Soft contact lenses are flexible, thin, and slippery. That’s why it’s not too surprising if you accidentally end up with an inside-out contact lens.
So, how can you be sure you’re putting in your contacts correctly?
If you’ve already put the contact in your eye, you’ll likely be able to tell right away if it’s inside out. It may feel uncomfortable, seem like your lens is moving around when you blink, or it might even pop right out of your eye! Other times, you might not notice until you’ve had the contact in a while.
Don’t worry—you can use a few easy methods to make sure your lenses are “right side in” before inserting them. Let’s break it down.
Is Your Contact Lens Inside Out? Here Are 4 Simple Ways to Check
You should wash your hands and remove your contacts if you think they’re inside out. That way, you can start fresh and make sure you’ve got them positioned correctly before putting them back in.
Give one of these methods below a try to make sure your lenses are in correctly.
Cup or Bowl?
The simplest way to check if your contact lens is inside out is to look at it from the side.
- Place the lens on your fingertip.
- Hold it up to eye level, so you can view it from the side.
- If your contact is right side in, it’ll look like a small cup, with edges pointed straight up all the way around.
- An inverted contact lens will look more like a rimmed bowl, with edges flaring outward.
The Taco Test
Another method for making sure your contact lens isn’t inside out is known as the “taco test.” With the taco test, contacts are gently squeezed into the shape of teeny, tiny tacos to observe their edges. (But please don’t eat them.)
- Hold your contact lens with its center positioned between your thumb and index finger.
- Gently squeeze the lens as though you were going to fold it in half. (A gentle squish will do—you don’t need to fully fold the lens.)
- While squeezing the lens, observe the edges.
- If the edges of the lens point upward (like a hard-shell taco) or look like they would meet when folded in, then the contact is right side in.
- If the edges of the contact flare outward toward your thumb and forefinger, then the contact lens is inside out.
Easy as 1-2-3
Some contact lenses have laser markings on them. The markings may be the number “123,” or there may be a combination of letters and numbers. Looking for laser markings can help you identify if your lens is inside out.
- Place your contact lens on your fingertip.
- Hold the lens up to eye level.
- Inspect the lens for laser markings. You may need to rotate the lens on your finger to find them.
- If you find numbers or letters that appear backward, then the contact lens is inside out.
- If there are numbers or letters correctly oriented, then the contact lens is positioned properly.
Look for Tinted Edges
Some manufacturers include a tint on the edges of their contacts to help you easily tell if your contacts are positioned the right way. The tint is usually blue but sometimes green.
- Place your contact lens on your fingertip.
- Look down at the contact’s edges from above.
- If the edges’ color looks bright, then your lens is good to go.
- If the edges’ color looks pale or you can’t notice the tint, then your lens is probably inside out.
- If you think the lens is inside out, flip it and confirm that the tinting looks brighter.
Practice Makes Perfect
Doing a quick inside-out check before putting your contacts in each day might be a good habit to acquire. If you ever suspect your contact lens might’ve flipped inside out while you were handling it, use whichever method above to put your mind at ease.
What Does an Inside-Out Contact Feel Like?
An inside-out contact will probably feel a little off. It might feel uncomfortable or like it’s moving around when you blink. It may even fall out of your eye.
What Happens If I Put in My Contact Lens Inside Out?
If you accidentally put in your contact lens inside out, don’t panic—it won’t cause damage to your eye. An inverted contact lens may cause a little discomfort, though. Just take the lens out (with clean hands, of course) and reinsert it the right way.
Will My Vision Be Blurry if My Contact Is Inside Out?
If your contact lens is inside out, your vision might be a little blurry because of the inverted lens pressing on your cornea differently. But it’s also possible that you might be able to see through it just fine.
Can Contacts Be Inside Out All Day?
You’ll most likely notice your contacts are inside out before wearing them that way for an entire day. If you don’t feel discomfort right away, you’ll probably start to notice it after a little while.
Whenever that moment hits and you ask yourself, “Wait, are my contacts inside out?” you should wash your hands, remove your contacts, clean your contacts with solution, and put them back in correctly.
In the event you somehow do end up wearing them inside out all day, be sure to let your eye doctor know if you feel any irritation or discomfort afterward.