It's frustrating to lose track of a contact lens. It happens to experienced contact lens wearers and neophytes alike, often when you are inserting or removing your contact lenses, or when you have rubbed your eye and dislodged the lens. You may feel some discomfort in your eye, but that does not necessarily indicate that your lens is still there.
Do not panic. Your contact lens may be caught under your eyelid, but it cannot get lost behind your eye.
Check Outside Your Eye
Before poking around under your eyelids and causing irritation, inspect your immediate surroundings to see if the contact lens has fallen out. Your contact lens may be on your cheek, on the front of your clothes, on the counter, in the sink or on the floor. Many contact lenses have a blue or green tint to make them easier to find in this situation.
Look in the Mirror
Look closely at your eye to see if your contact lens is visible. It may be resting in the correct place with something caught under it, causing tears to impair your vision. You should see the outline of the contact lens around your iris, the colored part of your eye. Take it out and rinse it off with contact lens solution.
Your contact lens may be slightly folded. Blinking or gently rubbing your upper eyelid may correct this.
If your contact lens is not easily visible, gently pull down your lower eyelid to see if you can find it. If this is the case, you can reposition the contact lens with your clean fingertip, or by gently rubbing on your lower eyelid.
If you still haven't found your lost contact lens, gently lift your upper eyelid and look for it there. If your contact lens is caught under your upper lid, close your eye and gently rub on your eyelid to reposition the lens.
If you cannot see your contact lens in your eye but still feel like it might be in there, you can dislodge it with tears. Gently pull your upper eyelid over the lower eyelid to stimulate the production of tears. Repeat this until you feel the contact lens move to a more accessible part of your eye. Then you can look in the mirror and find it.
If you still cannot locate your contact lens in your eye, wait a few minutes or hours. Blinking will dislodge the contact lens if it is still in there. After that, you can be certain that your contact lens has fallen out and is not in your eye.
However, if your eyes are still irritated after a few hours, contact your doctor or eye care professional.
For New Contact Lens Wearers
When your contact lens is correctly positioned in your eye, you should barely feel it, if at all. If your prescription is strong, you can tell if the contact lens is in your eye by looking across the room to see if everything is in focus. However, if you only need mild vision correction, that may not be a clear indicator.
Look closely at your eye in the mirror. If your contact lens is resting in the correct place, you should see the outline of the contact lens around your iris.