what to do when you lose a contact lens. in your eye…

eyeFirst of all, don’t panic. Take a deep breath. It’s all okay. I did eventually manage to get the contact lens out of my eye. I know you were worried, you’re nice like that.

And I know the thought of a contact lens floating around in someone’s eye unanchored is a little unsettling. The ick factor here is high. I know. I lived it. But it’s cool because I’ve totally figured out how to handle it. How to get it out right away. If by right away you mean after 15+ minutes. And all it takes is 5 easy steps.

Step One

Don’t panic. I know I said it before, but I’m saying it again. Don’t panic. Focus on something else. Whatever else you happened to be doing when the lens went astray probably deserves your full attention. Driving? You should totally be paying attention to what you’re doing out that other eye, the one in which the contact lens isn’t pulling a disappearing act. On a business call, you should keep listening. Keep talking. Focus on the goal of the meeting not the fact that you can feel that little piece of flexible plastic rolled up on the top curve of your eye making its way back toward your brain.

Step Two

Wrap it up. Whatever it is it’s time to end it. Ignore what I said before. Whatever it is you’re doing is significantly less important than what is happening in your body. I mean your contact lens is just floating around in your eye socket. That’s so gross. I mean, what is going on?! Is it folded in the shape of an origami swan? You can’t drive like that. You can’t talk. You need to focus. Pull over to the side of the road. Excuse yourself from your meeting. End your call. THERE IS A PIECE OF PLASTIC LOOSE IN YOUR HEAD! It’s okay to take a moment.

Step Three

Panic. Burn the world down with fire. Rub your eye furiously. DON’T TOUCH YOUR EYE YOU’RE MAKING IT WORSE. Text your boyfriend and tell him you think you are going to die from this loose contact lens. What if it makes its way to your brain? Choke a little on the thought that you might throw up and choke on your own vomit. Pace around. STOP WALKING. Lie down on the couch and don’t move a muscle. Slowly roll your eye with the lid closed. STOP MOVING YOUR EYE YOU’RE MAKING THIS WORSE. Stop breathing. Or breathe into a paper bag. Isn’t that what they do in the movies? Rub your eye to see if you can dislodge it. STOP RUBBING YOUR EYE!

Step Four

Have a moment of clarity. Why would you text your boyfriend to find out how to get the contact out? He wears hard lenses, not soft. Also he’s not a doctor of any kind at all. That may also rule out your parents and most of your friends. So where did you get those lenses to begin with? Ah yes. Take a deep breath, close the affected eye, pick up your phone with intent. Intent to call your eye doctor.

Step Five

Blink. If your experience is anything like mine, your lens probably came right out. Feel it there in the corner of your eye? Yeah just swipe at that little thing with your finger. Doesn’t that feel better? Oh look, it’s folded up into a little triangle. Kind of like a napkin. Phew. I’m glad that’s done.

So how did I get the damn thing lost in my eye in the first place? I shove a flimsy piece of plastic onto my eye every morning. This kind of thing was bound to happen eventually.

And a big ol apology to the person with whom I was meeting if I seemed a little distracted at the end of our call. It wasn’t you. It was my fricking contact lens. Sorry.

5 thoughts on “what to do when you lose a contact lens. in your eye…

  1. ktatkins says:

    I actually asked my optometrist if the lens COULD get to my brain. She looked at me slightly askew, and reminded me that no, there is an eye socket specifically to prevent that sort of thing. I haven’t been back.

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