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Broken contact lens can be challenging to remove from your eyes. While it’s frustrating, it’s important not to panic, as you’ll need a steady, calm hand to remove any lens fragments that get stuck. You can often pinch the pieces using your fingertips, like how you remove an intact lens.

Remember and always buy branded contact lenses to avoid such unpleasant incidents. However, if you are having a problem, or if your eyes are scratched or punctured in the process, you must see an eye doctor to avoid physical damage or infection.

Steps to remove broken contact lens

1.      Wash your hands. Before attempting to remove a broken lens, be sure to wash your hands well. Wash it for thirty seconds, making sure to remove any dirt or oils under your nails. Dry them with a lint-free towel.

2.      Find a mirror and hold your eyes open. Get close to the mirror and use your thumb to keep your lower eyelid open and your maxillary finger to keep your upper eyelid open. Try to identify the contact lens parts of your eye with your other eye. You may need an assistant to direct you, especially if your eyesight prevents you from seeing the lens fragments.

3.      Remove any large or easy-to-find pieces first as if it were an intact lens. Transfer these pieces to the sclera (white part of the eye). Pinch it carefully with the tips of your thumb and forefinger (do not use your nails).

4.      Move your eyes to locate small pieces. Carefully move your eyes up, down, and side to side to define small spots. Try to open your eyelids as wide as possible to avoid scratching the surface of your eyes. Small, jagged splinters can cause damage if rubbing them between the eyelid or fingers and the surface of the eye, so be very gentle with removing them.

5.      Wash your eyes to get rid of any remaining chunks. Check contact lens sanitizer to make sure they’re safe to use to wash your eyes, or saline eye drops if you have them on hand. Wash your eyes with the solution, and try to allow the liquid to direct any remaining small pieces from your eye. Continue to keep your eyelids wide open to allow the solution and any remaining splinters to drip from the eye and the socket.

6.      Visit an eye doctor if you are having difficulty. If you cannot remove lens fragments using disc or cleaning techniques, you may have to see an ophthalmologist.

Avoid eye damage

1.      Do not use your nails. You may be tempted to use your fingernails to remove the lens fragments from your eye. However, it is important that you only attach the lens parts to your fingertips rather than your fingernails. Otherwise, you run the risk of damaging the surface of the eye.

2.      Stay away from the tweezers. If you cannot remove the lens fragments with your fingertips, do not attempt to use any tools. Tweezers and similar items can severely damage the surface of the eye or cause serious infections. Leave the device to work with your doctor.

3.      Try not to rub your eyes. Do not rub your eyes too hard if any fragments from the lens are stuck in your eyes. Friction can scratch the cornea or the surface of the eye. Not only do you risk inflicting physical damage, but you also open the door to dangerous eye infections. In general, you should avoid rubbing your eyes too often while wearing contact lenses.

A quick visit to the doctor may seem a hassle, but it is best to get yourself in harm’s way by trying to get the broken lens out of yourself. Your doctor will have more sensitive tools than you have at your disposal and he will likely be able to easily remove the broken lens out for you.