How to Save a Dried Out Contact

iShamontiel L. Vaughn

Contact lenses cost far too much to let them go to waste. Even if you have disposable contacts, there's no need to treat them like paper and toss them out before their time is up. This is often what happens when a contact dries out from being exposed to air too long, either from being rubbed out of a person's eye or falling on the floor in the midst of an attempted insertion. A dried-up contact can be just as usable as a brand-new one if it is taken care of properly rather than destroyed.

Before you touch a contact lens, your hands should always be clean, so wash them. The only exception is after you've just dropped a contact, because the soft ones tend to stick to the first thing they touch.

Find the contact and pick it up carefully. When a contact lens is dry, it feels like a pebble, and could crack or tear if not handled gently.

Pour contact-lens solution into a contact-lens case, and lightly place the lens in the solution.

Keep the contact lens in the case for a few hours until it unravels. Whether or not the contact was dry, most contact solution directions require contacts to be cleaned for a minimum of four hours when they are not in your eyes.

Open the case and turn it upside down. Clean the contact lens thoroughly, making sure to get rid of any particles that may have attached themselves to the contact and/or are swimming around in the used solution.

Rinse the contact lens with solution, making sure the lens is clean and free of debris. Then put the lens in your eye as you normally do.

Follow Steps 3 through 6 if the contact dried out when you fell asleep with it in. Contacts are meant to be taken out every night, even the disposable ones. When your eyes are closed, the air cannot reach the contact, so it tend to dry out and stick to your eye.

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