do you just throw it away? Luckily, this is quite a common issue amongst contact lens wearers, and we have all the answers you need to ensure the night still goes smoothly.
Can I wear my ripped contact lenses?
When this question starts to wander through your mind… STOP! You should never wear a torn or ripped contact lens. Even if it feels fine when you apply it, you should remove it immediately and never wear it again.
But why is this such an issue? Why can’t you wear it for one night out? Well for one, if it’s a prescription colored contact, it won’t be able to function properly, and you won’t see as well as usual. This can lead to all sorts of accidents and even prevent you from enjoying your day/night out as you normally would. This is because a ripped lens loses its specific curvature that has been matched to your eye, and they are much less likely to stay centered to your eye — which results in blurred vision.
Most of all, and the biggest reason you shouldn’t wear a ripped contact lens, is because they can be incredibly dangerous. When they rip, they end up with a jagged edge which is sharp and can scratch the surface of your eye. Not only will this be painful while wearing it, but it will lead to discomfort once removed too. Similarly, a ripped contact lens can also get trapped beneath your eyelid, making it irritating and uncomfortable.
What should I do with a ripped contact lens?
The best way to check for a ripped lens is to place it on the tip of your finger with the edges facing up and inspect it closely for any chips, cracks, or tears. Once you’ve established it is in fact ripped, you should throw it away. There’s no saving it, so you need to cut your losses and move on. If you’re preparing for a big night out, maybe purchase more than one set, just in case one rips during application — as it’s common with every brand of lenses.
What if my contact lenses rip while I’m wearing them?
Similar to if your lens rips before you apply, if it rips while you’re wearing it, then you should carefully remove it and then throw it away immediately. If you remove your lens, and it rips in the process, resulting in a small piece getting stuck in your eye, then there are other methods you can use. Try to find the torn piece and slide it to the outside corner of your eye using the tip of your finger. If this is possible, it can be easier to pull it out. However, if you cannot find it or move it, then it’s best to see a professional straight away. They’ll be able to use a microscope to help and remove it safely.
How can I avoid ripping my contact lenses?
- Try not rub your eyes
Sometimes it can be hard not to rub your eyes, especially if they’re itchy, but it can actually be harmful to your lenses. While wearing your colored contacts, not only can rubbing your eyes cause them to tear, but it can also cause corneal abrasions. This can be dangerous, so if you feel like rubbing your eyes, maybe try using eye drops for some extra lubrication to help.
- Avoid long nails
Having long nails, whether real or fake, can cause your colored contacts to rip when you're applying them or removing them. Even with short nails, you should always take care, especially when removing your lenses, by using the pad of your thumb and index finger instead of your nails.
- Don’t let your lenses dry out
Dry contact lenses are at higher risk of becoming damaged and ripped, so you need to ensure they are always moist and hydrated, especially if they are weekly or monthly lenses. There are a number of reasons why they can dry out, such as wind and air conditioning. Using eye drops and a high-quality solution will prevent them from drying out and keep them in top shape as long as possible.
You now have all the vital information you need to know when handling ripped contact lenses and how to avoid them tearing in the first place. Prevention is the best thing to think about, as once they are damaged, there’s no restoring them. Remember to NEVER wear ripped contact lenses. If you are headed on a night out, and they’re ripped, you will have to look just as fabulous without them. It’s purely for your safety.