How to put in contact lenses

It can be tricky to learn how to put contacts in, especially if you're new to them. Our opticians have put together the most common methods to apply your contacts, so you can find the easiest way that works for you. Wondering how to put in contact lenses for the first time? Or, are you an experienced contact lens wearer looking for a way to improve your technique? Watch the video below for a step-by-step tutorial on how to put in contacts.

Before you start, wash your hands thoroughly using tap water and antibacterial soap. This is integral to all things eye care, in order to avoid dry eyes or eye infections caused by harmful bacteria. Drying your hands well gives you a good grip: the most hygienic method is using either a lint-free towel or an air dryer. It's good to keep your contact lens solution, eye drops and anything else you'll need handy, so you won't need to reach for them. If you're going for daily disposable contacts, you can just use the solution in the blister pack.

The most popular method: applying front-on

Not quite sure what method is best for you? Reach out to our friendly optical experts Monday to Friday from 8:00 to 20:00 and Saturday from 9:00 to 17:30 by phone on 01 513 4141 (IE) or 1 800 870 0741 (US), live chat on our website, or email help@visiondirect.ie.

Other methods to try

Side Application

This method is perfect for those that are a little squeamish at the thought of touching their eye.

Looking Up Application

This technique is great if you're a little nervous about seeing something coming directly into your eye.

Wondering how to remove contact lenses? We've put together 3 easy-to-follow video tutorials, so you'll be sure to find one that works.

Step by step: applying contact lenses

  • Prepare the lens

    1. Prepare the lens

    Remove the lens from the packet and place on the opposite fingertip to the eye you wish to put it in. Make sure your lens is in the correct position, it should be bowl-shaped in appearance. The lens should sit on the flat part of the tip of your finger, for easier application.

  • Place the lens over your iris

    2. Place the lens over your iris

    Hold your eye open with your middle finger on the lower eyelid, and your index finger holding your eyelashes against your brow. For the right eye use your right hand to hold open your right eye and use your left hand to insert. Simply repeat for your left eye.

  • Insert and centre the lens

    3. Insert and centre the lens

    When applying the lens, look straight ahead into the mirror, trying not to move your upper eyelid or blink. Once the lens is in place, wait a few seconds for the lens to settle, then look left, right, up and down to allow it to sit comfortably. Finally, slowly remove your finger from your eyelid and gently close your eye.

  • Adjust for comfort

    4. Adjust for comfort

    If it feels like it isn’t sitting comfortably, there may be an air bubble. Keeping your finger on the centre of the lens, move it around a little to dislodge any air that may be trapped underneath, so the lens fits closely to the shape of your eyeball. You can also close your eye and gently massage your eyelid with your fingertip to move the lens to the centre of the iris. If your lens still doesn’t feel comfortable, remove it, clean it with solution, give your eyes a break and return to step 1.

Frequently asked questions

  • What is the easiest way to put in contact lenses?

    Our opticians have put together 3 different methods of putting in contact lenses, so you can find the one that works best for you. Here is a step-by-step tutorial of our easiest, most popular method:

  • How do you put in contacts for the first time?

    New to contact lenses? We've got you covered. It might feel daunting to put in contact lenses, but all it takes is a bit of practice and patience. It's important to follow the hygiene advice your optician gave you and wash your hands thoroughly before handling contact lenses. Then, watch our handy step-by-step video tutorials a few times through and find the method that works for you.

  • Why are my contacts so hard to put in?

    If you're having trouble putting your soft contact lenses in, it's often because you blink before the lens touches your eye. That's perfectly normal, as it takes a little practice to overcome the fear of inserting contact lenses. Once you get the moves down and feel comfortable and relaxed, putting your contact lenses in will be easy as pie.

  • How do you stop yourself from blinking when putting in contacts?

    Blinking doesn't make the process of putting in contacts easy! Practice not blinking by placing your index finger on your upper eyelid and your thumb on the lower eyelid, gently holding your eye open. After a few tries, you'll feel comfortable and confident, so you won't need to blink.

  • How long does it take to put in contacts for the first time?

    Applying contacts can feel daunting when you're new to them, so give yourself some time to practice and familiarise yourself with the process. Expect it would take your eyes around 10 to 12 days to adjust to the feeling of contact lenses. Allow for some downtime for your eyes too, as they may get irritated after a few goes, so keep your eye drops handy.

  • Are contacts hard to put in and take out?

    Yes, putting your contacts in can be really easy. All it needs is a bit of practice and patience and you'll be a seasoned wearer in no-time. Watch our video tutorials for different methods for applying your contacts and find the one that works for you - or speak to your optician at your next eye test.

  • What should I do if my lenses feel uncomfortable?

    The first step is to double-check which eye the lens is for. This prevents discomfort and vision problems, especially if your eyes have different prescriptions. Also, check the lens for any rips, tears, or debris before applying. If you discover a rip or tear, discard the lens. Should you discover any makeup, dust or debris give the lens a thorough cleaning in solution.

    If you're happy with the fit, enjoy your comfortable and clear vision. Now you've mastered putting in your contact lenses, why not learn how to take out contact lenses in our companion guide. If you're still having issues with your lenses, book an eye test to speak to your optometrist or eye doctor and they'll be able to help.

Need more help or advice?

For personalised advice on anything to do with contact lenses and eye health use our live chat, call our friendly customer support team on 01 513 4141 in the IE or on 1 800 870 0741 in the US or email help@visiondirect.ie. They're available Monday to Friday from 8:00 to 20:00 and Saturday from 9:00 to 17:30.

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