Afraid of Inserting Contact Lenses? 5 Tricks to Overcome Your Fear
Do you love the idea of switching from glasses to contacts, but the thought of putting a contact in your eye freaks you out? Don't worry, you’re not alone. Many people have this fear. It's important to know that you can overcome this.
There are certain things you can use to move past your fear of inserting contact lenses. Read on for 5 tips that will get the ball rolling!
1. Separate Fact From Fiction
While some people may have a real phobia of touching their eyes, others hesitate because of stories they've heard from others. A lot of these stories are myths or, at most, things that happened once as a fluke. So first things first: let's dispel a few myths to put you at ease:
Myth #1: A Stuck Contact Lens Will Remain in My Eye Forever
While it's true that a soft lens can get stuck on the surface of the eye, it will always come off. In most cases, all you have to do is apply some eye drops and the moisture will loosen it up.
Myth #2: A Contact Lens Can Get Lost Behind My Eye
You may have seen a contact lens flip under someone's eyelid. Yeah, it's freaky! But it's technically impossible for the contact to move to the back of the eye and get lost forever. In fact, there is a thin membrane located back there that prevents this from happening.
Myth #3: Contacts Are Extremely Uncomfortable and Painful
Many people are afraid that once they put the contact lens in their eye, they are going to experience extreme pain and discomfort. If this were the case, no one would ever wear contacts!
It’s true that contact lenses can feel uncomfortable the first couple times you wear them. This is normal. Like any new thing, it will take you some time to get used to wearing contacts. After a couple times, you won't even notice they're in there.
If your contact lenses don't feel right after a few days, see your eye doctor. It could be that they're not the right fit, type or brand for you.
2. Do a Dry Run
For many people, the best thing to do to overcome their fear of contacts is a dry run. This means you need to practice touching your eyes a few days in a row, leading up to the day you insert your contacts for the first time. Yes, it sounds a bit weird to be touching your eye a bunch of times, but it works.
Before you do anything, make sure you’ve washed your hands. Start by touching your eyelashes, upper and lower eyelids, and then finally, the white part of your eye. This should help desensitize your eyes and get your mind used to the idea of touching your eyeball. It's a psychological process that will help you understand that touching your eye is no big deal.
Also, discuss your fear of contacts with your optometrist. He or she can give you a trial pair of lenses you can practice with. Ask your eye doctor about other options, such as overnight contact lenses. This way, you'll limit the times you insert and take out your contacts.
3. Practice Not Blinking
When an object is moving closer and closer to your eye, the natural reflex is to blink. Do some exercises that will help you resist this reflex. Practice not blinking by taking your index finger and placing it on the upper eyelid.
Then, take the thumb of the same hand, and place it on the lower eyelid. Finally, with your other hand, pretend you're putting lenses into your eyes. Make sure the hand that is holding the eyelid open stays steady. And try not to think of it as your finger touching your eye. Instead, think of it as placing a contact lens on top of your eye.
4. Look Away
When most people put in their contact lenses, they look straight at the finger with the contact on. This technique can work for some, but it doesn't work for everybody. With a little practice, you'll be putting your contacts in by looking away. But where do you look, if not at the finger?
First off, grab a mirror that you can sit very close to. Position your face by the mirror. Then, try to focus on the process of applying the contact lens rather than the thought of your finger touching your eye.
Pick a spot on the ceiling and focus on it. Then place the lens on the white part of the eye. It's ok if the lens doesn't land on your iris straight away. You can reposition the lens by closing your eyes and looking around in different directions.
5. Keep Things Clean
For a lot of people, the fear of contact lenses stems from a fear of germs. If you're someone who worries about getting your eye dirty when inserting a lens, then this tip is for you. To get over this fear, make sure the lens and everything that comes in contact with it stays clean.
Before inserting a contact lens, wash your hands with a mild soap. Then, dry them off with a clean, lint-free towel. You can then apply the lenses with a clean face free of makeup, creams and perfumes.
Make sure you clean and store your contacts with the recommended solution when taking them out at night.
There's a lot you can do to overcome your fear of inserting contact lenses. Cleanliness is key! Spotless hands and a fresh face will ensure any infection is kept at bay. Clean and sterilize your contacts according to the instructions on the packaging or your doctor's advice. You'll soon be laughing about ever being afraid of putting in contacts!
Want to find out more about these wonderful little medical devices? You can continue learning about contact lenses by checking out our blog.