Absolutely! Crying with contacts doesn’t damage your eye and isn’t cause for major concern. But it can make seeing tricky because the glands in your eyelids produce extra tears, which leave deposits on the lenses. Even though this won’t create problems, you might sometimes experience cloudy lenses because of it. 

So, what do you do? It’s tempting to rub your eyes when you can’t see but try to avoid this. Rubbing your eyes can cause your lenses to move, leading to irritation. 

In this article, we’ll look at the side effects and benefits of crying in your contacts. 

Tears Are Healthy and Helpful

Before we discuss how crying might affect contact wearers, let’s first consider what tears do and why they’re so important. 

What’s the Purpose of Tears? 

Tears keep the eyes moist and lubricated, protecting them from irritants and supplying the necessary nutrients to keep your eyes healthy. These benefits of tears are essential for anyone, but they can be especially helpful if you have contacts. 

For contact wearers, tears allow you to wear your lenses comfortably. If your eyes don’t produce enough tears (a condition known as dry eyes), you may experience eye irritation and even vision problems.

To gain these benefits for healthy eyes, you don’t actually have to cry. Healthy eyes are regularly producing tears, whether we cry or not. In fact, our eyes produce several types of tears. 

Types of Tears 

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, your body makes three types of tears: basal, reflex, and emotional. Let’s go over how each one works:

  • Basal tears act as a shield to lubricate, nourish, and protect the eyes from dirt or other debris. 
  • Reflex tears clean off harmful irritants. You may notice your eyes produce reflex tears when you’re near smoke or cutting an onion. Your eyes may also produce reflex tears if a  foreign object, such as an eyelash or dust particle, gets into your eye.
  • Emotional tears are part of a response to strong emotions, such as joy, sadness, or anger.

 These three types of tears help your eyes remain healthy and working properly.

What Happens if You Cry With Your Contacts In?

When you cry while wearing contacts, it can help lubricate and wet the lenses. This allows your contacts to move more easily around the eye, which also makes them more comfortable to wear. However, even though crying with contacts in gives you more moisture, it can also affect your vision and how the lenses float on the eye. 

Your tears might cause your contact lenses to shift out of place, which could create an awkward or uncomfortable feeling. It may also make your vision blurry because of the extra tears on the surface of your eye.


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Side Effects of Crying With Contact Lenses

Crying with contacts in is perfectly safe, but there’s a chance you might experience some side effects. Let’s go over some of the more common side effects.

Blurry Vision

Although contact lenses can handle a certain amount of normal tears, crying in them can also cause your vision to become blurry for a brief moment. 

Why? The eye creates extra tears, which leaves oily deposits or residue on the lens. This may make your vision somewhat cloudy. Always clean your contacts properly after you cry, or take them out for a while to give your eyes a rest.

Contacts Cling to the Eyelids

Crying can create an excessive amount of tears. With the additional moisture, one or both of your contact lenses may move and attach themselves to your eyelids or eyelashes. Sometimes it’s easy to tell when this happens, but when it’s not, the most evident sign is blurry vision. 

If your contact moves out of place while crying, find the escaped lens and gently clean it before putting the contact lens back into your eye.

Lenses Get Stuck Under the Eyelid

Even though crying with contacts in is safe, it can still cause red eyes or eye irritation. In some cases, your lenses might move from the cornea and get stuck under the eyelids. 

Try to avoid rubbing your eyes to prevent the lenses from moving out of place. 

If your contact lenses get stuck under the eyelid, try blinking them back into place. If that doesn’t work and you’re unsure what to do, contact your optometrist immediately. 

Contacts Fall Out

Because your tear production increases when you cry, it creates more moisture in the eye, allowing your contacts to move more easily. You should be aware that the possibility of your contacts falling out depends on the type of contact lenses you’re wearing. 

Soft contacts rarely come out (even after crying), but this can happen if you’re using rigid gas-permeable (RGP) or “hard” contact lenses. 

If your RGP lenses fall out, place them in a compatible saline solution to disinfect them. After the lenses have been cleaned, check them for scratches before reinserting them into your eyes. If you don’t disinfect your contacts before putting them back in, you could irritate your eyes.

If a soft contact falls out, replace it with a new contact rather than reinserting the fallen lens into your eye. 

Can Contacts Be Worn After Crying?

Technically, yes—contact lenses are wearable after crying. However, sometimes crying causes your eyes to become irritated. If this occurs, removing your lenses is recommended to give your eyes time to rest. 

How To Fix Cloudy Contacts After Crying

After crying with contacts in, you might notice it’s a little harder to see through your lenses. This is completely normal. To fix cloudy or blurry vision, it’s a good idea to clean your lenses. Check out our complete guide if you need a refresher: How to Clean Contacts.

Yes, You Can Cry With Your Contacts, but Clean Them After! 

If you’re a regular contact wearer, you’ll probably cry in your lenses at some point. Luckily, it’s safe to do so and won’t cause any harm as long as you avoid rubbing or touching your eyes. 

Crying with contacts in may cause some annoying side effects (like shifting contact lenses or moments of blurry vision), but there’s usually no reason to be concerned.

As you calm down after crying, it’s always a good idea to clean your lenses and/or take them out for a bit to help avoid any irritation.

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