Can a Contact Lens Break in Your Eye?

Contact lenses may look unbreakable because of their semi-liquid appearance and texture, but they can actually break under certain circumstances. Find out the causes, so you’ll be more careful in handling your contacts.

Why does a contact lens break?

There are three common causes of broken contact lens: sharp fingernails, abrasion, and dry eyes. Learn more about them below:

  • Sharp Fingernails
    Pointy objects are obviously dangerous for contact lenses. However, the chances of you poking your contact lens with a sharp item are few. You’re more likely exposing your lenses to your fingernails.
    Cutting your fingernails short isn’t enough, though. You need to file their edges thoroughly until they’re smooth to touch.
    Fortunately, there’s a simple trick to reduce the odds of breakage while handling contact lens. All you need to do is use the soft pads of your fingers. Make sure to use your thumb and forefinger carefully. Try to make as little physical contact with soft lens as possible.
  • Abrasion
    This usually happens in two ways. Abrasion occurs when you either rub your eyes or clean your contact lenses in a rough manner. Luckily for you, you can prevent it as long as you do everything correctly.
    Once your eye gets itchy, try to stay calm and carefully remove the contact lens cautiously. You can only relieve the itch after removal. If you give in, you might harm your cornea as you rub the contact lens while still on your eye. A scratched cornea can affect the quality of your vision.
    When it comes to cleaning lenses, using the right contact solution may be enough in some cases. However, gentle rubs are still necessary to eliminate protein deposits from the surface proper way. Never apply too much pressure while rubbing to prevent rips.
  • Dry Eyes
    Even without touching the lens, it can still break if your eye is too dry. Dryness can easily crack the lens, ultimately breaking it.
    That’s why you need to have a rewetting solution with you at all times. That special liquid is important before and after wearing contact lens. Moisture is crucial when touching or holding contacts. Mostly just a few drops of saline solution can solve the problem.

How do you remove ripped contact lenses?

The key here is to do the process systematically. Follow these steps when the contact lens breaks while you’re still wearing it:

  1. Clean your hands, especially your fingers and fingernails, with unscented soap and water for at least thirty seconds.
  2. Dry your hands with a towel that’s totally lint-free.
  3. Stay close to a mirror while facing it.
  4. Force your eye to open wider by holding its upper and lower eyelids with your forefinger and thumb.
  5. Observe your eye for a while (if you have poor vision, let another person guide you) to assess the situation (is the contact lens too shattered?) and find pieces of the lens, if any.
  6. Take out the bigger bits first by moving each piece to your eye’s sclera (the white part) before pinching it off.
  7. Lay the pieces out on a lens case to make sure nothing is left on your eye.
  8. Find the smaller pieces with your eye wide open while slowly moving in all directions.
  9. Remove the tiniest bits by coating your eye with drops or disinfectant (make sure the liquid is safe to use).
  10. Force your eye to stay open while the liquid drips out together with the broken bits.

Even if you feel confident after the process, it’s best if you visit a specialist who can check for sure whether your eye is all clear or not. In fact, you may go to an eye clinic immediately once you realize the lens is broken. The doctor surely has all the tools appropriate for the procedure.

Speaking of tools, tweezers are never a good idea for removing broken contacts. It won’t even matter if you’ll use the ones with soft tips. Better to be safe than sorry.

What happens if you continue wearing broken contact lenses?

Broken contact lens on finger

It goes without saying that ripped lenses will only harm your eyes. The broken pieces can easily scratch your eye.

Scratching your cornea will surely lead to inflammation or irritation. Whether you close or open your eyes, you’ll feel pain. Light can even make things worse, for it can sting your eyes and leave them with a burning sensation.

Even without abrasion, the deformed shape of the lens alone can trigger pain. It won’t fit properly, which may result in a contact stuck underneath your eyelid. Improper fit can also affect your vision, which is enough sometimes to start a headache.

In this case, you should visit eye doctor immediately to remove any ripped parts from under your eyelid.

How can you prevent a contact rips?

Instead of focusing on the proper removal of a broken contact lens, avoid the inconvenience altogether by knowing how to prevent the problem in the first place. Remember the following tips aside from the ones we mentioned earlier while discussing the causes:

  • Always check if your contact lens are perfectly fine before wearing them.
  • Don’t use the lens once you notice subtle signs of wear and tear.
  • Avoid the desperation of using worn-out contacts by bringing eyeglasses or an extra pair of lenses wherever you go.
  • Don’t alter the shape of the lens by holding it with just one finger most of the time.
  • Place the lens immediately in its case after removal to keep it moisturized.
  • Never apply too much pressure when closing the case’s lid.
  • Never lubricate contact lenses with your saliva.
  • Replace contact lenses on time.
  • Don’t wear contact lenses while you’re sleeping unless they’re designed for extended wear.

What happens if a contact lenses stuck in my eye?

It is not uncommon for contact lenses to become dislodged from the eye during wear. In most cases, the lens will simply float on the surface of the tears, where it can be easily retrieved. However, in some rare instances, the lens may slide up underneath the eyelid or become wedged against the side of the eye. If this happens, do not panic and aply bellow steps:

How to remove a soft contact lens that’s stuck in my eye?

Removing broken contact lenses

New contact lens wearers often report that a lens feels stuck to their eye. In most cases, the lens is not stuck, but instead tightly adhered to the eye due to dryness.

The best way to remove a stuck contact lens is to use rewetting drops or artificial tears to lubricate the lens and ease it off the eye.

If the lens still does not budge, try gently rubbing it with your finger while holding the eyelid open.

If all else fails, contact your eye care professional for assistance.


Torn contact lenses are not a common problem. However, that depends on how careful you are in handling them. As long as you keep your fingernails smooth and your eyes moisturized, sharp edges and extreme dryness will never affect the quality of your contacts.

Where to Buy Durable Contact Lenses

Sometimes, breakage happens no matter what. But, that’s only possible with low-quality contacts. Here at Contact Lenses 4 Us, we offer durable options that won’t break easily. We have products like Air Optix Aqua for a tougher material, Dailies Aqua Comfort Plus for long-lasting moisture, and Air Optix Night & Day for extended use. Everything here is available for worldwide shipping without the need for prescriptions.

See also:

Three Important Tips for Contact Lens Care

Buy Contact Lenses Without Prescription. But, Take Care

All You Need to Know about Contact Lens Cases

Can a Contact Lens Break in Your Eye?

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