Can a contact lens get lost in your eye?
Usually when someone asks, "Can contacts get lost in your eye?" they are wondering if it's possible for a contact lens to become dislodged from the front of the eye and get lost or trapped behind the eye.
Here's good news: That's impossible.
The inner surface of the eyelids has a thin, moist lining called the conjunctiva. At the back of the eyelids, the conjunctiva folds back and becomes the outer covering of the white part of the eyeball.
The continuous nature of the conjunctiva from the eyelids to the eyeball makes it impossible for anything to get behind the eye and become trapped there.
What to do if it seems like one of your contacts is lost in your eye
Sometimes, if you rub your eyes or get bumped in the eye when wearing a soft contact lens, the lens might fold in half and dislodge from the cornea. The folded lens might get stuck under your upper eyelid so that it seems to have disappeared.
Usually if this happens, you will get the feeling that something is in your eye. Opticians call this feeling a "foreign body sensation."
If this occurs, you can usually find the lens by adding a few contact lens rewetting drops to your eye and then gently massaging your eyelid with your eye closed. In most cases, the folded lens will move to a position on your eye where you can see it and remove it.
If the lens remains folded in half, soak it in contact lens solution for a few seconds, then gently rub the lens to return it to its original shape.
If you can't find your "lost" lens with this technique, try to gently turn your upper eyelid inside out. (It's really not as gross as it sounds.)
The best way to do this is to place a Q-Tip horizontally over the outside of your lid. Then, while looking down, grab hold of your eyelashes, gently pull the lid down and quickly evert (flip inside out) the lid by folding it over the Q-Tip.
Keep looking down and tilt your head back. With your other eye open, you should be able to see the folded lens. Gently move the contact lens with your everted eyelid until it moves onto your eye so you can remove it.
If you cannot remove the lens from your eye with either of these methods, ask someone to help you, or call your optician for assistance.
But don't worry: The lens won't get trapped behind your eye or completely lost in your eye. That's impossible.
Page published in June 2020
Page updated in January 2021