Soft contact lenses can end up inside out in the case and it can be hard to tell which way they should go. Not only does putting contact lenses on inside out make them unable to correct your vision but it can hurt. You will feel as though something is in your eye and it can lead to eye damage if you leave it there for a long period of time.
Fortunately, if you know what to look for, you can determine if your contact lenses are inside out before you put them on. Make sure that you wash your hands with soap and water before you try to put the contacts on and then you can take one out of the case.
Look at the Edge of the Contact Lens
Make sure that you are in a room with good lighting and place the contact lens on the tip of your finger. You want the edges to point up so that the contact looks similar to a small bowl. Hold it close to your eye, and look at the edge of the contact. If the contact lens is the correct way, you will see that the edges go straight up. If it is inside out, the edges will roll out.
Look for Markings
Contacts often have markings on them. They may have L and R for left and right or they may have a number or letters. Hold the contact on the tip of your finger again and lift your finger up to eye level. Slowly rotate the contact lens to look for markings on the side near the edge. When you find the marking, you should be able to read it. If the contact lens is inside out, the letters or numbers will be reversed.
Pinch the Contact Lens Between Your Thumb and Your Forefinger
Hold your contact lens on the outside edge of your forefinger and bring your thumb to meet the contact. Pinch the contact lens together so that it looks similar to a hard taco shell. Now you can look at the edge of the lens and if the edges seem to meet or point directly upwards, your contact is right side out. However, if you notice the edges curling away from each other, it is inside out.
It is very important to learn how to check whether the contact lens is inside out or not before you put them on because it can be very uncomfortable and harm your eyes to put them on this way. Most of the time, you will realize it right away because it will feel uncomfortable and you will find yourself blinking more than usual. It almost feels as though the contact is scratching your eye and your eye will likely tear up.
You can remove the contact, turn it right side out, and insert it again and it will be fine. The discomfort will go away as soon as you remove it from your eye. It is very rare that you would put the contact on inside out and be unaware of it; it is a gritty feeling of discomfort and you will notice it rather quickly.
If you always make sure that you wash your hands before you handle your contacts, you will never need to worry that what you are feeling is a piece of dirt or some kind of debris. You will know right away that your contact is inside out. In addition, you will become familiar with your specific contact over time and it will look more obvious to you. Some contacts are tinted around the edge and you will learn what tone the color should be. Take your time, pay attention, and you will never have trouble knowing whether your contacts are inside out.