How to Insert and Remove Hard Contact Lenses

Published September 14, 2020

Below is a helpful guide on how to insert and remove your rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses using the most common, easy to follow methods.

This article is not intended to be a substitute for the instructions and medical advice from your eye care professional. 

How to insert your RGP lenses 

Always insert the same contact lens first to avoid confusion.  

  1. Wash your hands well with a mild soap and water, and dry with a lint-free towel.
  2. Remove your contact lens from its storage case and place it on the index finger of your dominant hand.
  3. Check the lens for any chips, cracks, or debris.
  4. Rinse the lens with clear saline solution.
  5. With the middle finger of your non-dominant hand, gently hold your upper eyelid toward your eyebrow to ensure that your eyelashes don’t get in the way.
  6. Using your middle finger on your dominant hand, pull your lower eyelid down.
  7. Staring straight ahead, slowly bring the RGP lens toward your eye and gently place it in the center of your eye.
  8. Blink several times to help the lens move to its correct position in the center of your eye.
  9. Release your eyelids and check for clear and comfortable vision.

What to do if your lens moves out of its correct position

If your RGP lens moves from its proper position on your eye and needs to be re-centered, follow these steps:

  • Using a mirror, try to locate your lens in your eye.
  • If you cannot see your lens, close your eye and try to feel for the lens by gently massaging your upper eyelid.
  • Once you have located your lens, look in the opposite direction from where it is located. For example, if the lens is under your upper eyelid, look down. If it is in the outer corner of your eye, look toward your nose.
  • Using your fingertips on your closed eyelid, try to realign your lens by shifting your gaze toward the lens and pushing it back into position.

How to remove your RGP lenses

Always remove the same contact lens first to avoid confusion and wash your hands before touching your eyes or contact lenses.

Using the blink method:

    1. ​Look straight ahead.
    2. Using your middle finger, firmly pull the skin on the outer corner of your eyelids.
    3. Blink hard until your lens pops out.
    4. Your lens will fall under onto your cheek or a flat surface so be ready to catch it with your other hand or a clean towel. If you are removing your lenses over the sink, cover the drain of the sink with a clean towel to ensure it does not get lost or contaminated.

Using the two-finger method:

      1. With the middle finger of your non-dominant hand, gently hold your upper eyelid toward your eyebrow to ensure that your eyelashes don’t get in the way.
      2. Using your middle finger on your dominant hand, pull your lower eyelid down.
      3. Gently push your eyelids from the outer corner of your eye, toward your nose, bringing your eyelids together and causing the lens to pop out.

Using a DMV device:

      1. Hold the DMV to the lower third part of your lens, avoiding the center of your eye at all times.
      2. When you feel the DMV suction to the lens, gently pull it up and out in a smooth motion.
      3. Squeeze the grip of the DMV to release its suction on the lens.

    Once you have removed your RGP lens, place the lens in a clear storage case filled with fresh saline solution.

    If you have any questions or experience any lens discomfort, promptly remove your lenses and consult with your eye doctor.

    While inserting and removing your RGP lenses may seem difficult at first, as you continue to practice these steps, the process will get easier— allowing you to enjoy the many benefits of wearing RGP contact lenses.