Modern soft contact lenses are design to be inserted by the wearer without the aid of any eye professional or lens-tool. You just use one hand to keep your eye open and the other hand to gently insert the contact lens (CL).
If you haven’t used CL:s before, or if you are switching to a new type of CL, don’t leave the lens fitting session until the eye professional has showed you how to insert and remove the CL:s. Preferable try it out a few times yourself before you leave, to make sure you know how to do it. You might be a little clumsy at first, but practice makes perfect. It’s a good idea to keep your fingernails short until you get a bit of experience with the CL:s, otherwise you might accidentally scratch your eye.
- Wash the outside of the CL case (if you are using multi-use CL:s). Pathogens can easily be transferred from the outside of the CL case to your hands, eyes and CL:s, and can also enter the inside of the case when you open it.
- Wash and rinse your hands well. Make sure you are clean under the nails. Don’t use any soap that may irritate your eyes. Don’t dry your hands on something that will make them unclean again. Don’t try your hands on something that may transfer lint to your hands.
- Remove a CL from the CL case or from a new CL package. Balance the CL on your fingertip like a “bowl” with the opening facing upwards. (Most people use their index or middle finger.) If your skin is dry, you might need to put your CL solution on it first to prevent the CL from sticking to your finger.
- Carefully inspect the CL. Don’t use a CL that is defect in any way, e.g. have splits or looks gritty. If it is a multi-use CL, be especially vigilant against build up of proteins and lipids. Any such build-up should be cleaned away with CL solution.
- While balancing the CL on your fingertip like a bowl with the opening facing upwards, check that it isn’t turned inside-out. Some brands have markings on the rim to make it easier to notice when a CL is inside-out.
- Double-check that you know which eye this CL is for. (Unless you have identical eyes with identical need of correction.)
- Use your free hand to keep your eye wide ope.
- Gently place the CL on the eye globe. Different users have different techniques, so you need to find out what works best for you and your eyes. Some people prefer to place the CL on the cornea right away, while others place the CL on the white of the eye and then slide it into place over the cornea. Some slide with the finger, others move the eye globe instead by looking in a certain direction.
- If the CL folds while you are trying to insert it, clean it with CL solution and then try again.
- If your eye gets irritated, stop practicing for a while and let the eye rest before you try again. It can be really tricky to get it right if your eye is already puffy, teary and irritated.
- If you are using multi-use CL:s, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning your CL case, drying it and replacing the CL solution.